We believe that our testing, combining both metabolic and lactate data, is the the most effective way to determine a person's ideal training intensities, or zones. The common misconception is that this kind of testing is only for elite athletes, however we highly encourage ANYONE who would like to maximize their time spent on the bike to do this testing. Don't guess at what intensity you should train at, get it right and make sure your time training makes you better on the bike.
No one else in Toronto tests like this. It is a tried method that comes from years of experience. The metabolic test we do at The Cycling Gym is far more effective at giving you real guidance for your training than the typical lactate threshold test.
To analyze your aerobic system we will take you through two ramps, one after another:
The Metabolic Test
During the first ramp test you will wear a mask hooked up to our Fitmate Metabolic machine which performs metabolic analysis while you ride and breathe. The power you ride at increases every three minutes, and you ride until you have to stop. Essentially you climb a hill that gets steeper and steeper until you can't go anymore. This analysis gives us a clear understanding of your personal training zones, oxygen consumption, respiration efficiency and breathing quality. We determine your peak VO2, FTP and MAP numbers which contribute to our final report and analysis.
The Lactate Test
The second ramp starts right after the first one. We cut your wattage in half from the top of the first and start a more gradual ramp. During the second ramp test we take lactate samples as the power increases every five minutes. In this second ramp we determine your lactate balance point, the point at which the body starts to burn more sugar than fat. The lactate balance point is significant because at intensities above this number the onset of fatigue is rapid; whereas if you ride at efforts just below your lactate balance point, you can sustain these efforts for long periods. Thus, to increase the length of time you can maintain your highest output in endurance events such as races or granfondo rides, you must train to increase your power at the lactate balance point.
A higher lactate balance point means that throughout the event you are burning more fat for fuel. This saves your sugars for when it really counts in the finale, giving your the energy to push and come through with a top result. Watch this short video for an explanation on why burning fat is so important.
Following the test, we will give you a report that outlines the results of the testing, your accurate training zones, and suggestions for your training.