By Stephen Tsai
Forget the SAT or ACT.
The toughest entrance exam is the CBT — Coach (Gary) Beemer Test.
Except for late-arriving transfers, every Rainbow Warrior — incoming freshmen included — must pass a conditioning test in order to earn entry into training camp, which begins this week.
Here's the test: 300 yards of continuous sprints (between 60-yard points), a two-minute break, followed by another 300 yards of continuous sprints. So-called skilled-position players must complete each 300-yard shuttle in 48 seconds, big-skilled players in 50 seconds, linemen in 54 seconds. "Which is blazingly fast" for a lineman, Beemer said, noting the test designer initially set 70 seconds as the limit for that position.
"It sounds easy, but the shuttle is designed to make the human body completely run out of the energy molecule ATP (adenosine triphosphate)," Beemer said. "It takes 50 seconds to do the test. AT 50 seconds, the changeover from anaerobic to aerobic energy system occurs, and in between the changeover, there's nothing to power the body. At the end of the test, the guys are out of energy. They have a small rest period, then they have to complete the test one more time. It shows me how efficient their body is at recovering from an extreme bout of activity. It's brutal."
Layman's assessment: If you're in shape, you might puke after the test. If you're not in shape, you might puke during the shuttle.
All of the players who remained in Hawaii this summer passed the test. Beemer is allowing make-up tests for some players who went back to the mainland during the three-week break between the end of the first summer session and now because that period is not covered in their scholarships. He expects all of them to pass.
"I think our guys have appreciated a difficult, tough training program," Beemer said. "I think they're very excited to go to camp and attack the season."