Human Performance Lab

Our Human Performance Laboratory is equipped for assessing the function and performance of a wide range of human physiological, biomechanical and psychological parameters.

All equipment and assessment techniques are carried out with due regard for calibration, validity and reliability. Exercise testing and other measurements are used in accordance with appropriate protocols and adhere to safety considerations.

Sports science support services are provided to any team or individual that may benefit from objective performance assessments, advice on appropriate training methods and preparation for competition, nutritional and dietary analysis or sports psychology support.

The Human Performance Laboratory plays an important role in assisting and facilitating student learning on a range of academic courses.

The Human Performance, Exercise & Wellbeing Centre provides a physiology service to endurance athletes to improve their running performance by prescribing heart rate training zones from lactate profile assessments.

We are in partnership with Wycombe Wanderers FC, working with the squad and fitness staff during pre-season testing, which involves both lab-based and ground-based testing. Goalkeepers in particular, make use of our Neurotracker system to help train perceptual-cognitive ability.

We made a positive contribution to the England Touch Rugby Women’s 27 squad as they prepared for their World Cup campaign, in April 2015. This involved squad testing, training programmes, and informative lectures around topics such as training and recovery and supplementation.

Previous research includes working with Wycombe General Hospital’s Type 1 Diabetes research team, led by Diabetes specialist Dr Ian Gallen. We helped examine novel ways to reduce hypoglycaemia in physically active Type 1 Diabetics, including the use of caffeine, insulin pump management, and different types of insulin.

We are always interested in taking on new research and consultancy projects in the Human Performance Laboratory, so please contact us to discuss any ideas.

The Human Performance Laboratory offers bespoke Sport Science laboratory and field testing sessions as a means to provide practical session to supplement the theory that is learned in your classrooms in line with GCSE and A-Level curriculums.

The sessions we offer aim to give students hands on, engaging and practical sessions, and provide them with an enhanced understanding of the study of sports science and the career opportunities it offers.

Structure of visit
Typical visits last two hours for up to 12 students to ensure maximum enjoyment and focus of the students. For longer visits, (on request) a personalised itinerary will be put together.

Sessions are personalised to the requirements of the class, but typically include physiology performance measures involving one student performing a O2max (maximal oxygen uptake) test, while other students are involved in data collection. Issues touched upon will include; reasons for testing; methodological issues (reliability and validity); ethics; data analysis and discussion; and the application of the results to the real world.

Further performance measures such as anaerobic power, muscle strength, and body composition can also be measured, and again the application of these results to the real world.

Worksheets are provided to enable students to record data, note information, and complete tasks. Additionally all raw data from testing is made available to take away to discuss in your own time.

Contact our Schools and Colleges Liaison team by email:

We offer a wide range of laboratory-based assessments, tailored to the individual. Whether you are training for your first 10km run, or marathon, or looking to that little extra out of your team we can help you.

VO2max Test
Central to endurance performance is the VO2max Test; the gold standard of fitness tests analysing your response to exercise from rest to exhaustion. It allows identification of key fitness parameters including:

  • VO2max
  • Exercise economy
  • Maximal Aerobic Power (cycling)
  • Speed at VO2max (running)
  • Maximum Heart Rate
  • Lactate Threshold (LT) and lactate turnpoint (LTP)

Once we have collated this data, we can create specific training zones matched to heart rate a power and/or speed (running). This takes the guesswork out of your training, and helps to develop specific training intensities, maximise training efforts, and ultimately enhance performance.

For all tests we provide a detailed written report explaining the results, highlighting strengths and weaknesses and offer training advice and recommendations.

If you require further information or would like to arrange an appointment for any of the above, please contact us.

Body composition assessment
The measurement of body composition is of particular area of interest to measure and monitor fat mass (FM) and fat free mass (FFM). High fat-free mass is needed for increased power and strength, whereas leanness (low body fat percentage) is necessary where competition is dictated by weight category. From a health perspective, obesity is an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality among men and also contributes to the risk of CHD among women.

The Human Performance Lab is well equipped to measure body composition with different levels of sophistication, ranging from skinfold callipers to gold standard air displacement plethysmography.

Other assessments
Please feel free to get in touch to discuss full range of assessments.

We offer a range of field-based assessments, including the measurement of speed, agility, strength, leg power, aerobic and anaerobic fitness, all of which are common requirements of team sports.

Test packages are tailored to assess the fitness parameters that are appropriate to that sport. The tests are particularly useful before and after pre-season training (we can also monitor progress throughout the competitive season). Results can be used in a number of ways including identifying areas of strength/weakness and/or the determination of the effectiveness of training programmes.

Tel: 01494 522 141 ext. 4033