Metabolic Testing & VO2Max

Research Study

SPECIAL OFFER (November-December 2021): Apply for a chance to earn a free VO2 MAX TEST + TRAINING CONSULT as part of an ongoing research study with our partners at PhysIQ! Limited to the first 10 participants per age group, so APPLY NOW at:





VO2Max Testing


The term “Metabolic Testing” can mean many things, but most commonly refers to two of the most popular types of “indirect calorimetry” tests that are often performed using gas-exchange equipment in human performance labs or university settings:

  • Active Metabolic Rate (AMR)
    AMR testing is sometimes referred to as VO2max or VO2submax testing where you perform a graded exercise test (GXT) on a piece of fitness equipment such as a treadmill or stationary bike for fitness benchmarking purposes. These tests normally include 6-15 minutes of walking, cycling, running, or rowing with increasing effort, incline, speed, or resistance until you “max out” due to fatigue as you approach your maximum heart rate (though you typically will end a test 5-10bpm below your actual Max heart rate). For those with any physical limitations or personal preferences, VO2 testing can also be performed where you aim to finish at a “submaximal” 80-90% effort level, or about 20-30 beats below your max heart rate. Either way, we consider AMR tests to be the “best all-around” option and starting point for those who have never performed a metabolic test before. VO2 reports performed with the most modern equipment (such as the new top-tier CardioCoach “PRO” unit we coincidentally use!) will provide insight into your fat & carb metabolism while also providing accurate Heart Rate (HR) training zones, Aerobic Threshold (AeT), and Anaerobic Threshold (AT) values… basically all the data you need to train smarter and learn what your metabolism is doing while you are working out.
Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) testing
  • Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)
    RMR testing is similar to AMR testing, but performed at rest. Testing includes monitoring your oxygen consumption for 10-20 minutes and measure your metabolic rate at rest to aid in diet & nutrition planning. These tests provide insight into what your metabolism is doing “for the 23 hours of the day you’re not working out” and thus are typically performed alongside a diet & nutrition consultation, and combined with a VO2 test to give you a full metabolic profile for all 24 hours of the day.

Additional types of metabolic testing include:

  • Metabolic Efficiency – also sometimes referred to as “cycling economy” and “running economy” testing, but generally refers to Metabolic Efficiency Testing (MET) to determine your fat vs. carb “cross over” Metabolic Efficiency Point (MEP), following a specific protocol administered by Metabolic Efficiency Training Specialists (METS) certified by
  • Blood Lactate – where VO2max is an “indirect” performance test, Blood Lactate is a “direct” performance test and considered by many to be the “gold standard” for determining your Anaerobic or Lactate Threshold (AT or LT). Performed as a rowing, cycling, or running fitness test, lactate testing is administered by taking several finger or ear blood sample “pricks” every couple minutes to measure the concentration of lactate in your blood at various exercise intensity levels to help determine your Onset of Blood Lactate Accumulation (OBLA) and Maximum Lactate Steady State (MLSS). We often recommend completing a less invasive VO2 Max test first, simply because it’s less painful and modern VO2 Max testing equipment includes a higher frequency data points and additional insight into your fat vs. carb metabolism that you may new get with Blood Lactate testing.
Get your MetabolicAthlete Lab test results on your phone with CUSTOM TAILORED heart rate zones and fat + carb calories based on your TRUE metabolism using CARDIOCOACH!

COMING SOON: The Mobile Metabolic Athlete™ Lab

When it comes to metabolic testing, it’s not just about getting accurate data… it’s about getting actionable data. A good metabolic specialist can administer an accurate test, but a great metabolic specialist can help you combine accurate data with additional experience and the right technology to know how to turn that test data into an actionable tool that will help you perform your best.

So when we say “it’s not just about the test”… we truly mean it! It’s really all about the consultation and review of your personalized metabolic data – combining the highest quality consultation with the highest quality actionable reports. That’s why we created the MetabolicAthlete™ testing services and training programs!

We are in the process of pioneering and launching a new suite of metabolic testing services, including our own custom-developed tests and reports tailored specifically for heart-rate based fitness training and endurance athletes – including our new MetabolicMarathoner™ and MetabolicAthlete™ tests. As of November 2021, we are currently partnered to provide testing at 3+ premiere training centers across the Chicagoland area, as well as “at home” testing thanks to our use of two new industry-leading mobile metabolic lab carts that have just been released in just the past 2 years!

Coach Chris specializes in metabolic testing for our primary athlete base of cyclists, runners, and triathletes who compete in events all the way up to iron and ultra distance. As one of the only USAT Level 2 Certified Coaches who is also a Metabolic Efficiency Training Specialist (METS-I FCP) that has completed over 1,000 metabolic tests over 10+ years, Coach Chris combines his unique lab experience with an extensive real-world racing experience (100 triathlons, 30+ marathons and 20+ Ironman races) to provide world-class training consultations with every test. Our goal is to not only provide you with good lab data, but also help you custom-tailor all of your fitness apps and devices including MyZone, Garmin, TrainingPeaks, and the free CardioCoach app that let’s you can see your real time fat & carb metabolism using your MetabolicAthlete™ test results!

Testing is currently by invitation and by private appointment only, but we will soon open up full test scheduling online in the next couple months. To book a metabolic test, please contact us at


We frequently partner with organizations to provide metabolic testing services, research projects, corporate wellness programs, and product testing. We also host “Metabolic Roadshows” and “Metabolic Athlete Testing Week” festivals and events at partner training facilities and retail locations across the Chicagoland area to promote health, wellness, and team-building, as well as to drive membership, boost retention, and simply to have fun with sports science!

If you would like to partner with us on special events, to offer testing to large groups, or as part of special events or programs please contact us at


%d bloggers like this: