Metabolic testing allows you to see exactly how your body performs at rest and at different exercise intensities. Your body uses two main fuels (stored within the body) for energy – these are fats and carbohydrates (glucose). The body has a virtually limitless supply of fat but very limited glucose stores (in the liver and the muscles). During our day-to-day lives we burn each of these fuels in varying proportions. Endurance athletes need to be good at burning (metabolising) both fuels but need to be particularly good at burning fats, otherwise they are at risk of depleting their glucose stores and ‘hitting the wall’. People who are trying to lose weight need to be able to burn fat so that they can lose their excessive reserves of stored fat.
Metabolic testing uses state-of-the-art technology (indirect calorimetry) to work out the proportion of fats and carbohydrates our bodies are using at varying heart rates. This allows a more tailored approach to training to optimise your fat burning and also to work out how much supplemental carbohydrate should be consumed during training (where the carbohydrate stores can get highly depleted).
What will the test tell me?
Our metabolic testing will show your unique specific:
- Resting energy expenditure (your metabolic rate)
- VT1 (First Ventilatory Threshold) – otherwise known as your aerobic threshold
- VT2 (Second Ventilatory Threshold) – synonymous with the lactate threshold or anaerobic threshold
- Proportion of fats and carbohydrates being used at rest and at exercise intensities ranging from easy walking up to max heart rate
- Heart rate at which you burn the most fat (LipOxMax)
Once you have this information you can tailor your training specifically to your needs. The great thing about this is it doesn’t matter how fit you are, you can get the information from the test that you need to train optimally for your unique goals – whether you are training to lose weight, to run a personal best, or train for a specific event.
What does the test involve?
Testing involves two parts, a resting test and an exercise test.
The resting test takes about 20-30 minutes and simply involves sitting or laying down wearing a comfortable neoprene mask which is hooked up to the testing machine. That’s it.
The exercise test is a ramp test meaning that it gets gradually harder the longer it goes on. The test is carried out on a treadmill or bike and goes for 20-40 minutes, starting at an easy pace and gradually increasing intensity every 1-5 minutes. Intensity is increased by either making the treadmill faster or increasing the gradient (or both). On the bike, intensity is increased by increasing power. You are in control of when the test ends and can stop at any time. At the very end of the test we will ask you to push as hard as you can to find your VO₂Max.
The raw data from the two tests is then analysed and you will have a follow up meeting with David to discuss how you can implement changes to your training and diet to optimally achieve your goals. We work in collaboration with leading Sports Doctors, Dieticians, Nutritionists, Exercise Physiologists, and other Physiotherapists and will refer you on to one of these professionals if you have specific need for their expertise.