Sparks Systems utilizes running, cycling, and/or resting metabolic testing to pinpoint inefficiencies in both training and diet.  Addressing these inefficiencies enables maximum return on investment from your training and nutrition. 

Metabolic Testing

Most people have heard the term, “VO2 max testing” when looking for a determinate of overall fitness.  Maximum Volume of Oxygen (VO2 max) tells how much oxygen can be consumed and how much of that oxygen actually goes to the working muscles.  During a metabolic test, much more can be determined about an individual's physiology than just VO2 max alone.  VO2 max can tell us the size of the engine, but it is not a great indicator of an individual's efficiency, which at the end of the day, is the most important component in getting the absolute MOST out of your training and nutrition.  Metabolic testing can be performed on a treadmill or on your own individual bicycle depending on the type of activities you participate in.

Performing a Cycling Metabolic Test

Using your own individual bike, the test will begin with a warm-up on a CompuTrainer. Once the warm-up is complete, a comfortable mask will be placed over the mouth and nose so that information regarding your gas exchange can be obtained by the metabolic cart. Work on the CompuTrainer will then begin at a low and comfortable wattage for the first five minutes, and will increase in wattage every two minutes thereafter. During the test, the exercise physiologist will be monitoring the rate in which the body consumes oxygen, as well as heart rate and rate of perceived exertion (RPE). The level of oxygen consumed will increase as the exercise intensity (wattage on CompuTrainer) increases. After reaching the peak level of oxygen consumption, a two minute cool-down period will begin to assess how quickly the cardiovascular system recovers. Total time for the test will be about 60 minutes, including time for warm-up, the cycling assessment, and a preliminary overview of the results.

Utilizing Cycling Metabolic Testing Results

After performing a cycling metabolic test, clients will be provided with individual heart rate training zones, which removes the guesswork out of training and ability to increase your overall aerobic fitness.  Your results will also be used to determine where inefficiencies lie from a metabolic standpoint so overall health can be addressed through diet modifications and adjusting training intensities.    

Preparing for a Cycling Metabolic Test

In preparation for your cycling metabolic test, please refrain from strenuous exercise within 24 hours of the test.  Do not consume caffeine or nicotine within 3 hours of the test.  Avoid thermogenic aids (weight loss products/metabolic enhancers) 24 hours prior to the test.  Do not consume alcohol 24 hours before the test.  No food or drink with the exception of pure water wintin 3 hours of the test.  You will also need to complete a Health History Questionnaire and sign an Informed Consent prior to the test.

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