The Lab at Métier
During endurance training it’s important to understand how the body produces energy in order to ensure that the proper energy pathways are being activated and trained for your desired gains. If you’re going to take the time to put in the hours, you should be sure that you are getting the most out of every minute.
We have been analyzing, testing and training athletes at every level of endurance sport for decades and we’re constantly refining our performance evaluation protocols with the most up to date science and research.
The Métier Training Lab offers physiological testing and analysis options that will establish your true baseline, define your HR and power zones and fine tune your HIT protocols. Train with purpose and truly be your best.
A traditional marker of metabolic fitness to establish a level called the maximal lactate steady state (MLSS), also referred to as Lactate Threshold- a level that an athlete can continue at without having to slow down for an extended period of time. As long as the athlete maintains this effort level the lactate level will remain constant. At small effort levels above this point the athlete’s lactate level will rise slowly and he or she will be forced to stop, sometimes within a few minutes or sometimes after an extended period of 20-30 minutes. Above MLSS there are no more steady states, only a slow and frequently rapid progression to exhaustion.
MLSS is a very good indicator of endurance performance and increases in the maximal lactate steady state are almost always accompanied by improvements in race performance for endurance events.
Heart rates, time trials, perceived effort, and maximum power will not tell you this information as lactate can only be found in blood.
A Lactate Test is a ramp test (wattage) with the addition of measuring blood lactate using a portable lactate meter. After each step of the ramp a small blood sample is taken from either the athletes finger or ear and recorded. We measure: Blood lactate concentration (LT mml), power (watts), heart rate (bpm) and rate of perceived exertion or “RPE” (scale of 1-10). With this information we establish lactate threshold and individual training zones.
Heart rate, wattage tests and perceived exertion will not tell you this information as lactate can only be found in blood.
Vo2 Max Test
Vo2 max, or maximal oxygen consumption, refers to the maximum amount of oxygen that an athlete can utilize during intense or maximal exercise. This measurement is considered the best indicator of cardiovascular fitness and performance capacity..The more oxygen an athlete can use during high intensity exercise, the more energy the athlete can produce.
We use the PNOE portable Vo2 analyzer for this ramp test. A mask is placed on the athletes face and the volume and gas concentrations of inspired and expired air is directly measured. The test is completed on your bike and a smart trainer at an intensity that increases every few minutes until exhaustion aka. maximal effort.
Athletes receive a detailed explanation of test results and how to best use the information with their training program.
5-1-5 Zone Assessment
The 5-1-5 Assessment is used to identify what aspects of an athlete’s physiology are limiting their endurance performance.
The assessment was designed to take advantage of the information that can be interpreted using Moxy, a muscle oxygen sensor placed directly on the working muscle(s). Moxy measures real time SmO2- the percentage of hemoglobin (Hb) and myoglobin (Mb) that is carrying oxygen in the capillaries and tissue of the muscle.
The format of the 5-1-5 Assessment is similar to a Graded Exercise Test and It’s important to note that the 5-1-5 Assessment does not require a maximal effort. It is designed to see how individual physiology responds at sustainable loads compared to loads than are only sustainable for a brief time. Since it is not a performance test, a maximal effort is not the goal.
- Each intensity is repeated for 2 full 5 minute intervals.
- A one-minute rest is introduced between each working interval.
- The athlete starts the assessment without warming up.
What information does the assessment tell you?
There are three limiters that can be identified with the 5-1-5 assessment:
- Muscle Oxidative Capacity – This implies that the athlete can deliver more oxygen than the
muscle is able to consume. The root cause could be low mitochondrial function, low capillary
density, limited muscle fiber recruitment or other causes. The primary observation is the
inability to desaturate at high workloads.
- Cardiac – This implies that the cardiac output is insufficient to meet the needs of all of the working muscles and organs to support the exercise. This is primarily inferred by observations that the body needs to restrict blood flow to some parts of the body in order to preserve it for others.
- Pulmonary – This implies that the pulmonary system is the first to limit performance. There are several ways that the pulmonary system can limit performance. The effects on SmO2 and THb that we use to identify a pulmonary limitation revolve around CO2 building up and inability to reload the hemoglobin.
In addition to these limiters, several other physiologic factors can be identified including:
- Muscle Strength – This implies that the muscle contraction forces required to produce the
intensity are interfering with blood flow to the extent that it limits performance.
- Muscle Coordination – This implies that the athlete is somehow changing their form by using
other muscles or not firing their muscle fibers effectively so that it limits performance.
- Warm-up time – Some athletes reach Maximum SmO2 very quickly while others take 3 or more load steps. The 5-1-5 can be used to find optimal individual warm-up time.
This list and the scope of each item on the list are based on what this assessment method is capable of identifying as opposed to listing all factors that could possibly limit or influence performance.
Resting Metabolic Testing (RMR)
Three test bundle for $300.
Metabolic rate is a measure of how quickly your body expends energy. This is also referred to as your “caloric burn rate”. The RMR test accurately measures how many calories you burn at rest which gives you the data you need to plan a weight loss, weight gain, or weight maintenance plan designed to succeed.
We use a portable metabolic analyzer to measure RMR with gas analysis through indirect calorimetry. Indirect calorimetry calculates the heat we produce from production of carbon dioxide and nitrogen waste or from oxygen consumption. The athlete relaxes in a chair while breathing into a mask for 15 minutes. The results are presented in an easy to understand pdf.
We have a nutrition coach in house who can answer any questions you have and who can also help also help you organize a strategic and practical nutrition plan.
How to Prepare:
- Don’t eat or exercise 4-5 hours prior to your test
- Don’t drink coffee 4-5 hours prior to your test
- Don’t do any intense training or high intensity weight training the day before