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What is the purpose of the Metabolic Efficiency test?

The metabolic efficiency test tells you what your calorie usage is at different levels of running or biking. It also breaks down for you what percentage of these calories are carbohydrate calories or fat calories. The results of the test can then help you work on you nutrition, help avoid GI issues while training and racing and help with body composition.

If I sign up for a test, what do I get for my money?

You will get the test itself on either a treadmill or your bike on our Computrainer, a short synopsis after the test and then a formal report with nine graphs and a lengthy summary.

Does the summary tell me what to do next?

Yes and no. Some people just want the data to see what their nutritional needs are. For those people, they get the info included but can continue with their current nutrition. For others, the summary will explain what each graph/data set means and then will explain how to use this data both in training and in their nutrition to become more metabolically efficient.  If you want help applying the data to your training we offer a 60 minute consultation for $90.

Does everyone retest?

People who are really trying to gauge their progress with training or diet changes will retest to see how they are progressing.

How soon should I retest?

We encourage clients to have at least six weeks of committed training and nutrition changes under their belt before they retest.

Can I see results as quickly as six weeks?

Absolutely! We have seen clients increase their wattage crossover by over 20 watts in just 5 weeks to over a minute per mile on their run.

What do you mean by "crossover"?

For us, a client’s “crossover” is the point at which they go from being a fat burner (which is what you want to be) to being a carb burner. Through diet and training changes, you can move your crossover point “to the right” which means the client has become more efficient at using fat.

Do you want my "crossover" to change?

By moving your crossover to the right, you give yourself more speeds/powers at which to train/race where using fat as your primary fuel. An example would be a client who crossed over at 10:00 minutes/mile. If she is running a 9:00 min/mile pace, she is burning through carbs more than fat and will have to take in more nourishment.  She can make changes to her diet and training to push that crossover to the right (faster/higher power) to possibly be able to run 9:00 min/mile and still burn primarily fat…meaning she does not need to replace near as many calories.

I don't have any GI issues when I work out. Is this test still helpful?

Yes! This allows you to see what calories you need at all of your paces/powers. We start everyone walking and then go through 5 minute stages of increasing speed/watts until just short of exhaustion. Your results will then tell you how many calories you truly need for your long run/long ride days.

Can I test on the run and correlate my results to the bike?

Not really. Most of us have noticed when we run, our heart rate zones are higher than those on the bike. For some there may be some correlation, but for most of us, our calorie needs at a certain heart rate on the run vary dramatically from our calorie needs at the same heart rate on the bike.

Is there a way to test my swimming nutritional needs?

Most experts feel that doing the test on the bike is most equivalent to their swimming numbers. We have had long distance swimmers test on the bike and then extrapolate their heart rate and perceived effort results to the swim with great success.

How long does the test take?

Usually about an hour.

How soon do I get my results?

We get your results to you in usually less than a week.

What if I get my results and I need help implementing all of the nutrition changes?

We offer consultations after the test if you need more explanation of your results and have nutrition coaching packages to help you with becoming more metabolically efficient.

Does the test hurt?

Hah! That’s a great question. It doesn’t hurt but you do have to exercise for an hour with headgear on, a mouthpiece in place and a nose piece that keeps air from going into or out of your nose. Several clients will report their jaw is a little sore later if they bite down too hard on the mouthpiece.

What is a carb calorie? Fat calorie?

Your body basically burns two types of fuel-carbohydrates and fat. There is some energy generated by protein breakdown but it is negligible compared to carbs and fat. Carb calories are 4 calories per gram whereas there are 9 fat calories per gram of fat. We all have a significant collection of fat in our body that is a great fuel source, we just have to train our bodies to use it. If you keep giving your body sugary sports drinks and gels every 15 minutes for a one hour run, it is getting free carbs and your internal engine never looks for the fat calories that you have present to burn.

I want to learn more about this. Are there any books to read or websites?

Other than checking out www.FitnessRxKYcom, you can look up and Bob Seebohar. He has several books in print and in eBooks that explain the Metabolic Efficiency principles in detail.

What about electrolytes? Does this test tell me about my salt losses?

No, but we can do a sweat test on a different day to give you electrolyte losses and volume losses.

What are your qualifications for doing this test?

Dr. Collins and Dannielle are both certified through Bob Seebohar to perform these tests. They attended seminars with Bob to become educated on both performing the test and interpreting the results. Also, Dannielle is a certified personal trainer with a strong history in multisport.  Dr. Collins is a practicing physician and a multisport athlete with many years of experience.

What machine do you use?

We use the ParvoMedics True One metabolic cart. It is the same one used in exercise physiology departments in most universities as well as in the Olympic Training Centers.

Is this test different than the lactate threshold (LT) test?

Absolutely! There is no blood loss during a MET. You get the same heart rate training zones as LT, but you also get all the nutritional information you could ever want.

Is this a VO2 Max test?

It is very similar but we do not take you to your anaerobic breaking point. We are providing you with useful nutritional information for your long training and racing days. The VO2 Max tells you what your anaerobic potential is, but doesn’t give you any nutrition info.