• Fitness Testing

    Welcome to the Barbra and David Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center's fitness assessment page. A fitness assessment is a series of fitness tests that helps you or your personal trainer determine your physical fitness level, and aids in developing your personalized program. Results from the fitness assessment can identify your strengths and weaknesses, which help you set realistic and attainable goals. An assessment will aid in tracking improvement, and provides the most accurate results if performed every 4 to 6 weeks. At the Recreation Center, fitness assessments may include any or all of the following:

    • • Body Composition Testing
    • • Cardiovascular Testing
    • • Muscular Strength and Endurance Testing
    • • Flexibility Testing


    Contact The Assistant Director for Fitness Programs at 713-348-2153 to make your appointment today!

    Areas of testing:

  • Body Composition

    Body composition is one of the main fitness assessment tools that helps you achieve your overall goals. The Recreation Center offers two of these body composition assessments. 


    Waist-to-Hip Circumference
    The waist-to-hip (WHR) is a comparison between the circumference of the waist to the circumference of the hip. This ratio best represents the distribution of body weight, and perhaps, body fat, on an individual. The pattern of body weight distribution is recognized as an important predictor of health risks of obesity, hypertension, type two diabetes, and Coronary Artery Disease compared with individuals who are of equal weight but have more of their weight distributed on their extremities. 


    Skinfold Measurements
    A skinfold measurement is a measurement that measures your subcutaneous body fat (fat directly beneath the skin). Since subcutaneous body fat is indicative of total body fat, a skinfold measurement is a very precise way of knowing the amount of fat in your body. There are different sites where measurements are taken, and our personal trainers use seven, to ensure the most accurate results. 


    Like all muscles, your heart adapts to the demands placed on it. When you perform cardiovascular exercise regularly, your heart becomes stronger and more efficient at pumping blood to the organs that depend on a strong blood supply to function. Building cardiovascular endurance dramatically decreases your risk for cardiovascular disease. Here at the Recreation Center, we offer two tests that help identify your endurance level so you know exactly where you stand in order to make a plan for overall improvement. The two tests which are offered in this facility are the One Mile Walk Test and the 3-Minute Step Test.


    1 Mile Walk Test
    In this test, an individual walks one mile as fast as possible. The Personal Trainers measure and record your heart rate during the last quarter mile, and record the number of minutes needed to complete the 1-mile walk. It's easy, fun and a good indicator of your cardiorespiratory fitness. 

    3-Minute Step Test
    This test assesses your fitness level based on how quickly your heart rate recovers after exercise. The more fit you are, the quicker your heart rate will return to normal post exercise. The personal trainer will use a metronome to set the pace that you are stepping on and off the step, for three continuous minutes. Upon completion of the test, your heart rate is evaluated to determine your cardiorespiratory level. 


    Muscular Fitness

    Muscular fitness is a health-related fitness component because it improves or maintains the following:

    • •Fat-free mass and resting metabolic rate
    • •Bone mass
    • •Glucose tolerance
    • •Musculotendinous integrity
    • •The ability to carry out the activities of daily living


    The ACSM has included muscular fitness in its recent position stand on the quantity and quality of exercise to achieve and maintain fitness. The assessment of muscular strength and endurance represents a continuum with "muscular strength" at one end of the assessment scale and "muscular endurance" at the other. Tests allowing few repetitions of a task are measuring strength, while those in which great numbers of repetitions can be done are measuring endurance.

    Muscular Strength and Endurance
    Muscular strength measures the amount of force a muscle can produce against a resistance one time. Examples of muscular strength include lifting yourself our of a chair, pushing a heavy object or lifting in the gym. Here at the Recreation Center, a bench press is used to measure upper body strength and, a leg press is used to measure lower body strength. 

    Muscular Endurance measures multiple muscular contractions over an extended period of time until exhaustion. The curl up and push up tests are examples of assessments which muscular endurance. 



    An increase in flexibility will aid in avoiding injury and discomfort. Without stretching, tendons, ligaments and muscles will shorten, causing damage over time. Proper stretching has many health benefits, including the following:


    • •Increase flexibility and range of motion
    • •Improved circulation
    • •Promotes better posture


    Traditional Sit-and-Reach (SR)
    The sit-and-reach test has been commonly used to assess low back and hip-joint flexibility. This test measures the range of motion of the hips as the upper body is bent forward over legs in a seated position.


  • Fees:
    $15 - Students
    $20 - Faculty/Staff/Community
    $25 - Non-Members

    Pre-test Instructions:
    • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing consistent with testing
    • Drink plenty of fluids over the 24-hour period preceding the test to ensure normal hydration prior to testing
    • Avoid food, tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine for at least 3 hours before testing
    • Avoid exercise or strenuous physical activity the day of the test
    • Get an adequate amount of sleep (6 to 8 hours) the night before the test

    The Rice University Fitness Testing facilities are located in the East Gym of the Recreation Center. Parking information is available at Rice's maps page.