How Athletes Can Benefit From Metabolic Testing

Performance coaching & Testing at the area's only gym focused on runners, OCR, & endurance athletes

Athletic metabolic testing helps Runners, OCR & Crossfit athletes, and fitness enthusiasts identify weaknesses and strength in the body.  The Endurance Factory utilizes metabolic testing via VO2 Max and RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) testing as part of its Performance and Recovery Services offered in its Savage, MD fitness facility. By knowing the level of your body’s metabolism, you can find out what exercises are beneficial and which ones are harmful. The results of metabolic testing will also reveal your individual risk for certain diseases and health issues. Your genes may influence your athletic prowess and your personal risk for disease. However, genetics should never be the sole factor deciding whether or not you will achieve your goal.

VO2 Max

VO2 Max during athletic metabolic testing is the gold standard in assessing cardiovascular fitness. For aerobic exercise, muscle tissue requires oxygen to function properly and the heart must pump enough blood to meet those demands. The higher the VO2 max, the greater the individual’s aerobic potential. Training to raise VO2 max and improve the athlete’s efficiency at higher outputs is an excellent way to increase athletic performance and maximize the benefits of the test.VO2 Masters 0H2A5116 980x653 1

The best way to increase the number of minutes you can work at high intensity is to increase your VO2 max by training with an interval-training program. Interval training involves repeated work/rest periods with a minimum of 60-90 seconds between each set. You should aim for 90-100% of your VO2 max during high-intensity interval training. VO2 Max is only one physiological marker of your training capacity; your next target will be your anaerobic threshold.

VO2 Max testing determines whether a person’s respiratory exchange ratio is greater than its carbohydrate-based counterpart. When an individual exercises, their oxygen consumption increases linearly, until it reaches a peak. At this point, the person’s metabolism transitions from aerobic to anaerobic. It is during this point that muscle fatigue forces a person to stop exercising. By performing VO2 max testing, you can predict your performance in endurance modalities.

Without VO2 analysis, athletes cannot train at high intensity, which inhibits aerobic fitness gains and increases the risk of injury. With VO2 analysis, you can develop a customized training program for cardiovascular fitness that outlines optimal types, intensities, and training zones. This way, you can improve your performance during your training session. You can even set goals and track your progress. A VO2 max test lasts ten to fifteen minutes, depending on the intensity of the exercise you have chosen.

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Anaerobic Threshold

Anaerobic threshold for athletic metabolic testing refers to the maximum amount of work an athlete can sustain for a prolonged period of time. It is the rate at which the body can sustainably produce energy without using oxygen. Each athlete understands this threshold, as they have to stop quickly when they reach it. Anaerobic thresholds for marathon running are correlated with VO2 max and lactic acid, but VO2 max has the highest correlation with endurance performance.

To understand anaerobic threshold for athletic metabolic testing, one needs to understand how it is measured. During the test, athletes wear a heart rate monitor, which records their heart rate while exercising and while they stop. This average heart rate is the anaerobic threshold level. A person’s anaerobic threshold is determined by their strength, endurance, and robustness of the aerobic energy system.

Athletes use an athlete’s Anaerobic Threshold to fine-tune their training. Nicole Sin Quee, an elite triathlete, was preparing for a race to defend her NYRR Sprint triathlon title. She tested her VO2Max and Lactate Threshold before and after a triathlon, and her cycling numbers were significantly different. Using this data, Nicole Sin Quee focused on boosting her running and cycling VO2Max. She was able to take advantage of her strong points.

There are two main types of anaerobic threshold tests: cardiopulmonary exercise testing and lactate threshold. During the test, patients wear a face mask and are continuously monitored. The results of both tests are comparable. Nevertheless, the former is more accurate and reliable than the latter. For example, a study conducted by Ballazin and colleagues showed that anaerobic threshold and cardiopulmonary exercise testing can be used for the same purposes.

Sub-maximal Metabolic Testing

Sub-maximal metabolic testing can tell you exactly how much fat your body can metabolize. This is crucial information for a range of reasons, including improving overall health and performance. During physical activity, it can reveal the aerobic base, or base training, that your body needs to perform at its best. Athletes can benefit from RMR testing in several ways. These tests help them make informed nutrition choices to improve performance and health.

By knowing your VO2 max, your body will be able to understand how well you can use your body’s internal stores of energy and nutrients during an exercise session. With expert guidance, you can fine-tune your training and racing strategies. It can also help prevent gastrointestinal distress and metabolic failure. So, you’ll have the power to increase your athletic performance. What’s more, metabolic testing is affordable and will give you the results you need.

A test will tell you how much energy you need during rest and moderate exercise, so you can plan your diet accordingly. In addition to determining how many calories you burn, it can give you an idea of how many calories you need to exercise to reach your maximum performance level. The test will also tell you how much you need to restrict your food intake for optimal athletic performance. You can avoid caffeine and vigorous physical activity for eight hours before the test.

Indirect calorimetry is another way of measuring VO2 and provides important information about the body. This method is more affordable and accessible and requires less specialized equipment than direct calorimetry. It also requires a breathing tube and nose plug. This test typically lasts around twenty minutes. While indirect calorimetry is lower-tech, it is highly accurate. So, if you want to know your RMR or your resting metabolic rate, consider using indirect calorimetry instead.

Resting Metabolic Rate Testing (RMR)

Using metabolic tests to evaluate weight management and sports performance can provide vital information about your overall health. This type of test estimates how many calories you burn during rest, moderate exercise, and simple daily activities. The results are calculated and used to determine your target caloric zone. This information can help you create a calorie-controlled diet plan to maintain optimal athletic performance. Before the test, you should refrain from intense physical activity. In addition, caffeine and prescription drugs should be avoided for a few hours before the test.

The benefits of resting metabolic rate tests are numerous. Athletes who struggle to maintain a healthy weight should know their rate before beginning a training program. During exercise, a high level of metabolic activity can lead to weight loss. By knowing your resting metabolic rate, you can eat a balanced diet and minimize the risk of weight gain. By understanding your body’s metabolism, you will be better equipped to maintain your desired weight.

In sports where you train hard and burn a large volume of calories, a resting metabolic rate test can help you determine the amount of energy your body can burn at rest. This test costs approximately $100 and can vary widely depending on the location. It is important to note that the resting metabolic rate and VO2 max test will change as you train and adapt your training. By understanding your exact metabolic rate, you will be able to make more informed decisions about your caloric needs and training zones.

A resting metabolic rate test is a comprehensive test that measures your body’s metabolic efficiency. The results of this test will tell you how well you’re eating and exercising. The test is performed on a treadmill or a bike and is typically conducted by a Metabolic Specialist. It takes between two and three days to process the results. You can also get personalized health data from your results. There are several advantages to resting metabolic rate testing for athletic metabolism.

Exercise-based Metabolic Testing

Previously, only a select group of pro sports teams, medical facilities, and universities could afford to conduct exercise-based metabolic tests. With the advancement of miniaturized equipment, these tests have now become widely available for the general public. This type of testing allows physicians and scientists to measure the metabolic activity of athletes to customize their training, nutrition, and recovery strategies. Here are some of the benefits of this type of testing. All three of these tests are important components of exercise-based metabolic testing.

Exercise-based metabolic testing can tell physicians and health experts the number of calories an individual needs to burn fat. This information allows them to better tailor workout sessions and nutritional plans to the individual’s needs. It also helps physicians determine the most appropriate exercise routine for each individual. As the levels of exercise and physical fitness change, so will the metabolic rate. By understanding how much energy an individual burns and at what pace, exercise-based metabolic testing is a valuable tool for effective weight management.

An exercise-based metabolic test measures the oxygen and calories a person uses during physical activity and rest. This type of testing was previously available only in expensive hospitals. However, over the last several years, cost-efficient equipment and procedures have made it easier to access this type of test in a health club. These lab-quality devices are now used in a variety of applications. The testing procedures are similar to those used in hospitals. Aside from determining whether a person has a high metabolic rate, it can also give doctors valuable information on the individual’s physical condition.

Once a metabolic profile is available, it can be used to design an exercise plan tailored to the individual. This testing can identify areas where an athlete can maximize fat-burning performance and improve their metabolic efficiency. It can also identify the optimal exercise heart rate zone. Athletes can also use these results to customize their daily nutrition regimen. It is important to know your metabolic efficiency level to ensure that you’re not wasting energy.




Training plans designed to fit your needs. Your personalized program will provide a structured approach to achieving your race goals. You'll get - programming specific to your running and OCR goals, access to our Training Peaks platform, weekly calls, and text/email access to your Coach.

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Race-specific planning is available as well in conjunction with a training plan. This will include recommendations on pacing and course management, nutrition, hydration, dealing with race day adversities, and race day schedule and logistics.

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From weekly group runs, fitness classes & workshops, race planning & travel, gear & equipment talk, to anything you can think of that's run & endurance related, our community of athletes of every level and always up for a challenge and some running fun.

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Metabolic testing at The Endurance Factory Running Lab utilizes the newest available technology which has been validated and shown to have lab grade accuracy. The results are displayed in actionable reports that the athlete can save a refer back to when planning training and comparing to subsequent tests in the future.

Coach Jeff

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Jeff started running at an early age. High school success led to a scholarship at High Point University where he participated on the Cross Country and Track teams. While there he earned an honors degree in Exercise Science.

Upon completion of his undergraduate degree, he returned to Canada and attended McMaster University earning a Masters of Science in Physiotherapy while continuing to run semi-competitively.

Jeff entered practice in 2008 treating patients across a wide spectrum of ages and conditions while he continued his post-graduate education earning a Fellowship from the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists.

In recent years, he has focused on treating athletes with an emphasis on running and CrossFit/functional fitness-related injuries, though he truly has a passion for treating athletes across all sports.

Jeff is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a certified running coach from the United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy. Jeff is the owner of Without Limits Running, a running performance company that operates in conjunction with The Endurance Factory Performance.

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