I love this stuff! I love educating myself about how our bodies work and function. The science, and to see it in black and white, is really cool to me. I had been wanting to do this for a while, so this morning I met my friend Milen at New Edge Fitness and he promptly hooked me up with a mask and attachments to his computer so that I felt like Darth Vadar. If I'm speaking greek here are some simple explanations.
What is Metabolic Testing?
The scientific definition is "physiologic evaluations based on actual oxygen consumed and carbon dioxide produced for:
Resting Metabolic Rate – a measurement of calories used to maintain basic life functions such as circulatory, respiratory and brain function. RMR typically accounts for 60-75% of total energy used in a healthy person.
- Exercise Metabolic Rate – measurements used to determine the efficiency and types of fuels used (fats or sugars) during exercise.
- Aerobic Base – a zone based on heart rate that tells you where you are most efficient at utilizing fat as an energy source.
- Lactate Threshold (LT) – a marker that determines your maximal sustainable exercise intensity during which you burn fat and sugars. Beyond the LT, anaerobic metabolism begins to take over and glucose is predominately used as an energy source.
- VO2 Max -the maximum volume of oxygen that the body can consume during intense, whole-body exercise, expressed as liters per minute (L/min) or milliliters per kg bodyweight per minute (ml/kg/min).
- What are the benefits of metabolic testing?
- This information can enable you or your trainer/coach to design individualized programs to help optimize your health and performance. For me, it was a great way to see where I am on the "fitness level". It is a great indicator of whether you need to find a plan, tweak your plan, train more, less or, depending on your goals, change your eating habits one way or the other.
- Learning to exercise at an intensity relative to your metabolism determines the efficiency and effectiveness of your workouts and weight management program. When exercising too hard, your metabolism uses primarily sugars which can leave you feeling hungry, tired and sore afterwards. Too low of an exercise intensity doesn't challenge your metabolism to reach optimal levels and diminishes fitness improvements and weight goals.
Is Metabolic Testing Right for You?
Absolutely! Understanding how your body works - how many calories you burn at rest, while doing everyday activities, how quickly your heart rate becomes elevated and how quickly you recover will give you the tools to lose fat while retaining muscle, increase your energy levels and get or KEEP that Spring in your step!
Personally, my results are good and bad. They showed I have a really good fitness level, which since I exercise pretty regulary, I was glad to see that the hard work does pay off. However, the test showed that my metabolism is FAST. How can that be? I always say I have a slow metabolism and that is why I cannot lose those last 5 pounds! Now I don't have that excuse, so I know I must just eat too much! If you do have a slow metabolism you can change that by adding exercise to your routine. I think that would be really cool to see and a huge incentive to continue an exercise program!
Now, I can use these results to guage how many calories to eat on days that I work out in a low zone and when I work out in high zones. I know the "maintenance" zone and the weight loss zone. I may test as being fit now, but that's no excuse for slacking off either!
Don't they say a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing?