Laboratory-Based Testing

What does it involve?

  • Performing incremental exercise, usually on a treadmill or stationary bike.
  • Oxygen consumption is measured at regular intervals until you reach voluntary exhaustion.

Why is it important for me to have this test?

  • Gives an indication of the maximum capacity of your body to transport and use oxygen whilst performing exercise.
  • The test is the primary indicator of an athlete's cardio-vascular endurance.

Is this relevant for me?

  • For athletes who are involved in endurance based sports (e.g. distance running, cycling, triathlon etc.).
  • Results can be used to help design an individualised training programme.
  • If undertaken regularly, can also help to monitor the effectiveness of such programmes.

What does it involve?

  • Finger prick blood samples are taken during incremental exercise to determine the amount of lactate (lactic acid) present in the blood.

Why is it important for me to have this test?

  • Accumulation of lactate in the blood infers a poor use of valuable muscle glycogen and is associated with premature fatigue and reduced performance.
  • It is important to know the intensity at which the lactate threshold occurs so that training can be structured to raise the threshold and hence improve performance.

Is this relevant for me?

  • It is a key determinant of performance in endurance sports and team sports that require cardio-vascular fitness.
  • Results can be used to help design an individualised training programme.
  • If undertaken regularly, can also help to monitor the effectiveness of such programmes.

What does it involve?

  • Measurement of the distribution of lean and fat mass within the body.
  • Assessed by measuring skinfold thickness.

Why is it important for me to have this test?

  • Ideal for those wishing to monitor body composition for athletic performance of general health.
  • Excess body fat can hinder performance in some sports due to additional weight that the muscles have to support/propel.

Is this relevant for me?

  • Any athlete may benefit from regular assessments of body composition.
  • Most relevant for athletes involved in sports where the goal is to maximise speed or power (e.g. cycling, running) or in weight category sports (e.g. boxing, martial arts).

What does it involve?

  • Measurement of the distribution of lean and fat mass within the body.
  • Assessed by using Air Displacement Plethysmography.

Why is it important for me to have this test?

  • Ideal for those wishing to monitor body composition for athletic performance of general health.
  • Excess body fat can hinder performance in some sports due to additional weight that the muscles have to support/propel.

Is this relevant for me?

  • Any athlete may benefit from regular assessments of body composition.
  • Most relevant for athletes involved in sports where the goal is to maximise speed or power (e.g. cycling, running) or in weight category sports (e.g. boxing, martial arts).

What does it involve?

  • A 30 second maximal sprint on a stationary bike.

Why is it important for me to have this test?

  • Reflects the effectiveness and capacity of the anaerobic energy systems.
  • Allows the determination of how much power can be produced (anaerobic power) and how long it can be sustained (anaerobic capacity).

Is this relevant for me?

  • Ideal for athletes competing in sports that involving sprinting, jumping or maximal efforts.

What does it involve?

  • Finger prick blood samples are analysed for the quantity of the Haemoglobin protein that they contain.

Why is it important for me to have this test?

  • Haemoglobin concentration within the red blood cells is primarily responsible for carrying oxygen around the body.
  • A low haemoglobin level may indicate a reduced oxygen carrying capacity of the blood which may result in reduced endurance performance.

Is this relevant for me?

  • For athletes who are involved in endurance based sports (e.g. distance running, cycling, triathlon etc.), the body's ability to transport oxygen to the exercising muscle will form an essential aspect of their performance.

What does it involve?

  • Finger prick blood samples are analysed for the proportion that is comprised of red blood cells. 

Why is it important for me to have this test?

  • A higher proportion of red blood cells in the blood would indicate a greater oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.
  • A low haematocrit level may indicate a reduced oxygen carrying capacity of the blood which may result in reduced endurance performance.

Is this relevant for me?

  • For athletes who are involved in endurance based sports (e.g. distance running, cycling, triathlon etc.), the body's ability to transport oxygen to the exercising muscle will form an essential aspect of their performance. 

What does it involve?

  • Requires the performance of muscular contractions using an isokinetic dynamometer.

Why is it important for me to have this test?

  • Isokinetic dynamometry allows muscle strength, speed and power to be quantified.
  • Muscle imbalances can also be detected to help minimise the risk of injury.

Is this relevant for me?

  • May be useful for any athletes returning from injury, undergoing rehabilitation.
  • Also useful to monitor improvements in strength due to training.

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Last edited: 30/06/2016 15:49:00