Last time, we talked about the ideal way to attain your body composition goals and racing weight. Even with my recommendations of tweaking to your daily eating, proper nutrient timing, and spending enough time training in your optimal fat burning zones; the question still remains, how do you know if those tweaks are appropriate for you?
A metabolic efficiency test will answer all of these questions and more.
What it is:
A metabolic efficiency test is a gas exchange test performed during exercise (treadmill or bike) to evaluate your ability to utilize fat stores at various paces or watts.
How it works:
The test requires you to perform exercise at 5 minute stages of increasing pace determined by your ability level and evaluation form. During the test you wear a breathing mask to capture your oxygen uptake and your carbon dioxide output and a heart rate monitor to capture heart rate data.
What you learn:
Once completed you will know if your body has the ability to burn any fat for fuel during exercise. This translates into knowing specifically what your ideal paces and heart rate zones are for optimal fat burning, some of which can be in zones 3, 4, or 5. It will also let you know how many carb calories you should be consuming when racing at a specific pace. The level of efficiency you have – how fast you can go while still burning a majority of fat calories, will determine how you should be fueling during your races and if you need to make changes to your daily eating habits.
Why it’s useful:
Because who wouldn’t want to have all of that information? It takes the guesswork out of training and race day nutrition, which also means less chance for GI distress! It will help your training to be much more effective, and let you know if your daily nutrition is hurting your performance.
Why it’s awesome:
It can be changed! If you don’t like the data you see, i.e. you are not very efficient at using your fat stores as fuel, you can implement the recommendations made to you for nutrition and exercise and see improvements.
Learning your efficiency and working to improve it comes with more rewards than just faster times, less fuel needed for racing, and faster recovery. It also improves your body composition, weight, and reduces your risk of future chronic diseases like metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and obesity.
Where to test:
Not in NYC? No problem! We can help you find a facility near you to perform your test, so we can interpret your results.
Have more questions? Feel free to drop us a line.