Generally, there are two different versions of the Yo-Yo tests (the intermittent endurance (YYIET) and the intermittent recovery test (YYIRT)), each having two different levels (level 1 and 2). As a result there are a total of four different tests.
Differences between the two Yo-Yo versions are:
Both versions require setup a 20-meter distance. The players will line-up next to each other with possibly 1-1.5 meter space in between. Depending on the space available the entire team can perform the test at the same time.
A measurement tape is needed to setup the distances.
An acoustic signal (“beep”) will indicate the speed of running. With the first “beep” the players will start running towards the 20-meter marker and should reach it by the second “beep”, which also indicate the players to turn around and run back to the original start. A third “beep” will indicate the finish of one shuttle and all players need to reach the start line by this “beep”. Depending on the test (YYIET vs. YYIRT) players will receive a 5 or 10 second recovery break then. The next “beep” will signal the start of the next shuttle and procedures proceed as described. If a player fail to complete a shuttle within the given third “beep” twice, he will stop the test and the final score is the last shuttle the player has completed.
As the speed of running is fast at later stages of the test, we believe that one coach can observe up to 7 players at the same time if he/she stands on the side of the start/finish line. In order to test a team of 21 players, three testers should be present.
In order to perform the test, obviously the audio tape and an audio players is needed. It is possible that a power outlet and an exension cord is also needed to ensure power for the audio player.
Validity of level 1 was examined in elite football players (20). It was shown that the level one showed weak indicator of aerobic endurance in youth (20). However, the YYIET level 1 elicited a maximal response of the players (6) and the maximum heart rate can be measured with this test (33). As a result the test can be used in developing as well as amateur players. In addition, the YYIET level 1 was correlated with the 20m multistage shuttle run/beep test in youth football players (11).
Generally, similar findings were presented for level 2 (2, 23).
The YYIET level 2 seems to a reliable (measured in youth and senior football players) and sensible assessment tool (4, 6). The test was correlated with high-intensity running and the total
distance covered during a football match in professional football players.
However, both levels (1 and 2) were reported to underestimate the VO2max, compared to a continuous and an intermittent treadmill test (20). The measured VO2max measured in the YYIET level 2 was highly correlated with the 20m multistage shuttle run/beep test (2).
From the testing protocol it was concluded that the YYIE tests are more aerobic related, whereas the YYIR tests are aerobic-anaerobic related (32)
Bangsbo et al. (3) distinguished between the YYIRT level 1 and level 2. The authors stated that level 1 focus “on the capacity to carry out intermittent exercise leading to a maximal activation of the aerobic system, whereas level 2 determines an individual’s ability to recover from repeated exercise with a high contribution from the anaerobic system”.
The physiological responses whilst performing the YYIRT level 1 was examined in a few investigations (15, 17, 31) and the test showed a high reliability and validity throughout a variety of level of play.
Furthermore, there seems to be a correlation between the YYIRT level 1 and:
Level 2 also seemed to be reliable and valid (17). Although displaying a relative high CV of 9.6%, Krustrup et al. (17) found no statistical differences between two YYIRTs level 2 performed within one week.
Due to the nature of the tests and despite their significant correlation with VO2max (3, 25), it seems that the level 1 was correlated to a greater extent with VO2max compared to level 2.
Furthermore, the YYIRT level 2 score was not correlated with VO2max in youth (pre-pubescent) football players (8).
The following will display the equations to estimate the VO2max from players’ YYIRT performances (3).
YYIRT level 1:
VO2max (mL/min/kg) = YYIRT level 1 final distance (in meters) × 0.0084 + 36.4
YYIRT level 2:
VO2max (mL/min/kg) = YYIRT level 2 final distance (in meters) × 0.0136 + 45.3
However, it was also reported that the test (especially the level 2) reflect the ability to perform repeated intense exercises (including recovery and response of the anaerobic system - and therefore not necessarily the aerobic endurance) (5).
The YoYo tests were used for following purposes:
1. Alemdaroglu, U., Dündar, U., Köklü, Y., and Asci, A. Evaluation of aerobic capacity in soccer players:
Comparison of field and laboratory tests. Biol. Sport. 29: 157-161, 2012.
2. Aziz, A.R., Frankie, H.Y., and Kong, C.T. A pilot study comparing two field tests with the treadmill run test
in soccer players. J. Sci. Med. Sport. 4: 105-112, 2005.
3. Bangsbo, J., Iaia, F.M., and Krustrup, P. The Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test : a useful tool for evaluation
of physical performance in intermittent sports. Sports. Med. 38: 37-51, 2008.
4. Bradley, P.S., Mohr, M., Bendiksen, M., Randers, M.B., Flindt, M., Barnes, C., Hood, P., Gomez, A.,
Andersen, J.L., Di Mascio, M., Bangsbo, J., and Krustrup, P. Sub-maximal and maximal Yo-Yo intermittent endurance test level 2: heart rate response, reproducibility and application to elite soccer. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 111: 969-978, 2011.
5. Castagna, C., Impellizzeri, F., Cecchini, E., Rampinini, E., and Alvarez, J.C. Effects of intermittent
endurance fitness on match performance in young male soccer players. J. Strength. Cond. Res. 23: 1954-1959, 2009.
6. Castagna, C., Impellizzeri, F.M., Belardinelli, R., Abt, G., Coutts, A., Chamari, K., and D'Ottavio, S.
Cardiorespiratory responses to Yo-yo Intermittent Endurance Test in nonelite youth soccer players. J. Strength. Cond. Res. 20: 326-330, 2006.
7. Castagna, C., Manzi, V., Impellizzeri, F., Weston, M., and Barbero Alvarez, J.C. Relationship between
endurance field tests and match performance in young soccer players. J. Strength. Cond. Res. 24: 3227-3333, 2010.
8. Chuman, K., Hoshikawa, T., and Iida, T. Yo-Yo intermittent recovery level 2 test in pubescent soccer
players with relation to maturity category. Football Science 6: 1-6, 2009.
9. Deprez, D., Vaeyens, R., Coutts, A.J., Lenoir, M., and Philippaerts, R. Relative Age Effect and Yo-Yo IR1
in Youth Soccer. Int. J. Sports. Med. 33: 987-993, 2012.
10. Dupont, G., Defontaine, M., Bosquet, L., Blondel, N., Moalla, W., and Berthoin, S. Yo-Yo intermittent
recovery test versus the Universite de Montreal Track Test: relation with a high-intensity intermittent exercise. J Sci Med Sport 13: 146-150, 2010.
11. Figueiredo, A., Coelho e Silva, M., and Malina, R.M. Aerobic assessment of youth soccer players:
Correlation between continiuous and intermittent progressive maximal field tests, in: Book of Abstracts, 9th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science. van Praagh, E., Coudert, J., eds.: Clermond-Ferrand: Universite´ Blaise Bascal, Universite´ D’Auvergne., 2004, p 294.
12. Hammouda, O., Chtourou, H., Chaouachi, A., Chahed, H., Bellimem, H., Chamari, K., and Souissi, N.
Time-of-day effects on biochemical responses to soccer-specific endurance in elite Tunisian football players. J. Sports. Sci. 31: 963-971, 2013.
13. Ingebrigtsen, J., Shalfawi, S.A., Tonnessen, E., Krustrup, P., and Holtermann, A. Performance effects of
6 weeks of aerobic production training in junior elite soccer players. J. Strength. Cond. Res. 27: 1861-1867, 2013.
14. Köklü, Y., Asci, A., Kocak, F.U., Alemdaroglu, U., and Dundar, U. Comparison of the physiological
responses to different small-sided games in elite young soccer players. J. Strength. Cond. Res. 25: 1522-1528, 2011.
15. Krustrup, P., Mohr, M., Amstrup, T., Rysgaard, T., Johansen, J., Steensberg, A., Pedersen, P.K., and
Bangsbo, J. The yo-yo intermittent recovery test: physiological response, reliability, and validity. Med. Sci. Sports. Exerc. 35: 697-705, 2003.
16. Krustrup, P., Mohr, M., Ellingsgaard, H., and Bangsbo, J. Physical demands during an elite female
soccer game: importance of training status. Med. Sci. Sports. Exerc. 37: 1242-1248, 2005.
17. Krustrup, P., Mohr, M., Nybo, L., Jensen, J.M., Nielsen, J.J., and Bangsbo, J. The Yo-Yo IR2 test:
physiological response, reliability, and application to elite soccer. Med. Sci. Sports. Exerc. 38: 1666-1673, 2006.
18. Manzi, V., Bovenzi, A., Franco Impellizzeri, M., Carminati, I., and Castagna, C. Individual training-load
and aerobic-fitness variables in premiership soccer players during the precompetitive season. J. Strength. Cond. Res. 27: 631-636, 2013.
19. Markovic, G. and Mikulic, P. Discriminative ability of the Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test (Level 1) in
prospective young soccer players. J. Strength. Cond. Res. 25: 2931-2934, 2011.
20. Metaxas, T.I., Koutlianos, N.A., Kouidi, E.J., and Deligiannis, A.P. Comparative study of field and
laboratory tests for the evaluation of aerobic capacity in soccer players. J. Strength. Cond. Res. 19: 79-84, 2005.
21. Nakamura, D., Suzuki, T., Yasumatsu, M., and Akimoto, T. Moderate running and plyometric training
during off-season did not show a significant difference on soccer-related high-intensity performances compared with no-training controls. J. Strength. Cond. Res. 26: 3392-3397, 2012.
22. Oberacker, L.M., Davis, S.E., Haff, G.G., Witmer, C.A., and Moir, G.L. The Yo-Yo IR2 test: physiological
response, reliability, and application to elite soccer. J. Strength. Cond. Res. 26: 2734-2740, 2012.
23. Oliveira, J., Soares, J., and Marques, A. Avali cao da resistencia em desportos de esforco intermittente,
in: A Investigacao em futebol - Esudos Ibericos. Garganta, J., Suarez, A.A., Penas, C.L., eds. Porto: Univerisade do Porto, Faculdade de Cie cias do Desporto e de Educacao Fisica, 2002, pp 85-102.
24. Owen, J.A., Kehoe, S.J., and Oliver, S.J. Influence of fluid intake on soccer performance in a temperate
environment. J. Sports. Sci. 31: 1-10, 2013.
25. Rampinini, E., Sassi, A., Azzalin, A., Castagna, C., Menaspa, P., Carlomagno, D., and Impellizzeri, F.M.
Physiological determinants of Yo-Yo intermittent recovery tests in male soccer players. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 108: 401-409, 2010.
26. Rebelo, A., Brito, J., Seabra, A., Oliveira, J., Drust, B., and Krustrup, P. A new tool to measure training
load in soccer training and match play. Int. J. Sports. Med. 33: 297-304, 2012.
27. Saunders, B., Sunderland, C., Harris, R.C., and Sale, C. Beta-alanine supplementation improves YoYo
intermittent recovery test performance. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 9: 39-44, 2012.
28. Silva, J.R., Magalhaes, J., Ascensao, A., Seabra, A.F., and Rebelo, A.N. Training status and match
activity of professional soccer players throughout a season. J. Strength. Cond. Res. 27: 20-30, 2013.
29. Silva, J.R., Magalhaes, J.F., Ascensao, A.A., Oliveira, E.M., Seabra, A.F., and Rebelo, A.N. Individual
match playing time during the season affects fitness-related parameters of male professional soccer players. J. Strength. Cond. Res. 25: 2729-2739, 2011.
30. Spencer, M., Pyne, D., Santisteban, J., and Mujika, I. Fitness determinants of repeated-sprint ability in
highly trained youth football players. Int. J. Sports. Physiol. Perform. 6: 497-508, 2011.
31. Thomas, A., Dawson, B., and Goodman, C. The yo-yo test: reliability and association with a 20-m
shuttle run and VO(2max). Int. J. Sports. Physiol. Perform. 1: 137-149, 2006.
32. Turner, A., Walker, S., Stembridge, M., Coneyworth, P., Reed, G., Birdsey, L., Barter, P., and Moody, J.
A testing battery for the assessment of fitness in soccer players. Strength. Cond. J. 33: 29-39, 2012.
33. Walker, S. and Turner, A. A one-day field test battery for the assessment of aerobic capacity, anaerobic
capacity, speed and agility of soccer players. Strength. Cond. J. 31: 52-60, 2008.
34. Wells, C.M., Drust, B., Winter, E.M., and Fysh, M. Performance of professional and amateur soccer
players in the YoYo Recovery test level 2. J. Sports. Sci. 23: 132-133., 2005.
35. Wong, P.L., Chamari, K., and Wisloff, U. Effects of 12-week on-field combined strength and power
training on physical performance among U-14 young soccer players. J. Strength. Cond. Res. 24: 644-652, 2010.
36. Wong, P.L., Chaouachi, A., Chamari, K., Dellal, A., and Wisloff, U. Effect of preseason concurrent
muscular strength and high-intensity interval training in professional soccer players. J. Strength. Cond. Res. 24: 653-660, 2010.