The Aastrand fitness test

The Aastrand test is a submaximal test conducted on a bicycle ergometer. It is completed within 5 minutes.

1. Choose a workload that will elicit a heart rate of 120-160 bpm after 5 minutes of bicycling.
2. The workload chosen should be either 50, 75, 100 or 150 watts
3. Bicycle at a constant pace (50-70 RPM) and note heart rate after 5 minutes.

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This is the classical Aastrand test that has been used for more than 40 years. The formulas behind the test are based on regression analysis on several hundred subjects. The test is based on the association between heart rate and oxygen uptake and the association between workload in watts and oxygen uptake. By measuring the work and heart rate on a submaximal workload, an estimation can be made on the probable workload that could be performed at maximal heart rate.

There is however some uncertainty associated with estimation of maximal heart from age and therefore this test carries at least the same amount of uncertainty. Two thirds of the results from this test will be within a 15% deviation. Approximately 5% of the results will  be more than 30% wrong.

Performed under the same conditions this test is very good for tracking changes in fitness over time or estimating the mean fitness in a population. This can be done within minimal time and effort. 


Textbook of work physiology. Åstrand & Rodahl. 3rd ed. McGraw Hill 1986. Side 363-384.


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#6 Derek Unsworth 2012-10-02 14:41
To get my heart rate up to 150 bpm I need
to pedal at 60 rpm at 250w
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#3 Morten Z 2010-10-09 14:15
CT -> Yes you can get the calculator on your own website. Just send a mail to .

sun -> 1) This calculator is based on a mathematical transformation of Aastrands original tables, so there is no is formula to give away. 2) No, sorry. 3)In the original protocols cadence was set to 60 RPM, so you should aim for that.
#2 Personal Trainer CT 2010-07-06 19:49
Is it possible to get this calculator html code onto a website? Great tool!
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#1 sun 2010-04-11 11:06
1. Is it possible to get the theoretical background / equation used in this Astrand calculator?

2. Can you expand this calculator to 175 and 200w?

3. For me it seems like cadence around 70rpm gives me the most correct results based on earier vomax test and other calulators. Cadence below 60 gives me too high vo2max.

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