Fitness Concepts will be holding a group VO2 Max test just for the club at 9:00 am on Saturday, November 26.
The price for the testing is only $90 with the promotion code DCGroup
The testing can be conducted on your bike or our treadmill. We provide your VO2 Max score, heart rate zones specific to your unique physiology for each type of training, a full explanation, and a 14 page booklet explaining how to use the zones - pros and cons of each type of training, common errors, etc
More information and registration are available at www.Fitness-Concepts.com in the VO2 Max Testing section
Email us at Info@Fitness-Concepts.com with any questions.
If I was to do a running VO2 max test, can those results be used to determine both run and bike HR zones, or only run HR zones? Or is it better to do a run VO2 max test to determine run HR zones, and a bike VO2 max test (on a different day) to determine bike HR zones?
I have previously used some "do it yourself" testing methods to determine HR zones, and according to those tests, my run and bike HR zones were quite different.
Thanks for any advice here. I just want to set my expectations appropriately about what a professionaly done VO2 max test can tell me.
You will definitely get different HR zones and “max” VO2 values if you tested on both the run & bike. The vast majority of people will reach their highest VO2 values (a true max) while running, b/c there’s more working muscle mass than on the bike. Biking is obviously more restricted to the legs, so oftentimes the leg muscles fatigue before the cardiovascular system. For largely the same reason, your max HR is almost guaranteed to be lower on the bike than the treadmill (as will your HR zones). I think the biggest practical benefit of testing for an athlete is that it indicates what your HR is when you reach your anaerobic threshold.
so…if you had to choose one, I’d opt for the treadmill test. It’s a better indication of your fitness level (esp nice to know at the end of the season). Awesome if you have time to do both (that’s ideal), but if you’re primarily interested in HR zones, a bike field test can actually be quite accurate. Hope that helps! -Jessica
(ps: I teach exercise physiology & have also been doing testing for a number of years!)
Excellent answer. I would add that the bike test would be a better choice if you have more running background and are looking to improve your cycling more than your running.
We test the following:
Aerobic Threshold - the intensity at which you need to recruit all of your slow twitch muscle fibers to produce enough speed, but none of the fast twitch fibers. This is where your body most effectively burns fat and develops endurance.
Lactate Threshold - the highest intensity at which the muscle can recycle lactic acid as quickly as it is produced. At this intensity, acid dies not accumulate. Speed up just a little and acid starts to accumulate.
VO2 Max - the amount of oxygen your body can use at maximal intensity
Based on these, we develop HR (and power if desired) zones for each type of workout (1,2,3,4,5a,5b,5c) according to the Training Bible principles.
We also provide a 14 page booklet to explain the zones, the pros and cons of each, and common errors. This helps you make effective use of the data.
We still have slots left on 11/26 for DC Tri members, The promotion code DCgroup will lower the price to $90
Thanks to both of you! Really appreciate the detailed info.
Ken, I just signed up for 11/26 and sent you an email.
I have a question....I was tested about 12 years ago both on the bike and on a treadmill. We used blood testing as this means you don't actually have to achieve your maximal HR, but can still plot your threshold and relevant zones.
My question now is.....I am now 50 years old and I was told that your max HR will drop by 1 beat per year with ageing. Does this therefore have any effect on your zones and should I be working at a lower HR for the same zones? I still feel comfortable using the zones I had plotted all those years ago....although I am predominantly looking at slower paces now for IM whereas before I was only looking at Olympic Distance.
As a very rough rule, max heart rate declines by about 1 bpm per year. Over a long period of time, training heart rates will generally go down with age, but there are many other factors that affect this.
Intensity zones are based on your physiology and change in no way based on the duration of the event you are preparing for.
Lactate testing cannot generate heart rate zones other than zone 4. Lactate monitors are inexpensive devices that are useful for determining lactate threshold, but they cannot test aerobic threshold, so any range provided for basic endurance training (zone 2) is a wild guess.
Based on a number of things in your post, I think that using those HR numbers could be more of a negative than a positive. The purpose of using HR monitors is to increase the precision of training. I think you'd do better to either get a more accurate test of your current physiology or to train by perceived exertion and ignore the heart rate monitor.
Ken, Thanks very much for the advice......I have just signed up for the testing on 26 Nov 11.....so I will be happy to know exactly what levels I should be training at!!
I am looking forward to it and hope that my training will be all the better after the session!
A group of us tested this morning at Fitness Concepts. Ken did a fantastic job and it's clear that he has a wealth of knowledge about the test itself as well as how to apply the results. After all of us were done, we sat down as a group and went through the results to make sure everyone understood them.
Previously I had assumed that VO2 max testing was simply a matter of the organizer pushing a few buttons and the computer does the rest. In reality, there is definitely skill required in conducting the test properly and interpreting the results. I would definitely go back to Ken for this reason, plus the $90 DC Tri deal (for a group) is pretty awesome.
Several athletes were interested in testing after the slots were sold out. We'll be happy to schedule another group test at the reduced price if five are interested.
Many thanks for the testing on Saturday, it is more interesting to see other peoples results to prove that the 220 minus your age calculation is defintely not the way to work out your zones!!!! I would be in zone 4 as soon as I got out of bed by those calculations. Having attended on Saturday I am really pleased that my running zones are now accurately mapped. I would be interested in another test to ensure that I am using the correct zones on the bike. As discussed on Saturday, Kay (my wife, also a DC tri Club Member) would be interested to get her running tested, so there are two slots for you!
January would be great, ideally another Saturday morning would work for both of us.....let us know on here if you get a date set-up.