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Physiological assessments versus performance tests.
I like to give here  some thoughts on our great discussion on  duration  of a test   and  step length and step increase.

With  change in  equipment  from classical  tools like VO2    and lactate to live  feedback  information like NIRS  SEMG    live cardiac feedback  with physiolflow the  questions  comes  up, whether it is  time  to review  what we  actually like  to achieve  with this  ideas? To make  it relative  simple.
 I look  at  2  questions ?

 1. Do I like to  test  performance  and than use the  test result  as a feedback, on my  quality  and  improvement  of my  training program.
As a  sub question.
1.1 Do I use the new performance information  and combine it with a  calculator  and some statistical  result  to go back  to design a new  program?

2. Do I  do a physiological assessment  to have feedback on where I optimal invest  time as I  find the  current reason of  a  lack  of progress or the reason  why I made progress  do to elimination of a limiter
Sub  question
2.1 Do I use the assessment results  to than  design a new  training plan  ?goal   but use  live feedback  to stimulate the  target  systems  rather than   performance combined with hope  that the calculate  %  will  trigger the  planned  stimulation.

Or in other words. I know  I have a  delivery  problem  and the limiter is the  respiration.  I  now  can use  any performance level  from  easy  100 watt  to  above FTP  for cyclist  and  use  the live feedback to see  how I  trigger and  target  respiration.
 Or  I use a  %  of  the maximal wattage  or the LT  and hope  the theory  I   have in a cook book  really achieve the respiratory  stimulation.
 I  can see it live versus I can hope  for it ??

What  I  do :
 Performance testing .
 I  test the performance. So a  400 m runner will do a  400 m  run  and I can see, whether my training ideas I started  3 month ago  show  a change in the 400 m  run which is the sport the athlete  likes  to  do. I have a figure skater  and  he or  she will do a 3 min short program  she  or he likes  to  use  for the upcoming season.
 I  retest   this program and see, how  after the  triple  combination the  oxygenation as well the  blood  flow looks   compare  to a  few  month back.

 I  have a  road racer   main distances  between 10  - 21 km.
 I use  a  home   stretch  perhaps 13.452m 23 cm  long .  and  use this as his  test  stretch under  close to same   conditions  and take his  time  and at the same time  get   MOXY arm  and leg  feedback  and than see   what happened   performance  wise  but as well  a  comparison in change in  NIRS feedback  and HR  and if  I  have a BIO harness as well RF. I  have a MTB  athlete    and  a home  course. So  same there  with additional    feedback over  certain  section of the course like a  uphill  or  a technical  downhill or a  flat   or relative  flat stretch . Time  and  physiological feedback  .

 This is  a sport specific  performance test  or  I do a race  and this gives  me objective  feedback on change in actual performance.  and a   information what happened   physiologically   to   try to explain the  change in performance.

 Can I use this information  for    future  training ideas ?
 Yes  and no. The performance part no.
 the  physiological feedback  yes.

So a VO2   max  or peak test will give me a  feedback   whether I may have change  performance  on this test idea   ?
 The  skating  athlete  doing a VO2  bike test. ??  why
 The hockey player  doing a VO2  or LT  running test . Why ?
 The  MTB  athlete  doing a  VO2    stationary bike test  ? Why ?
 Can I use a LT  or VO2  max / peak test    form a treadmill or  bike to design  an individual  limiter targeted   training program  used in the field?
 Well many  hope  and  some may even believe it.

Well  even the  father  of LT ideas  G. Mader   very  early on showed that this  does not work at all.

 We  talk 1985  the year  where  Brooks   started  to  question lactate  ideas.

4 grafics Mader.jpg

Do  we  believe  VO2  max  lab test  can be  used  for   applications  an training designs.
 Not one of the big  brains of the  time  believed  this  really. That's  why  they designed  field test  and use VO2  there. We  talk   1928


or  1950

early start 1920.jpg 

Do we really believe a VO2  or LT test  and LT  findings  can hold up in the field   when done in a lab. ?

 I  am  always   surprised  that the  question  comes  up  is  NIRS  a validated.
 . Question back  with  what ?  Next  question. Is  the VO2  max test   or the LT test validated  ?
 There is  no  studies  out there who  can proof that the  performance increase we see  is  due  to using any method  from LT  to  VO2  to FTP  or NIRS  use. What we  can show  with NIRS  or physio flow  or  SEMG  and  as well  with VO2  testing is , that we change  some physiological   systems  either with a functional  improvement or a structural change.

So  do I like to have  some physiological feedbacks   .
 If  yes. What  is the physiological demand of  my  athletes  sport.  Based on this  I  than create a  assessment protocol.

 If I like to  get a feedback on  delivery systems  I  need  to design a protocol  which allows the delivery system to  actually be fully  functional.  There is no  discussion on this anymore  and even the big  v brains in  VO2  testing  agree, that the step length  to  have a fully  feedback on cardio and respiratory ability has  to be at least 5 min , better longer.

Oxygen uptake during the first minutes of heavy muscular exercise

  1. 1.   Per-Olof Åstrand1 and
  2. 2.   Bengt Saltin1

+ Author Affiliations

  1. 1.    1Department of Physiology, Kungliga Gymnastiska Centralinstitutet, Stockholm, Sweden


Oxygen uptake, heart rate, pulmonary ventilation, and blood lactic acid were studied in five subjects performing maximal work on a bicycle ergometer. After a 10-min warming up period work loads were varied so that exhaustion terminated exercise after about 2—8 min. Peak oxygen uptake and heart rate were practically identical (sd 3.1% and 3 beats/minute, respectively) in the experiments. The heavier the work was and the shorter the work time the higher became the pulmonary ventilation.   (WHY ?)

There was a more rapid increase in the functions studied when the heaviest work loads were performed. It is concluded that aerobic capacity can be measured in a work test of from a few up to about 8 min duration, severity of work determining the actual work time necessary. Duration of work in studies of circulation and respiration during submaximal work should exceed 5 min.

Do  you like to assess  recovery ability  as the endurance demand of the sport is not   resistance e   on fatigue  but ability  of recovery.

 Ipahr and ipahd end.jpg 

Or  is it a  combination off  both    so an assessment  for  delivery  and an assessment on  utilization  Or  are  we interested in  actually  feedback in  load intensity,  load duration.  in between load  recovery  and so on. ?
 Than we  may look at  actual  metabolic    options  to maintain ATP levels.

Here a  short inside  view  in how we structure  that in our   seminars.

rip tip sip plus zoning.jpg 

TIP = question  to find out Limiter  , so  cardiac limitation, respiratory limitation, muscular structural limitation ( mitochondria density  capillarisation  for example ), CNS  limitation like  inter  and intramuscular  coordination.
 So there  are  certain  needs to find this. '
a)  duration of step length  5  plus  minutes.
b )  sport  specific  so if possible in the field.
c) interruption ( not ending of a homeostasis.)
d) Start  without  warming up  or  preparation. What  do I get  from this.
1. Physiological feedbacks  form what ever  equipment I use  to collect  physiological data's.
Can I use this  for  planning of my future  training ideas.
 Do I need a performance  feedback  for this  plan . No
 Stop  yes.
 If  I use  classical physiological parameters  like VO2  and lactate.
 Hard  to  train 16   ice hockey player  all with a  great  K42b  VO2  equipment. Or    test blood every 4  - 8 min n 16  runners  of a track  club  during an endurance run.

No  if you have   new  technology  so you have live  HR  RF  and  SmO2  thb   information's. Can I use  performance  ye s and no.
 Take  cross-country skiing  loads on different  snow conditions.
 Take  running  in the field  not on a track  with up and downs.
 Take  MTB  in   off road training camp.
Take  rowing on an open lake. Well sometimes  you may  have optimal conditions

RIP  and  SIP  are much easier  to understand and  the  protocol  will be very different.

 Can you see the  "  zoning"  yes  there is  one  and we hate it.
 using  physiological feedbacks a  found  assessment zoning  is  only  a guide line  to see, whether you are  above  or below the assessed  values  but you adjust the zoning accordingly to the target physiological stimulation  you have  for this specific  workout  and day.
 It may be  a higher  performance if  you can us e performance or a lower performance, That's'  why in skiing it is much easier  as you  have to look on current conditions  and  the  zoning  is  only meaning full having a physiological target  and no performance feedback.

 There is  an interesting Blogger  out there . using an  ice hockey RIP   and convert a RIP  assessment into a   TIP  information ,, than  creates  interestingly enough 4  zonings  when doing a  3min step test.
 That is great to see, that we are not the only people    moving  downwards  form the classical a ideas of  more  zoning better    program ?
Will be nice  to see his   case studys , because based on what we do  since many years a  30 second  all out test  always creates a  delivery limitation. . No different with a  90 second all out test. So  because it is an interval sport using a RIP    30 seconds  and because it is an  endurance  sport you "prolong " the  data collection  to 90  sseocnds  does not change anything  in the fact  that you create a  delivery limitatioin in any case  so you can NOT find a delivery limiter when you rule  out the participation  of  the delivery systems in the  actions  due to the protocol design.

Now  page  2.

rip tip sip explanation.jpg
 More   later  , when we look the promised VO2  cross country ski erg test  somewhat  closer  .

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