ESL What we do





 Aerobic Performance

Metabolic Rate

 Lung Function Measurements

Maximal Oxygen Uptake (VO2max)

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

Lung Volumes and Capacities

Anaerobic Threshold (AT)

Caloric Expenditure Rate During Exercise

                FVC and FEV1

Heart Rate - Oxygen Uptake Relationships


               Residual Volume



              Flow Volumes Loops

 Body Composition

   Weight Management

Joint Range of Motion

Underwater Weighing

Nutritional Evaluations


Skin Folds

Measurement of Energy Output


Calculations of Skeletal Muscle Mass

Energy Balance





 Muscle Performance

 Sport Specific Assessments

  Fire Fighter Physical Ability Test


Anaerobic Capacity, Speed, Agility



Aerobic Function, Muscle Performance



Periodical Training















Packages of Fitness Assessments


The Exercise Science Lab offers the assessments mentioned above individually or as a package of tests.
As packages  we offer two options. Option I tests are simple, reasonably accurate, have good reproducibility and will be helpful in identifying fitness levels.  The Option II tests are the best available, most accurate and reproducible, and can be used with confidence in designing detailed exercise prescriptions.

Both Option I and Option II tests assess the basic components of fitness, these include:

  • Aerobic Capacity:  This test estimates your cardiopulmonary fitness by correlating how your heart rate increases when the exercise intensity on a stationary cycle or a treadmill is increased.  The key outcome measure is an estimate of maximum oxygen uptake abbreviated VO2max.  This is the most significant fitness measure as it relates to your health.
  • Body Composition: This test identifies the proportions of your body weight that are made up of fat and lean.  Both are important indicators for health status (fat content), physical performance (lean mass, especially skeletal muscle), and appearance (both fat and lean).
  • Muscle Strength:  Standard weight lifting exercises are used to identify your ability to exert force against resistance.  Muscle strength is dependent on the cross-sectional size of the muscle, muscle fiber type, neurological factors, hormonal factors, and training.
  • Flexibility:  The sit-and-reach test is a common test used to identify the combined flexibility of your low back, hamstrings, and calves.  We will be able to identify which of these areas contributes most to limitations in the range of motion in this test.


These tests have no cost to PE 280 students and take about 1-hour to finish.  The tests are not excessively strenuous although you will be making maximal efforts to lift weights in the leg press and chest press exercises.


Do not eat or exercise 3 hours before the tests.  This is primarily for your comfort. Wear appropriate clothing in which to exercise.  This includes proper exercise footwear such as walking or running shoes.  Shorts and a T-shirt would be perfect, although not required. Plan to arrive at the lab at least 5 minutes before your appointment.


  • Aerobic Capacity:  A submaximal test using a cycle ergometer or treadmill
    • Four 3-minute work stages with each work stage at a higher intensity
    • Intensities limited to keep heart rate below 85%of your heart rate reserve (heart rate reserve = maximum heart rate minus resting heart rate)
    • Heart rate and blood pressure measured at the end of each stage
    • VO2max estimated from statistical regression of heart rate versus work rate.

  • Body Composition: Skinfold Thicknesses. Men:  Chest, Abdomen, and Thigh.  Women:  Triceps, Suprailiac (top of hip), and Thigh.  Two layers of skin and the fat which lies below (subcutaneous fat) are measured with a very precise instrument called a skinfold caliper.

  • Strength:  Two exercises are used, the seated bench press and seated leg press.  You will be given adequate warm up and a careful progression of increasing resistance until we find the maximum amount of weight you can lift one time only.

  • Flexibility:  You will warm up and stretch, then sit on a mat and reach as far forward as possible.  The difference between the starting position and the ending position is you sit and reach score.



These tests are the best fitness tests available.  The employ state-of-the-art equipment and methodologies and offer the most accurate and reproducible data.  Because of costs we incur, the Option II tests have a lab fee for PE 280 students of $50.00 and for non students $100.00. This fee also entitles you to a retest anytime within a year for no additional cost.   We offer this opportunity because we want you to return for a reassessment after you have implemented and succeeded with your training program.  We recommend that you strongly consider choosing Option II for your fitness test package.  The added value of accuracy, improved application of data for exercise program design, and opportunity for reassessment is well worth the investment in time and dollars.

You may pay by cash or check (make payable to El Camino College) when you come for your testing.  If you wish to pay by credit card, you must pay at the Cashier’s Window in the Administration Building. 

Many of the tests require a great deal of physical effort so we split the testing into two sessions on two separate days.  The first session includes the body composition, strength, and flexibility tests and last approximately 1-1.25 hr.  The second session will test your aerobic capacity using a maximal cycle ergometer or treadmill exercise test.  This test requires 30-45 minutes.


As with the option I tests, do not eat or exercise within 3 hours of the tests.  Wear appropriate clothing in which to exercise.  Proper exercise footwear is especially important for the treadmill exercise test.  Shorts and a T-shirt are ideal, but other options may also be appropriate.  A swim suit and towel will be needed for the underwater weighing.  Plan to arrive at the lab at least 5 minutes before your appointment.


Aerobic Capacity:  A maximal effort is required while exercising on a cycle ergometer or treadmill.

  • Two minutes of resting data
  • Three minutes of warm up
  • Gradual increase in work intensity until you can no longer turn the pedals or keep up with the treadmill belt.
  • VO2max is accurately measured from measurements of exhaled air volume, oxygen and carbon dioxide concentrations.
  • The anaerobic threshold is determined from relationships between oxygen uptake and carbon dioxide output
  • A 12-lead electrocardiogram provides accurate information regarding the performance of your heart during exercise.  The ECG is interpreted by a board certified cardiologist
  • Blood pressure is monitored throughout the test.
  • What limits exercise (cardiovascular system, lungs, and/or muscle) is identified.

Body Composition: Percent fat and the lean mass are accurately assessed using the underwater weighing method.   The method uses the 2000 year old Archemedes principle of water displacement.  You will enter a tank of very warm water (95°F) and sit on a chair.  You will be asked to exhale all your air and totally submerse while continuing to sit upright.  Once you have stabilized and the lab tech reads your weight, you will be called up.  This procedure must be repeated up to 10-12 times for accuracy.  Exhaling all you air is the biggest challenge, but the most important part of the test.  The same skinfolds taken in the Option I tests will be measured in the Option II package as well.  This will allow us to correlate the %FAT determined with the more accurate underwater weighing method with skinfolds so that progress can be quickly, easily, and accurately determined by skinfolds alone.

Strength:  The same strength tests described above in Option I (leg press and bench press exercises) are given to evaluated for their ability to generate maximal force. After adequate warm up, weight will be systematically added until you are unable to perform a lift using good form. 

Flexibility:  The same flexibility test described above is used in Option I to assess range of motion of the combined areas of the low back, hamstrings, and calves. 

To make an appointment please call: (1- 310) 660-3668 during office hours.