The Importance of Performance Testing


What is Performance Testing?

Performance testing is very common in the elite sports setting but rarely seen done outside of this area. Today we will discuss what performance testing is, why it is important and how it helps you gain the edge on your competition.

To put it simply, performance testing is a group or battery of tests that are used to measure the physical qualities that matter at helping you succeed in performing at your sport. Therefore, the purpose for performance testing is to provide baseline results that we can compare to future results along with providing information on strength and weaknesses along with any potential injury risks.

Why Use Performance Testing on Athletes?

Qualities such as power, strength, speed and change of direction for instance, are important characteristics to almost all sports and thus tests that measure these are the standard. However, as building robust, injury resilient athletes is just as important as building stronger, faster and agile athletes, there are also specific tests that can help flag any potential injury risks (for example neck strength for contact sports correlates with concussion risk).

What are the Benefits of Performance Testing?

The greatest benefit of having this data and information is it takes out all the guesswork. Though generic training can be effective, this data can allow specific training interventions to be applied that can target improving upon your weaknesses and maintain your strengths. For instance, targeting hamstring strength as the NoardBoard test signaled weak eccentric hamstring strength.

Performance Testing Tools

By gaining baseline data it will allow us to determine how effective the specific training interventions have been as it allows us to compare from point A to point B. Having this data will also allow us to compare you to not only your peers but to those that play at the elite level of your sport by using the VALD PERFORMANCE normative database that collects data from all athletes all around the world.

Using Performance Testing Metrics for Injury Prevention

Playing sport exposes you to greater risk of injury, there’s no denying that. However, if that outcome was to occur, performance testing can help aid in your rehab process.Having baseline measures to compare against can help aid physiotherapists understand how well your rehab process is moving along and how far you are potentially off from returning to training and playing. For example, if you were to roll your ankle affecting your hop and stick distance (single leg strength) we can use this test throughout the rehab process as the baseline marker we need to get as close to or even beyond before feeling comfortable for you to return to training.

Is Performance Testing Only for Elite Athletes?

Now we know what performance testing is and why we do it, we can see the clear benefits and advantages of going through this process. Luckily for you, you don’t have to be a part of the elite sport setting to go through this process as here at Lift3, we have VALD PERFORMANCE equipment and the space to conduct these tests in house under one roof. We also have the luxury of having our very own in house physio. So, if (hopefully not) you were ever to pick up an injury, you have the advantage of already having access to a physio who has all your data.

Key Take Aways

Performance testing doesn’t have to be something you go without, leaving you with just guessing your strengths and weaknesses. It is now a reality that you can now do close to home, allowing you to gain an edge on your competition. Helping you become the best athlete you can be.

Matt Tyson
Lift3 Gym and Physiotherapy

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