Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Lucas 12 Test: A Comprehensive Assessment of Aerobic Fitness

Lucas 12 Test

The Lucas 12 Test, developed by Frank Lucas PhD, is an innovative and effective modification of the original Cooper test, designed by Kenneth Cooper in 1968 for US military use. This comprehensive test not only includes 12 minutes of running but also incorporates 12 minutes of rowing and cycling exercises. By integrating these three activities, the Lucas 12 Test provides a holistic evaluation of an individual’s aerobic endurance.

The Original Cooper Test

The Cooper test, in its original form, aims to measure how far an individual can run in 12 minutes. This test served as a valuable tool for assessing the overall fitness level of American military recruits. The objective is to run at the fastest steady pace possible, and achieving a distance of over 3,000 meters is considered excellent, while less than a mile is considered weak.

Test Description

In the Lucas 12 Test, the Cooper test is augmented by a 12-minute rowing session at maximum intensity, followed by a 12-minute cycling session at a resistance level of 12. This combination of exercises provides a comprehensive assessment of an individual’s aerobic capacity.

During the rowing phase, it is crucial to maintain a steady pace to optimize the use of red or slow oxidative muscle cells. Sprinting or using anaerobic techniques will result in subpar performance. The distance covered in the 12 minutes of rowing is added to the distance achieved during the run. Achieving a distance of over 3,000 meters is considered excellent, while anything below 2,000 meters is considered weak.

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In the final phase, participants move to a stationary upright bicycle set at resistance level 12. Maintaining a fast and steady pace, participants should aim to cover as much distance as possible within the 12-minute time frame. Achieving a distance of 7,000 meters is excellent, while anything less than 5,000 meters is considered weak.

The entire test, including the three exercises and brief intervals between them, typically takes around 40 minutes. This makes it suitable for incorporation into a one-hour gym session, allowing adequate time for warm-up, cool down, and stretching. Gym professionals looking to accurately quantify their clients’ progress in aerobic fitness will find the Lucas 12 Test highly valuable due to its wide range of results.

Interpretation of Results

After completing all three exercises, the distances achieved in each test are combined to determine the overall aerobic fitness level. The total distance covered provides an excellent approximation of an individual’s aerobic capacity. The mathematical calculation of these distances yields meaningful insights into an individual’s fitness level.

  • Total distance over 12 km: Acceptable degree of fitness, recommended for individuals with a sedentary lifestyle or those looking to improve their aerobic fitness.
  • Total distance over 13 km: Excellent fitness level.
  • Total distance of 14 km or more: Demonstrates exceptional fitness and athleticism.
  • Total distance over 15 km: Reflects truly exceptional cardiovascular fitness and technical skills across all three disciplines.


Q: Is the Lucas 12 Test scientifically validated?
A: While the Lucas 12 Test is a new assessment and has not undergone rigorous scientific study, it has been developed by experts in the field. We welcome any feedback from those who use these procedures for testing or include it in research projects.

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Q: How can I incorporate the Lucas 12 Test into my fitness routine?
A: The Lucas 12 Test can be seamlessly integrated into a one-hour gym session. Allow sufficient time for warm-up, cool down, and stretching before and after the test.

Q: Can beginners participate in the Lucas 12 Test?
A: The Lucas 12 Test can be adapted to accommodate individuals of varying fitness levels. Beginners should start at a comfortable pace and gradually increase intensity as their endurance improves.

Q: Are there any specific recommendations for preparing for the Lucas 12 Test?
A: Prioritize cardiovascular exercises such as running, rowing, and cycling in your training routine to build endurance. Additionally, incorporate strength and flexibility exercises to improve overall fitness.


The Lucas 12 Test offers a comprehensive assessment of aerobic fitness, incorporating running, rowing, and cycling exercises. Developed as a modification of the original Cooper test, this test provides valuable insights into an individual’s cardiovascular capacity. By integrating these three activities, the Lucas 12 Test offers a well-rounded evaluation that can be easily incorporated into gym routines. Improve your aerobic fitness and track your progress with the Lucas 12 Test.

Visit Auralpressure.com to learn more about fitness tests and access valuable resources for enhancing your wellness journey.

Credits: Thanks to Messrs. Ray Conway and Steve Parry, both extraordinary personal gym instructors and trainers of City Golf, Coleman Street, London EC2R for their help and assistance in developing the protocols for the test.