Fitness Testing is my Witness, so Delicious!

Have you ever sat in a staff meeting while your leadership team discussed data? Many school districts mandate that their physical education programs administer fitness tests. Fitness tests provide us with data! Some physical educators look at fitness testing as something that must be done to check the proverbial box. However, I challenge you to view fitness testing through another lens. This blog will provide you with practical tips on how to collect data student data and conduct goal-setting meetings with your students.

Students using Gopher's AssessPro Rep-Addition Push-Up Testers.

Step 1: Plan Your Fitness Tests

At the beginning of the year, plan your fitness testing days/weeks as a part of your yearly physical education plan.

Step 2: Review Testing Protocols With Students

Students must understand what is being tested; therefore, take the time to demonstrate or show videos outlining the correct techniques. Here are a couple of videos:

Girl using Gopher's AssessPro Curl-Up Mat

Step 3: Pretest and Goal Setting

The pretest is used to get a baseline fitness level for each student. You can create a sheet like the one below for each student or use one sheet for the whole class (Figure 1). Record their names or student identification numbers. Record their results after the first fitness test (Figure 1) or have their partner \ecord them. After the class is finished with the pretest, you could meet with each student individually to set a goal, or for the larger classes, you could project the Healthy Fitness Zone Performance ranges (Figure 2) for them to set a goal. Students could also record and track their data by creating an electronic portfolio or a Google Doc (Figure 3).

Figure 1
Example of Teacher Copy

Example of Teacher Copy

Figure 2
Healthy Fitness Zone Performance – Pacer

Healthy Fitness Zone Performance - Pacer

Figure 3
Example of a Google Doc

Example of a Google Doc

Step 4: Mid-Year and Goal Setting

Repeat step 3. Your students should view their goals throughout the year, especially before taking part in a fitness test.

Step 5: End of Year

The end-of-year fitness test is similar to step 4, but no goal setting is involved. However, students should be aware of the goals they have set.


Collecting data and goal setting is a great way to demonstrate to your principal and other stakeholders that physical education uses data effectively. Goal setting is a vital skill throughout life. Many principals like to see cross-curricular activities. In addition, students could graph their results as an extension of math and write reflections throughout the school year. Furthermore, you could share this with parents during open house and parent-teacher conferences.

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