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Why Fitness Testing

Determine Your Unique Power & Heart Rate Training Zones

What are your athletic and fitness goals? If you’re a cyclist, triathlete or runner, it might be to win specific races, win your age group or place better. Maybe you’re just looking to set a Personal Record (PR) in your favorite century, triathlon or marathon. Or perhaps your goals are to maintain a certain body weight and fitness level.

Whatever your goals might be, you stand a much better chance of reaching them by training according to a plan within Heart Rate and/or Power-based zones determined from your body’s unique metabolic profile. A cardio-metabolic Fitness test (or VO2 Max – Power/HR – LT Threshold test) is the most accurate way of determining your training zones.

Some athletes have their own coaches. These coaches all prescribe workouts that have you train for certain amounts of time in specific energy zones. Some people self-train by following the books of many nationally-known coaches such as Joe Friel, Chris Carmichael, Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggin to name a few. But no matter your approach, before devising any training plan, you must know the training zones unique to YOUR PHYSIOLOGY and current fitness level.

Your training zones can be determined in one of two ways: a lab test or a field test. In the past, the argument against lab testing was that it was very expensive and that quality labs were few and far between.

Power 2 the Pedals VO2 Lab (P2P) changes all this.

After a two-hour visit to our performance studio, you will come away with your key metrics: VO2 , Heart Rate, and Power at Maximal Workload; Lactate Threshold, Functional Power Threshold and Heart RateLT; plus Body Composition for Goal Setting. The results from the assessment will allow us to calculate Seven Power Output (Wattage) and Heart Rate Training Zones personalized to your specific exercise tolerance and metabolic response. This data can be provided for your coach to optimize your training. P2P will provide you with your seven personalized training zones – for Power as defined by Hunter Allen/Andrew Coggin and Heart Rate as defined by Joe Friel, two of the nations leading authorities in this field.

Learn to train like a Pro!!!

What is a Cardio-Metabolic Fitness Test (VO2 Max – Power/HR – LT Threshold)?

A comprehensive Cardio-Metabolic Fitness Test is considered by many to be the “gold standard” of fitness assessments for endurance athletes. Each individual, regardless of their age or fitness level, has a unique cardio/power metabolic profile.

Using a medical grade gas exchange analyzer that measures the rate at which the athlete expires air, utilizes oxygen and produces CO2. A graded exercise test determines what is the most important, yet most often ignored, physiological parameter for endurance athletes: the Lactate threshold (LT). LT is the point at which blood lactate begins to be produced faster than it can be cleared by the body. This is also referred to as the lactate threshold (LT).

Several parameters are measured in order to determine LT. They include: lactate levels (though not as measured directly through blood samples), heart rate (HR), power output (wattage), oxygen consumed (VO2), carbon dioxide exhaled (VCO2), and breathing rate / volume of air moved (VE).

Advantages of a Lab Test

As mentioned previously, there are two ways to determine your unique training zones – a lab test or a field test. A self-guided field test can be useful, but has many limitations, including lack of repeatability and limited data capture. A lab test has the following significant advantages:

FTP Wattage

Functional Threshold Power (FTP) Wattage Critical Metric

Heart Rate at Anaerobic Threshold (AT)

Also called Lactate Threshold (LT) Critical Metric

VO2 at LT

VO2 at LT

VO2 Max

VO2 Max Key indicator of Potential

Max Heart Rate

Maximum Heart Rate

Maximum Power

Maximum Power

Watts/kg at Max

Watts/kg at Max

Watts/kg at LT

Watts/kg at LT (FTP) Critical Metric



Controlled Environment

Environmental conditions are controlled so that the test is highly repeatable (enabling valid comparisons between tests to track fitness progression)

Experienced Physiologist

The entire test is conducted by a highly trained and experienced exercise physiologist at your side


More affordable than ever before

If you are serious about reaching your fitness or sport-specific goals, then you should be training in specific heart rate or power zones according to a plan.

The only way to know your training zones is to be tested!

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