Athlete peak performance - VO2max │ DEXA │ training │recovery
24/03/23 - Melbourne Sports & Allied Health Clinic integrates high precision science with expert interpretation and guidance, to ensure the most effective fitness, health and performance outcomes are achieved. Beneficiaries include athletes of all ages and abilities, who are interested in maximising their training and competition outputs, via improvements in body composition; cardiorespiratory fitness; strength; metabolic economy; resilience and vitality. Physiological and body composition evaluations during different phases of training & competition provides valuable information about specific responses and adaptations, or limitations that effect performance.
Running or cycling VO2, metabolic economy, anaerobic threshold, blood lactate, heart rate; training zones:
Oxygen consumed and delivered to contracting muscle is an important contributor to endurance fitness and health metrics. The most common evaluation to measure cardiorespiratory function is the progressive intensity VO2 test: starting at approximate 50% intensity, progressing in 3-minute periods until fatigue. The total duration of the test is typically 15-20min. A face mask is secured around your head in order to continuously measure oxygen consumption, ventilation and respiration. Heart rate is also monitored continuously, and blood lactate (micro blood sample from a fingertip) taken every 3min, to identify how your body is using fuel during exercise. You will also be asked to rate your interpretation of intensity during each stage (6-20 point BORG scale), which is then integrated with your physiological metrics. The sub-max periods allows for establishing steady state, metabolic economy, and training zones.
Following the test, comprehensive feedback is provided, highlighting key results and recommendations that are unique to your physiology and training targets. From a health perspective, an increase in VO is a key contributor to reducing risk of developing metabolic and cardiovascular disease. The highest risk group for all-cause morbidity and mortality include individuals with a low VO (<27ml.kg.min). Indeed, for individuals with or without common risk factors, every 3.5ml.kg.min increase in VO2 contributes to an average decrease of 17–29% in non-fatal and 28–51% in fatal cardiac events, after adjustment for age (Laukkanen et al, 2004).
Body composition is assessed via Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) which is a well-established and high precision technique for measuring body composition, including bone mineral density (BMD), body fat and lean muscle mass. Body composition changes are often recommended to athletes for both performance and health benefits; which may include reducing visceral fat tissue (fat stored around vital organs) and subcutaneous fat tissue (under the skin); or increasing lean muscle mass or bone mineral density. DEXA scan is very safe, and there are no complications associated with the procedure. The radiation doses are very low, which, in fact, is less than one day’s exposure to natural environmental or background radiation. The average person in Australia receives about 1500 microsieverts every year from natural background radiation. The amount of radiation received from DEXA scan is approximately 4 microsieverts of radiation, which is well below the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) limit of 1000 microsieverts per annum (over and above natural background).
Expected outcomes: Following both tests, you will be provided best practice guidelines on ways to improve cardiovascular fitness; strength; body composition; injury and illness prevention.
Preparing for VO2:
Similar to how you would normally prepare for a challenging training session. We advise to refrain from exercise, food and caffeine for ~3-4hrs prior to the test. If you are training the previous day, light or recovery paced exercise is advised. A medical questionnaire will be sent to you, and is required to be sighted by the administering physiologist prior to commencing the test. You will wear your regular training apparel.
Preparing for DEXA:
In preparation for DEXA, it is helpful to wear clothing which is loose fitting and free of metallic attachments such as buttons, zippers, buckles, wired bras and fasteners. You will also need to remove any attached metallic devices, such as jewelry. You must notify the practitioner if you think you could be pregnant. DO NOT schedule your DEXA scan within one week of having a barium x-ray, a nuclear medicine study or an injection of x-ray dye. Prior to your test, do not eat a heavy meal or exercise vigorously. DEXA is a simple and fast procedure, involving no injections and is not painful. You will be required to lie face up on a padded table for ~5 minutes.
We recommend participants undertake a blood test (10-12hr fasted). Our blood test orders are specified in accordance to an individuals health history and specific adaptive targets. We typically order metabolic; organ function; immune function; inflammatory; lipids; and various hormone panels.
VO2max - $390 (including blood lactate)
DEXA - $139
* fasted blood test fee is determined by your specific pre-evaluation health status and risk assessment
** Private health insurance extras (exercise physiology) rebates are available.