The Ruffier test is a simple way to learn about the heart’s response to physical exertion. Cardiac adaptation and recovery are considered useful values ​​for evaluation from physical activity. The result obtained is used to define a person’s state of form and is of crucial importance at a sports 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 or woman without age limits, can even make it at home. It is based on a self-assessment that necessarily requires a high level of sincerity and attention. Once the calculation has been carried out, the results will allow us to establish the person’s current form. And his level of physical aptitude to play one or more sports disciplines.

If you want to undergo the Ruffier test, you will only need to know how to count the heartbeats and perform the squat exercise correctly. To do this, you will have to start standing, with the trunk straight at 90 degrees and your hands on your side. From here, you will descend perpendicularly to the ground, flexing your legs and then climbing back, at a fast and uniform pace.

How should the Ruffier test be done?

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 it sitting or even standing.
  • P2: as soon as the physical activity is over, take note of the beats immediately after completing the training.
  • P3: allow a minute to recover, rest a minute from P2 and check the beat again.

The exercise performed after the first evaluation (P0) involves the execution of 30 squats in 45 seconds. For women, they will have to be 20 in 30 seconds instead.

It is important to clarify that this number is the minimum that must be reached at that time. That is, if you reach 30 repetitions before 45 seconds, you will have to keep doing them until the time is up.

Are you all done? After doing the squat, you will need to mark the 3 measurements in a notebook or on your smartphone as we have indicated above. You will have three values ​​that you will enter in 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 cardiac status of the person. Depending on the value obtained, you will insert it among the various predetermined indices provided by the Ruffier test, so as to know in which physical situations you are. With your “I” index marked, all you have to do is compare it to this scale of values:

  1. From 0 to 4: you find yourself in optimal conditions for the realization of short-term physical efforts.
  2. 4 – 8: you have a heart suitable for physical activities.
  3. 8 – 12: we advise you to plan a training routine to recover the correct physical condition.
  4. From 12 to 16: it is better to visit a specialist to carry out a thorough review.
  5. More than 16: it is an index that reveals a state of bad health and a heart that is absolutely not fit.

A practical example of the Ruffier test : [(80 + 125 + 90) – 200] / 10 = 9.5

In this example, the value obtained is in the third possible range of the table. Therefore, it is a decidedly bad physical state 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 a suitable training card so that he can 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, say, “normal”. Obviously, the effort required to generate P values ​​will be considerably greater. The formula for knowing the index varies in the case of competition athletes.

I = [(P1 – 70) + 2 * (P2 – P0)] / 10

The reference results are:

  • From 0 to 3 = excellent
  • 3 to 6 = normal
  • 6 to 8 = weak
  • S over 8 = not in conditions for high performance sports .

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 indexes. With these values, the person would not be able to compete without the supervision of a doctor. That is to say, his physical state could be acceptable in a person who practices sports at an amateur level, but it is certainly inadequate to compete in the competitive field.

The Ruffier test is a formula that allows you to know the physical conditions of each person, depending on the type of sporting activity that they will perform. It is the safest way to know your real state of form with certainty.