Greater understanding. Enhanced knowledge. Maximised performance.
When it comes to performance, getting the edge is crucial. At the Manchester Institute of Health & Performance, we offer VO2 max, lactate threshold and resting metabolic testing – allowing you to review your current levels of fitness and improve endurance accordingly.
What are the benefits of physiological fitness testing?
- The sessions are bespoken to you. The team will start the session by understanding your current fitness levels and your future goals, including any upcoming events. This will ensure the advice given is all tailored to your performance and what you specifically want to achieve
- You will be given a 5-zone training model, separating your results for your ‘easy to high intensity’ training sessions and giving you advice on any changes that you can make*. This will ensure you get the right balance, so you are getting the adaptations you need to be better at your sport
- You will leave with a clear understanding of your current weaknesses – and guidance on how to address them
It’s important to note that you will benefit even more from these tests if they are done on a regular basis to continually review your performance and see if the changes you are making are improving your fitness levels overall.
*E.g. if you can go harder in your high intensity session, or ease off in your easier sessions.
What is VO2 Max?
VO2 max, also known as maximal oxygen uptake, is the measurement of the maximum rate at which oxygen is delivered and utilised during severe exercise and is the gold standard assessment of aerobic and cardiovascular fitness. VO2 max can be measured while running, cycling, or rowing in a laboratory environment. The unit of measure for VO2 max is mL/kg/min – millimetres of oxygen consumed in one minute, per kilogram of body weight.
What is lactate threshold?
Lactate is present at low levels in the blood and is produced during anaerobic (oxygen deficient) energy production in muscle cells, red blood cells, the brain, and other tissues. When the body is at rest or at low intensities of exercise, the rate of blood lactate production and blood lactate removal are generally equal, so the concentration of lactate in the body doesn’t really change.
As the intensity of exercise increases, the rate of lactate production exceeds the rate of removal, resulting in a build-up in the blood. The lactate threshold refers to the intensity of exercise at which blood lactate levels increase above resting values. This information can be used to identify and prescribe training zones for exercise (e.g. heart rate training zones).
What is resting metabolic rate (RMR)?
RMR is the measurement of how much food, or energy, is required to maintain basic body functions – such as heartbeat, breathing and maintenance of body heat while you’re in a state of rest. This information could be useful for an individual attempting to manage their weight, by helping them calculate how many calories to cut out each day to achieve fat loss or increase lean muscle mass.
What to expect
Generally, most lactate threshold and VO2 max assessments at MIHP are performed either running or cycling. Tests can vary depending on your capabilities, but generally follow the same principles. The outcome measures include maximal oxygen uptake, maximal heart rate, lactate thresholds, heart rate training zones, maximal aerobic power, speed at VO2 max, and running economy.
Running assessments are split into two parts: submaximal and maximal.
The submaximal part involves a multi-stage incremental test, where running speed is increased every 3 minutes throughout – this is to identify lactate threshold and lactate turn point. A rest period is given following the completion of the multi-stage test.
The VO2 max part involves an additional multi-stage test where running intensity is increased every minute until maximal exhaustion.
Cycling assessments are generally performed using one continuous multi-stage test. Cycling intensity is increased every three minutes throughout the test, until maximal exhaustion. This continuous test can be used to determine both lactate threshold and VO2 max.
What to bring
- Clothing suitable for performing maximal exercise
- Cycling shoes and pedals (for cycling assessments)
- Any medication that may be needed due to allergies or exercise (e.g. EpiPen or inhaler).