Our Peak Performance Lab, located at our Evans facility, is a unique entity here in the CRSA targeting the fitness and weight loss enthusiast, triathlete, runner, or cyclist. We perform Metabolic Testing including VO2 Max testing, Lactate-Ventilatory Threshold testing, Resting Metabolic Rate testing, as well as Body Composition/Body Fat testing. We work closely with our local triathlete community and are interested in research and education for the general public on the amazing abilities of the human body in exercise.
If you have any interest in our Peak Performance Lab or available testing contact our Lab Coordinator, Dr. Luke Heusel, PT, OCS at our Evans Facility.
Metabolic Efficiency Testing
Metabolic Efficiency (ME) is an exercise science/performance concept that is based on the body’s ability to use fat or carbohydrate as a fuel source during exercise. The basis of ME deals with the production of carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen consumption (O2) as carbohydrates and fats are oxidized (broken down) during exercise. When the body breaks down carbohydrates and fat for fuel differing amounts of O2 are need and different amounts of CO2 are produced. The concept of ME provides a framework for placing the body at the right intensity of exercise to utilize fat as the primary source of calorie burn during long duration endurance exercise bouts
The body (typically) has a large supply of fat stores and in the weight loss population our target of ME testing is finding the best intensity for exercise where storage fat is the primary fuel for exercise. In our endurance athlete performance population (runners, tri-athletes) the goal of ME testing is to find that speed, heart rate, or rating of intensity where fat-usage for fuel allows the “engine” to run for a longer time without fatigue. If the intensity of exercise is too high, the body switches to carbohydrate utilization primarily and fatigue is now “on the clock”. What this means for the endurance athlete is that you have a limited carbohydrate storage capability and once this is exhausted fatigue/exhaustion soon follows….and you will stop running or biking. If you can tap your fat storage (a much large energy pool) you can exercise/compete longer while preserving your carbohydrate stores.
How the test is performed:
- 1. The client wears a Polar heart rate monitor (chest strap) for HR
- 2. The client will then be fitted with a mask that covers the nose and mouth; to that mask a tube is connected that further connects to the metabolic cart. This apparatus collects all breaths during the exercise test.
- 3. The client will walk, jog, or bike at varied speeds (lower intensity speeds) in 5 minute intervals on a treadmill or cycle trainer (Computrainer Lab). Typically 30-60 minutes of walking/jogging/biking is needed.
Helpful Testing Tips
- 1. Bring your Ipod or music listening device to have while you run/bike.
- 2. Familiarize yourself with running on a treadmill (if running test).
To schedule any testing at the PPL please contact Dr. Luke Heusel, PT,OCS @ 706-823-3807 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Resting Energy Expenditure and Resting Metabolic Rate Testing
One of the more important clinical tests for our weight loss population is the Resting Energy Expenditure (REE) test also known as Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). This test helps the individual to know with good accuracy the amount of calories needed to operate their “base systems” at rest. Knowing the number of calories needed for the body at rest will help to set the total number of calories needed per day for effective and safe weight loss.
Often times when attempting to lose weight, clients will just stop eating or eat very little thinking that will be helpful to lose weight, “if I don’t eat, I can’t gain weight”. Well, not exactly. If the body does not have enough calorie intake in a day, the systems will downshift to a lower metabolic rate and will begin to breakdown proteins into glucose molecules for energy. This leads to the dreaded breaking down of muscle and storage of fat while trying to lose weight….a no win situation.
You’ve got to eat enough calories to support the baseline systems but not overeat causing excess calorie storage….this is where knowing your calories needed at rest or Resting Energy Expenditure becomes important.
How the test is conducted:
- 1. Do not eat or drink anything after 12 midnight before the day of the test. No coffee or stimulant drinks in the a.m. before testing.
- 2. Arrive at the clinic in the a.m. preferably your first stop of the day so that you will be relatively “at rest”.
- 3. You will rest for 20 minutes prior to the test, then will be fitted with a mask over your nose and mouth (think fighter pilot) that will capture your breathing while you rest reclined.
- 4. You will rest and breathe with the mask on for 20 minutes.
You will be provided with graphic analysis of your test as well as a full description and explanation of the test and your individualized results. This test continues to prove to be of great value to our clients.
For more information please contact Dr. Luke Heusel, PT,OCS at our Peak Performance Lab at our Peak Rehab, Fitness, and Performance Evans location at (706) 922-6550 or email Luke at email@example.com
VO2 Max/Lactate-Ventilatory Threshold Testing
VO2 max has classically been described at the best indicator of cardiopulmonary fitness. In short the “VO2 max” or “VO2 peak” is the greatest amount of oxygen able to be exchanged during a maximal exercise event. VO2 max naturally increases with exercise training. In the endurance athlete, however, the lactate or ventilatory threshold may be a more important data point for performance improvement. During a VO2 max test, O2 consumption and CO2 production will increase together until the exercise intensity reaches the point where CO2 production increases due to the entrance of lactic acid into the bloodstream as intensity increases. This lactate acid will be buffered by sodium bicarbonate in the bloodstream producing excess CO2 which must be exhaled. During a VO2 max test, the CO2 production will increase without an increase in O2 consumption. This point is termed the lactate threshold (LT) or ventilatory threshold (VT). Once the LT/VT has been crossed fatigue will be “on the clock” as the body moves toward exhaustion.
With knowledge of the LT the athlete/coach is able to help determine the correct training intensities. With training near the LT, the athlete will typically see a “pushback” of the LT that allows for faster speeds or higher power outputs without reaching the LT.
How a VO2 max/Lactate Threshold test is conducted:
- 1. Client should fast for 4 hours before the test. You don’t want to max exert yourself on a full stomach.
- 2. Client will wear a HR monitor and VO2 facemask (over the nose and mouth). The mask is connected to the metabolic cart via a collection tube.
- 3. Treadmill or cycling can be utilized. If treadmill running, familiarize yourself with running on a treadmill. If cycling, bring your own bike (we utilize a Computrainer Lab system that will customize your testing to your bike).
Are you eligible for a VO2 max test?
To conduct any maximal exercise test at our laboratory certain health factors are required to safely conduct the test.
- 1. Age < 45 for males, < 55 for females
- 2. No pre-existing medical condition involving cardiac event, stroke, or cancer-related treatment.
- 3. No family history of sudden cardiac death (before age 55) in immediate family.
- 4. Pregnancy
- 5. Any current cardiac conditions (HTN, arrythmias). Smoking, High cholesterol, obesity, or sedentary lifestyle.
To schedule any testing at the PPL or if you have any questions concerning your eligibility for a VO2 max/LT test please contact Dr. Luke Heusel, PT,OCS @ 706-922-6550 0r email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Spin Scan evaluation provides the cyclist with information regarding their pedal stroke. Commonly, cyclists are “under-utilizing” their legs during the cycling movement. A spin scan will show you where you are weak during a full revolution of the pedal. This data allows the cyclist to work on improving cycling mechanics, power, and efficiency. The spin scan is run through our Computrainer Lab system and hooks directly to your bike.
Current Lab schedule for testing is Wednesday mornings 8-12 a.m and other days/times as needed by our clients.