Fitness (Physiology) Tests

Maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) provides a measure of an individual’s aerobic power. It reflects the ability to take in, transport and use oxygen in the active muscles. Typically, the higher an individual’s oxygen consumption, the greater their aerobic power (or endurance ability). Maximal aerobic power is influenced by a range of factors including muscle mass, age, gender and training status.

Suitable for: Anyone wishing to precisely measure their aerobic power for health or performance.

Measures: VO2max, heart rate max.

What does the test involve?

After a gentle warm up the test will begin. During this test, exercise intensity will gradually increase. Heart rate and oxygen consumption (using a gas collection mask) will both be measured continuously during the test.

When the pace can no longer be maintained and volitional exhaustion is reached maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) is measured. This test provides an excellent measure of cardiorespiratory health/fitness and is also a strong predictor of endurance performance.

This test can be completed using the treadmill, cycle ergometer or rowing machine, to best suit the athletes’ training needs. The test results will be compared to the population of interest and feedback will be given on endurance fitness classification. .

During progressive intensity exercise the body is less able to remove lactate from the working muscles. The result is lactic acid build up which leads to fatigue. By assessing blood lactate at a range of exercise intensities a blood lactate graph can be created to determine your lactate threshold (rise above resting lactate levels) and lactate turnpoint (the point where lactate begins to accumulate in the blood). We will also monitor your heart rate response to exercise. This data can be used to calculate heart rate training zones for you to use to guide training and monitor your progress.

Suitable for: Recreational exercisers, amateur athletes and professional athletes (combined usually with a VO2max and other tests)

Measures: Lactate threshold, Lactate turnpoint, heart rate training zones

What does the test involve?

This is a sub-maximal step-test, which will require you to exercise in 3-4 minute stages at progressive speeds/power outputs. During this process your heart rate, blood lactate and rating of perceived exertion (RPE), are recorded to create a physiological profile.

From this test important metabolic ‘thresholds’ are identified. Recommendations for training will be given based on the data.

The Bod Pod is an air displacement plethysmograph, using whole-body densitometry to determine body composition (fat and fat-free mass). The system is safe, non-invasive and has excellent test-to-test repeatability.

Measures: Body fat %, Lean mass %, body fat (kg)

Suitable for: All athletes and non-athletes.

TestApprox DurationCost
VO2 max 45 min to 1 hour£60
Lactate Profile30 min£80
Combined VO2 max and Lactate Profile1.5 hours£120
Body Composition30 min£40
Full Fitness Assessment: VO2max, Lactate Profile & Body Fat2 hours£150

Bespoke testing

Using our isokinetic dynamometer (CYBEX) we can measure your maximal force (strength) and power of specific muscles or muscle groups. You can use this information to compare one side to the other and identify any imbalances in specific muscle groups. This will also allow a comparison of the relative strength between opposing muscle groups, for example your quadriceps v your hamstrings. This information can be helpful in injury prevention.

Our Human Performance Lab is fitted with force platforms and 3D motion capture facilities. These can be used to inform sports technique analysis and gait analysis. Studying movement patterns can improve technique and help you perform movements more effectively.

Using nutritional analysis software (WinDiets), we can analyse your nutritional intake and identify the amount of nutrients consumed in a typical three-day period. We can then advise you on whether the energy consumed in terms of calories is suitable for your gender, age and fitness requirements or sporting activities.

Our nutritional software can also help identify any nutritional deficiencies and provide recommendations on food groups to be consumed to address these deficiencies.

In our Human Performance laboratory we can assess the fitness and health status of older individuals. For this we use fitness assessments that have been specially designed for older people. Your blood pressure, blood lipid profile (cholesterol levels), body fat and general fitness in simple tasks will be assessed.

We will give you advice and recommendations on how to build up your strength and gain energy/improve your cholesterol levels and reduce your blood pressure.

Using our Neurotracker equipment, we can help you improve your attention focus during playing team sports. The Neurotracker exercises the brain to use peripheral vision to identify objects in space at any given time and hence it improves your attention to important elements. This ability is very important to exercise to improve game strategies.