At Cadence, full-suite physiological testing services like blood lactate testing and Max VO2 testing are provided 100% in-house by our cadre of world-class cycling and multisport coaches. These services are identical to those provided at Olympic training centers and enable us to provide athletes with precise power and heart-rate zones for optimized training and results.
Testing at Cadence
Our crew has always taken a lot of pride in the testing facility at Cadence. Our physiology lab hosts a Parvo metabolic cart, one of the most accurate machines for VO2 testing. We use our Parvo in conjuction with either our Velotron Indoor Cycle, an extremely well calibrated powermeter equipped bike, or a True Professional Treadmill, able to run at 4:00/mile pace for our Olympic hopeful athletes. We have even used the Parvo on rowers using an Erg Indoor Rower.
The Parvo has the ability to estimate not only VO2 max but also threshold values using the gas exchange method rather than blood or perceived effort. This method has become the standard for testing both elite and age-group athletes, with blood testing declining as the prefered method of many elite coaches.
Our method is relatively straight forward. Upon your first visit to our lab you will perform a standard VO2 Max test, whether on the bike, treadmill or even an erg. From that test we will define both threshold and VO2 Max values and create a training zone profile specific to you. We then can personalize your testing even more with your second, third and fourth visits. For athletes like bike racers or short course triathetes, more VO2 Max tests might be prudent but for many long endurance athletes, this isn't necessary. For these we offer an economy test. We can hone in on the race pace type efforts needed for marathons and iron-distance races to better help define pacing and caloric needs for such efforts. Many athletes perform these tests 1-2 weeks before their 'A' race to create a race-day strategy for nutrition and speed. This has helped many of our athletes 'PR' in their big races since switching to this method.
Contact one of our coaches to learn more or click HERE to see pricing.
Blood lactate is the by-product of anaerobic energy production in the muscle cells. Your lactate threshold is the point at which lactate starts to accumulate in the blood faster than it can be metabolized by your body. During exercise, an athlete can perform up to a certain intensity without accumulating lactate in the blood. Once this intensity is exceeded, lactate levels in the muscles rise, and the muscles fatigue rapidly. The critical exercise intensity at which this occurs is referred to as your lactate threshold. The lactate threshold (or, LT) is a critical determinant of performance in endurance sports and, unlike your VO2 max, your LT can change significantly over the course of a season. In fact, one of the very reasons for training is to increase your LT power (Watts).
At Cadence we use the Onset of Blood Lactate Accumulation (or, OBLA) protocol to determine your LT . Using this protocol, we take tiny blood samples from your fingertips as you run on a treadmill or as you ride on our Velotron ergometer. Once you reach a workload intensity--which is measured in heartbeats per minute or power output measured in wattage--that produces a blood lactate of 4.0 mmol/L we identify your LT. Having this information is crucial for you or your coach in building an optimized training plan.
Note that for elite athletes or for some athletes whose LT occurs relatively low Cadence offers a secondary test, the Lactate at Maximum Sustainable Power Output test. Extremely conditioned elite athletes have a physiological advantage in that their bodies are tuned to processing blood lactate at higher sustainable levels of exertion. Although the OBLA protocol we use corresponds to power output at 4.0 mmol/L many elite cyclists and triathletes can take their maximum sustainable power output (MSPO) to 5.0 or even 6.0 mmol/L. If you are an elite athlete, of if your LT occurs at an unusually low power or heart-rate level, we have our supplementary MSPO test to ensure that you are indeed training at the proper intensity to maximize your performance.
The VO2 Max test determines an athlete’s maximal capacity to consume
oxygen for the purpose of producing energy. Your VO2 Max figure
represents your upper limit of aerobic exercise tolerance. Absolute VO2
Max is measured in mL/min while relative VO2max is measured in
mL//kg/min. Cyclists typically refer to relative VO2 Max because body
size and weight are important factors. Worth noting, compared to OBLA and LT,
VO2 Max is far less sensitive to training once you are in a relatively
trained state, but with proper periodized training and/or weight loss,
an athlete can increase their VO2 Max with less trained individuals
seeing the largest changes.
To conduct this test our certified
coaching staff will take you to your absolute breaking point for
muscular and aerobic exertion. This is done on our Velotron ergometer
according to Cadence’s specified protocol which requires that you
breathe into our Korr metabolic cart. The metabolic cart measures the
volume of oxygen you exhale relative to the amount of CO2 you produce
under exertion and, as such, accurately determines your Max VO2.
you are a runner, a cyclist, or both, Cadence can perform testing in
its world-class physiology lab on our Velotron cycling ergometer and our
Precor treadmill. This way, you're sure to get the physiological
results you need to be the best athlete you can be.