Cooper Test

Are you fit and strong compared to people in your age group?

Do you consider yourself strong, fit and capable? Take the Cooper Test and find out how well you compare to your peers.

These tests of strength and endurance give you an objective way to measure your fitness and set goals for the future. The figures in the charts below came from research on 1000s of people, so every time you test yourself, you will have a clear comparison to people your age.

Before you begin, please warm up with a brisk walk or light jog (5-10 min) and a few gentle stretching exercises. Note: Please get clearance from your doctor before taking any strenuous fitness test like the Cooper Test. 

Cardio Test Instructions: Go to a 400 meter track (at a school) or measure a distance of 1.5 miles on a flat surface. After warming up, run / walk 1.5 miles at your best effort. When you are finished, compare your results with your age group in the table below. 

Note: In recent studies, those in the highest 1/3 of fitness level had the lowest risk of future health concerns, while those in the lowest 1/3 had the highest risk. Find out more about cardio fitness. 

Not a runner? You can test your cardio fitness accurately with a one mile walk. Get complete instructions in the Rockport walking test article. 

Upper body strength testing

Cooper Strength Test Instructions: 

Place a folded towel or cushion (3 inches tall) under your chest. Space your hands shoulder width apart and keep your back straight. Do as many push ups as you can without resting, touching your chest to the cushion each time. When you are finished, see your results in the tables below. 

Note: This test is modified for ladies. The push ups are done on your knees. During the push ups, do not lift your rear end in the air. Maintain a straight line through your body--from your head to your knees. 

Note: These tests are named for their original founder, Kenneth Cooper, MD, a prominent physician and health researcher who started the Cooper Clinic and founded the Institute for Aerobic Research in Dallas, Texas. 

Are you happy with your results?

Health, quality of life and physical fitness all go together. Improving your muscular strength and cardiovascular endurance gives you more opportunities to enjoy life and can reduce your risk for the major chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. 

Start your new exercise program with the help of our free workout plans. Come back to retake the Cooper Test in 3 months to see your improvement. 

Return to physical fitness tests.

Return from Cooper Test to home page: Why I exercise.

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Rockport walking test
Find your VO2 Max with a 1 mile timed walk.

VO2 Max 
Cardio endurance and your health.

Abdominal muscle strength 
Research-based strength testing.

Body mass index 
Is your weight healthy for your size?

Rob Cowell, PT is the author of and Progressive Core Strengthening. was created from his knowledge and experience in physical therapy, fitness and athletics.