This is the Balke treadmill test test. Looking for the Balke 15-minute run test?

## Sex

The prediction formula is slightly different for males and females

## Result

Enter the time you ran for in minutes:seconds

## Introduction

The Balke treadmill test is a VO2 max test that requires walking on a treadmill with increasing gradients until the participant can no longer continue.

## Test procedure

The test procedure is different for men and women.

### Men

• Set the treadmill speed to 3.3 mph or 4.8 kph (20:00 minutes/mile or 12:26 minutes/kilometer) and the treadmill gradient to 0
• Following one minute of walking, increase the gradient to 2% (1.15°)
• For each subsequent minute, increase the gradient by 1% (0.5°)
• Record the time at which the participant can no longer continue

Here's a summary of some cumulative times and gradients for the men's protocol. We also show VO2 max estimates for participants stopping at these times.

Minute Grade (%) Degree (°) VO2 max estimate
0 0 0 N/A
1 2 1.15 16.43
2 3 1.72 17.88
5 6 3.43 22.21
10 11 6.28 29.43
15 16 9.09 36.65
20 21 11.86 43.87
25 26 14.57 51.09
30 31 17.22 58.31
35 36 19.80 65.53
40 41 22.29 72.75
45 46 24.7 79.97

### Women

• Set the treadmill speed to 3 mph or 5.3 kph (18:11 minutes/mile or 11:18 minutes/kilometer) and the treadmill gradient to 0
• For every three minutes that passes, increase the gradient by 2.5% (1.43°)
• Record the time at which the participant can no longer continue

Here's a summary of some cumulative times and gradients for the women's protocol. We also show VO2 max estimates for participants stopping at these times.

Minute Grade (%) Degree (°) VO2 max estimate
0 0 0 N/A
3 2.5 1.43 9.36
6 5 2.86 13.50
12 10 5.71 21.78
18 15 8.53 30.06
24 20 11.31 38.34
30 25 14.04 46.62
36 30 16.70 54.90
42 35 19.29 63.18
48 40 21.80 71.46
54 45 21.80 79.74

## Benefits & Drawbacks

### Benefits

• The test protocol is simple.
• Because the test begins with walking at a moderate pace, it is suitable for a wide range of fitness levels.
• You can also estimate your maximum heart rate by taking a measurement at the moment of exhaustion.

### Drawbacks

• The test takes longer for fitter participants, who will also find the earlier stages very easy.
• Since the test mainly involves walking, it is not ideal for testing running-specific fitness.
• Because the test requires exercising to exhaustion, it may be unsuitable for those with health conditions.

## Using the calculator

To use the calculator, simply specify male or female, and then enter the time at which you could no longer continue walking.

Check out our other calculators for estimating VO2 max.

↑ go to calculator

The essence of the Balke treadmill test is for the participant to walk on a treadmill at a constant speed while the treadmill gradient is increased periodically.

Various protocols have been devised, with differences in the walking speed, the degree to which the gradient is increased, and the period between increases in gradient. Different protocols for men and women are usually recommended.

This calculator uses the protocols described in Test Your Physical Fitness by Dr C. Ashok.

The following formulas are used to estimate VO2 max based on time spent walking, where T is time in minutes.

Men:

`VO2 max = 1.444 × T + 14.99`

Women:

`VO2 max = 1.38 × T + 5.22`

↑ go to calculator