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how much does lab testing cost(11 posts)

how much does lab testing costbig ring ma5her
Sep 26, 2002 12:35 AM
How much can I expect to pay for full lab check outs. i.e. Lactic acid, VO2max, etc. What test do I want to have done? how much can I expect to spend?

I currently race cat C-mens collegic road and 4/5 USCF. But I'm gearing up for my first full season (30ish races). I'm willing to throw down the money in order to make this happen. My current body fat % is utter bull-$h!t. so far I've been doing three long slow rides a week and hitting the gym for weight training 2-3 times a week for an hour or so.

things are going to change constantlypeloton
Sep 26, 2002 1:21 AM
I really wouldn't worry too much about having a lot of lab testing done right now, and I'm an exercise physiologist. All the figures that you are going to see if someone were to hook you up to a metabolic cart and measure your VO2 max, LT, and what not are going to change some and having them in your head from a one time test isn't going to help you much. Getting your body composition monitored might not be a bad idea to measure progress. Other factors like your VO2 max or LT can change. Your VO2 can chage by maybe 15-20% with training, and the best way to boost that is to lose weight. Your LT will change as well with training, so a figure you get now isn't going to be the same in a couple months of training. Unless you are at the peak of fitness, and monitor these sorts of things with regularity it really is only a nice number for you to think about but it won't really apply. Even then, things like your LT will be hard to measure on the bike with means like a HRM due to flucuations in HR from day to day from environmental and physiological factors. You could find your own LT close enough by just riding hard up a long hill or in an ITT by looking at where your HR settles after 15 or 20 minutes. Methods like this are suggested by a lot of cycling training books.

It would be worth it to have your body composition measured to ensure that you are losing fat and not lean body mass if this is a goal of yours. Money might be better spent on a USCF cycling coach or certified personal trainer to help with technique and training methods rather than on figures that change with training, and are hard to apply to much without constant monitoring and knowledge of physiology. Even checking a RD (registered dietician) would be wise if changing body comp is an training goal. By looking into avenues like this you have the people you need to make progress in your training instead of just knowing the numbers. I think people put too much emphasis on things like VO2 max or LT for even serious recreational racing. Especially when we go and then monitor our LT by somewhat variable means like heart rate monitors. It isn't a hard and fast number, but more of just a range. You will know your LT when you get there anyway just by your exertion level.

Basically, don't worry too much about the numbers. Check into resourses that will help you make the most of your training time. And if you still want to know the numbers, check out the kinesiology dept. at your closest university. You could probably get an undergrad who is learning to practice on you for free if you look around.
Isn't that the point?TJeanloz
Sep 26, 2002 5:13 AM
When I was racing in college, we had a decent kinesiology department, and most of the cycling team got tested at intervals throughout the year. Usually once at the beginning of the year, twice in the middle, and once at the end.

I found it helpful to understand better how things progressed and changed throughout the season, and to be able to quantify "I feel stronger".
Isn't that the point?Lactate Junkie
Sep 26, 2002 11:14 AM
I have to agree with Peloton. I think the point was that too much information can be debilitating for a racer just starting out. He has a lot of room for general improvement in many things. Some of which are physiological, most of which are not. Once he gets up to Cat 2, then I would start worrying about getting tested. By that point, he will have good racing skills and good general fitness and he will be able to make use of the "numbers" in setting up a training plan to fine tune specific areas of his training. In the meantime he should, shoot for losing weight (if he is carrying extra), do a quick AT estimation, set his zones and get a good coach who can develop a good training program and hopefully teach him how to ride and race properly.
Sep 27, 2002 1:32 AM
I think it can be important to look at the numbers, and to some it means more than to others. I wouldn't have gotten into what I studied and do if I didn't think the numbers had any relevence for some. To be able to quantify the effects of training is important, and I completely understand how you felt better by knowing these things. My thought is this though- A racer just starting out has better things that they could be spending time and money on than worrying about their VO2 max. Most people have a VO2 of 35-40. When you find out yours is 50, and Indurain's was 91, or the average NCAA Div 1 runner is around 70 or so, it could have the effect of discouraging you from trying in the first place thinking the genetic tools just aren't there. Thing is you can still make the most of what you have. Some people operate at higher percentages of their VO2 than others. You can still make the most of what you have. When you are starting out time would be better spent finding resources that will help you know how to train and to eat smart. These are the things that will let you excel to your best, and numbers are just a reflection of genetics and training. Good training and nutrition is the key. I would certainly recomend finding some numbers to anyone though. Measuring body composition is great. You can find numbers that are close enought to your LT on the bike without a metabolic cart. I would suspect that everyone who has been in a bike race here though knows exactly what being at their LT feels like without a HRM or what not telling them. Too much emphasis can be put on numbers that change. Look at the thread about the confusion over heart rates below this one. I mean, HR changes from day to day depending on a lot of factors. Gotta give it some room for a gray area because we can't quantify everything in a simple fashion when it comes to physiology.

For a racer starting to get serious the emphasis should always be on learning to train and eat smart. Anything that would take time and money away from these goals is a waste of resourse IMHO. Learn to race, train, and eat and then worry about the details that will take you to the next level. It's important to learn to walk before you run. I don't think anyone out here, no matter what level they are at couldn't benefit from proper coaching, a good physical trainer, or advise from a dietician. Most athletes succeed despite their attempts at training and diet, and not because of them.
I suppose,TJeanloz
Sep 27, 2002 6:39 AM
I do agree that a completely new racer shouldn't have his numbers done to decide whether or not this is the sport for him [or her]. There does become a point where the numbers are quite valuable; but you're right- it's probably not in the first season or two.
how much did you pay to get tested at the U?weiwentg
Sep 27, 2002 5:26 PM
I'm genuinely curious. there are a handful of fairly advanced cyclists on my team. I don't think any of us would make it to Nationals, but you never know...
how much did you pay to get tested at the U?TJeanloz
Sep 30, 2002 5:51 AM
I don't remember what we paid- it was nominal for us as university-affiliated athletes; something like $50 for the works. I think the regular rate was something like $150-$180; if you're in Boulder, the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine also offers testing.
re: how much does lab testing costlegs
Sep 29, 2002 4:47 PM
a full work up costs between 1500 and three grand..
re: how much does lab testing costLactate Junkie
Sep 30, 2002 2:52 PM
That's way out of line. Most university Exercise Phys labs will do a VO2 Max and LT etc for between $200-300.
re: how much does lab testing costC-mond
Sep 30, 2002 4:39 PM
finding the undergrad/grad student in exercise physiology is the ticket.
get that stuff done for free, or the cost of dinner