The YO-YO Test

Updated: Mar 22, 2020

The YO-YO Intermittent recovery test is a multistage fitness test, a little like the familiar beep test but with a slight variation which is more functional for soccer players.

This test provides a maximal aerobic endurance result which you can compare to others who have completed the same test, including the pro's.

A combination of speed, aerobic endurance and reactivity will be physical driving forces towards your score.

This test is suitable for players aged 13 and over and usually takes between 6-20 minutes to complete. A variation for younger players is a shortened 30 Meter distance.

The drill

The drill is a 40 meter shuttle run which is split in half by 2 lengths of 20 meters so you have a turn and accelerate phase.

You then have an active break of 5/10 seconds to recover before performing your next shuttle.

An audible cue allocates your completion time of each shuttle which decreases at regular intervals therefore the required running speed increases.

The test continues up to a maximum of 23 levels but more than likely you will be stopping the test if you can not make the shuttle distance in the required time for the current level.

Preparing For The Test

- Firstly mark out accurately the 20 meter distance with cones and a few meters recovery box

- Download the audio test here

- Connect audio to a Speaker

Performing The Test

Players must start with at least one foot in the recovery box behind the shuttle line, and begin their shuttle run when the audio recording instructs them to. There will be a beep which signals the 20 Meter turning point and again which signals the full 40 Meter shuttle completion and start of 5/10 seconds recovery time.

During the recovery time, Players must walk or jog to the recovery end line and return to the starting point for the next audible cue.

The running speed will increase at regular intervals starting at around 6mph and rising as high as 12mph over the course of the test.

The complete test comprises of 91 shuttles with an accumulated distance of 3640 Meters. The YO-YO score however is measured by the Speed Level which ranges from 5 to 23.8. Check out the full speeds and distances for each test.

Some Players will stop once they are feeling puffed out, others will do all they can to continue. If a Player does not make the shuttle distance in time of the audible cue, a warning is given, then if a player fails to make the next audible cue they will be asked to stop.


Another fantastic resource from is the recording sheet so you can make an instant note of your players finish. Download it here

From your data you can generate your players estimated VO2max using this sum:

 Yo-Yo IR1 test: VO2max (ml/min/kg) = IR1 distance (m) × 0.0084 + 36.4

So a player who scores a yo-yo test of 17.7 has achieved a distance of 1680 Meters.

IR1 distance (1680m) × 0.0084 =14.112

14.112 + 36.4 = 50.512

Yo-Yo IR1 test: VO2max (ml/min/kg) = 50.512

Highlighted Official Results

Billy Daniels (Hednesford) 22.7

Joe Partington (Eastleigh) 22.4

Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) 21.8

Neymar (PSG) 21.6

Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) 21.5

Kristine Lilly (Retired, United States women's national soccer team) 18.6

Original description of the test: Fitness Training in Football, a scientific approach - by Jens Bangsbo, publisher August Krogh Institute - Copenhagen University (December 1994).

6 views0 comments

© 2020 by Coach-Ed

  • Instagram - Black Circle
  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • YouTube - Black Circle