The Ruffier test is an easy way to know the heart’s response to physical exertion. Cardiac adaptation and recovery are considered to be useful values for assessing physical activity. The result that is obtained serves to define the state of form of a person and is of crucial importance at a sporting level, as we will see together in this article.
The tests that make up the Ruffier test are very simple to perform and only take a few minutes. Any individual, man and woman without age limits, can even achieve it by staying at home. It is based on self-evaluation that necessarily requires a high level of sincerity and attention. Once the calculation has been made, the results will allow to establish the current state of form of the person. And his level of physical aptitude to play one or more sports.
If you want to take the Ruffier test, you just need to know how to count your heartbeats and do the squat exercise correctly. To do this, you will need to start standing, with your torso straight at 90 degrees and your hands on your side. From here, you will descend perpendicular to the ground, flexing your legs and then climbing up, at a fast and even pace.
How should I take the Ruffier test?
The test, widely used in the 1980s to evaluate French athletes, consists of measuring heartbeats at three different times during one minute. Some choose to take the measurement for 15 seconds and multiply that value by 4.
- P1 : Take the pulse before starting physical activity, with the body still at rest. You can do this while sitting or even standing.
- P2 : As soon as the physical activity is over, take note of the beats immediately after completing the workout.
- P3 : allow one minute to recover, rest one minute from P2 and check your heart rate again.
The exercise performed after the first evaluation (P0) involves performing 30 squats in 45 seconds. For women, it will need to be 20 in 30 seconds.
It is important to clarify that this number is the minimum that must be reached at that time. That is, if you hit 30 repetitions before 45 seconds, you will have to keep doing them until the time runs out.
Done it all? After doing the squat, you will have to mark the 3 measurements on a notebook or on your smartphone as we have indicated above. You will have three values that you are going to insert into this simple and trivial equation:
I = [(P1 + P2 + P3) – 200] / 10
How to analyze the results?
The result of the formula represents the so-called index of the person’s cardiac status. Depending on the value obtained, you will insert it among the various indices predetermined and foreseen by the Ruffier test, in order to know in what physical situation you are. With your index “I” marked, all you have to do is compare it with this scale of values:
- From 0 to 4 : you will find yourself in optimal conditions for carrying out short-term physical efforts.
- 4 – 8 : You have a heart suitable for physical activities.
- 8 – 12 : we advise you to plan a training routine to recover the correct physical condition.
- 12 to 16: It is best to visit a specialist to carry out a thorough review.
- More than 16 : it is an index that reveals a poor state of health and a heart that is absolutely not in shape.
A practical example of the Ruffier test : [(80 + 125 + 90) – 200] / 10 = 9.5
In this example, the resulting value is in the third possible range of the table. Therefore, it is a decidedly not good physical state and on which it is possible to intervene. This does not mean that this individual suffers from heart problems, but it is necessary to recover through an adequate training plan in order to be able to return to lower values, those of the second level.
Ruffier test for professional athletes
The characteristics of this test are the same as the Ruffier test, let’s say, “normal”. Obviously, the effort required to generate the P values will be much greater. The formula for knowing the index varies in the case of competition athletes.
I = [(P1 – 70) + 2 * (P2 – P0)] / 10
The benchmark results are:
- 0 to 3 = excellent
- 3 to 6 = normal
- 6 to 8 = weak
- S uperiore 8 = not in conditions for high-performance sport.
Another example of the test for professional athletes: If the same heart rate measurements are taken as in the previous case, the result would be:
I = (55 + 2 * 10) / 10
I = (55 + 20) / 10
I = 75/10 = 7.5
The same levels with a differentiated calculation for professional athletes give, as you can see, different indices. With these values, the person would not be able to compete without a doctor’s supervision. That is to say, his physical state may be acceptable in a person who plays amateur sports, but it is certainly inadequate for competing in a competitive environment.
The Ruffier test is a formula that allows you to know the physical conditions of each person, in relation to the type of sporting activity that will be carried out. It is the surest way to know for sure your true form.