eLab is an exercise and human performance laboratory. An essential component of our eCycle of fitness philosophy, this is where we apply the principles of exercise science to assess and re-assess health, fitness and performance, to diagnose factors for improvement and prescribe customized training & exercise programs. We use state-of-the art testing equipment across a variety of protocols to best suit the needs of any athlete, from beginner to elite!
Frequent assessments are important to any customized fitness or training plan because they measure the effectiveness of each training phase. By measuring how your body responds to specified exercise and nutrition regimens, future training phases can be fine adjusted to avoid plateaus or to learn the best approach to getting the best results.
At the very least, depending on the athlete’s goals and objectives, a frequency of 2 to 3 tests per year can adequately assess the types of training that work best for continued customization. Some athletes test as many as 6 times per year, where some tests include both running and cycling assessments. Ultimately, the annual frequency of testing depends on the individual needs of the athlete.
eLab is available to anyone! Many athletes outside of the Endurance membership utilize eLab for coaching purposes and/or to learn more about training and exercise specificity. In fact, many coaches in the Bay area send their athletes to our lab for regular exercise testing, nutrition assessments and consultations.
Coaches can more accurately prescribe, adapt and plan for their athletes’ goals using the information gathered in eLab. We enjoy being a part of the coaching process and keen on serving as a resource to both coaches and athletes.
Respiratory Gas Exchange Testing
Respiratory gas exchange exercise testing protocols, done with the right equipment, provide in-depth analysis of the body’s response to exercise, including:
- Accurate identification of key metabolic thresholds to establish training zones
- Caloric expenditure at varying levels of intensity
- Fuel utilization (contributions of fat and carbohydrate) during exercise
- Measurement of cardiorespiratory fitness & VO2 max
- Maximal aerobic power
This information gives insight into overall levels of health and fitness for those who test, allowing for better customization of training and exercise prescriptions. Moreover, respiratory gas exchange protocols are less sensitive to peripheral variables than blood lactate testing, and therefore have a high degree of repeatability.
Blood lactate testing is a convenient way to capture the body’s ability to manage lactate during exercise. This type of testing protocol also provides tracking for adaptations to training and updates for training zones. Sampling blood lactate is a sensitive measurement, which makes it susceptible to misinterpretation based on day-to-day peripheral variables such as diet and stress levels. With its high degree of sensitivity, blood lactate testing also yields a very narrow data set when compared to the data obtained from a respiratory gas exchange protocol.
While blood lactate testing does provide valuable information for exercise prescription and adaptation to training, it is most effective for well-trained individuals, or when used in combination with frequent respiratory gas exchange testing.
Blood lactate testing is a more refined way to assess training zones and has more robust science backing its application to race pacing and competition preparation. However, blood lactate testing does not provide the depth of information as respiratory exchange testing protocols. This difference is the reason we recommend all initial fitness assessments to be respiratory exchange. Once you’ve done one or two assessments using respiratory exchange protocols, blood lactate is an appropriate follow-up option for exercise testing for thresholds, pacing, training adaptations etc.
The exercise testing in eLab is done using top-of-line equipment known for its precision and accuracy. For more information see www.parvo.com and www.racermateinc.com to learn more about our metabolic cart and Velotron bicycle ergometer. These high-quality tools ensure that the information and application of your test results are always precise, reliable and consistent.
Yes. All eLab assessments are available to analyze cycling or running performance and fitness.
You do not need to be a scientist to understand your reports. Instead of the standard reports normally filled with graphs and data our assessment reports present your results in easy to understand language. After each assessment our exercise physiologist will go over the report with you in detail to explain what it means, how it relates to you personally and how to use the information to help you achieve your goals. We believe the more you understand your information, the better you will apply it to your training.