Bell Lap Coaching is excited to offer INSCYD's comprehensive metabolic profile tests. An INSCYD test offers laboratory-grade detail and accuracy to help coaches and athletes understand exactly what an athlete's strengths and weaknesses are, in order to fine tune training plans with a level of precision only available to the pros before now. Now with the convenience of a field test, Bell Lap Coaching can help you determine your VO2Max, VLaMax, FatMax and CarbMax rates, as well as all of your training zones. With this level of precision, an interval workout can be tailored to your individual lactate accumulation and clearance rates. Gone are the days of setting your FTP based on 95% of 20-minute power output. No more settling for one-size-fits-all interval prescriptions. Say goodbye to training zones that are based on more art than science!
Contact us to get started with a metabolic test, or learn more about the pieces of the training puzzle that INSCYD brings into focus below.
What can a metabolic test tell you?
VO2max // The size of the engine
For all endurance sports, the single most important metric for performance is maximum aerobic capacity (VO2max). Running, cycling and swimming are aerobic sports, so the maximal oxygen uptake of an athlete will be crucial to their performance on race day.
Contrary to popular belief, VO2max is not the limit of an athlete's genetic potential, and it is highly trainable. VO2max responds quickly to training, so it needs to be monitored regularly.
A metabolic test with Bell Lap Coaching will give you a snapshot of your VO2Max with laboratory-grade accuracy. Coupled with a training plan that we tailor to your unique metabolic profile, we will able to:
- Compare the effect of high-intensity training and endurance workouts on VO2max.
- Evaluate the impact of specialized nutrition regimes to further increase VO2max.
- Understand the impact of VO2max on fat oxidation and carbohydrate combustion.
VLAmax // Elite Coaches' secret weapon disclosed
To start with, what is VLaMax? Simply put, it's your anaerobic engine - the contribution to your power or pace output that comes from glycolysis. When people use an (not very accurate) estimate of FTP like 95% of 20-minute power, it's the contribution of glycolytic system that they are trying to account for with this 5% correction. Because VLaMax is highly trainable, and varies greatly in between individuals, trying to determine your anaerobic threshold without knowing your VLaMax will end up being a wild guess.
20% of the difference in performance between cycling amateurs and professionals, can be explained by VO2max. 75% of the performance differences in these two groups is accounted for by differences in VLamax.
You can think about VLaMax in two ways: On one hand, a low VLaMax would increase your anaerobic threshold, your fat combustion and it would shorten your recovery time from hard efforts. On the other hand, a high VLaMax increases the power available for attacks, sprints and short efforts. The anaerobic capacity can actually make the difference between winning and losing a race: the final lap, the final sprint, the final push – they are all decided by your glycolytic power.
VLaMax is the most important metric you should focus on train according to. You may have never heard of it because up until last year it was used only by pro teams and national federations. But now the benefits of training according to VLaMax are more readily available, and you can finally start connecting all the dots that compose your performances.
Here is what Dan Lorang, coach of IRONMAN world champion Jan Frodeno says about VLaMax: “You really know what to work on if you know the VLamax”
— DAN LORANG - HIGH PERFORMANCE COACH OF IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPION JAN FRODENO
This is more familiarly known to cyclists as Functional Threshold Power/Pace or Critical Power/Pace. It is commonly known and accepted that there is a critical intensity (or power), which is the highest intensity that allows for a “steady state” in your metabolism. Most athletes know it exists, and want to increase it.
The commonly used methods to determine the anaerobic threshold are based on empirical findings within a certain population. But this has led to a lot of misunderstanding around anaerobic threshold and has restricted its assessment to some non-specific protocols. The most significant shortfall on the empirical determination of anaerobic threshold is that it doesn't provide any insight on the reasons why the anaerobic threshold is what it is.
By testing your AT with us, you’ll get it tested according to its main definition: the maximum intensity at which lactate combustion equals lactate production. These tests will benefit you with an improved understanding of your own performances and how they’re composed. More precisely, you’ll then get to:
- Know the influence of physiological metrics on your anaerobic threshold.
- Reduce the standard error of determination of the anaerobic threshold to < 3%.
- Calculate the enhancement of anaerobic threshold by improving a single performance metric.
Lactate accumulation & recovery
In sports like cycling, with stochastic, on-off and unpredictable work demand, repeated high-intensity efforts are unavoidable. Every time you attack, bridge or sprint, the result is lactate accumulation. The balance of duration and intensity required for an athlete to recover from these efforts can be absolutely crucial. Cyclocross, criteriums, road races, even just your typical local group ride - these all demand huge, repeated efforts from an athlete. Increasing your ability to recover quickly, or recover at a higher relative intensity can make or break your race. Thus the ability to use lactate as a fuel and to actually use it to optimize your performance is vital in high intensity sports. Fortunately, these kind of abilities are highly trainable and with us you can start training them for real and see the real benefits in a very short time.
Economy // Decrypting the speed hack
We’re sure you have heard of economy. Running economy, cycling economy, swimming economy . . . the word is used across all disciplines. But very few actually understand it, and fewer still are able to measure it.
So, what is economy?
- Economy relates to the conversion of energy into speed or power (depending on what you measure).
- Understanding economy means understanding how much energy is needed to move at a certain speed or produce a certain power.
- The amount of energy available is a matter of physical ability, but how fast an athlete moves with that energy is a whole different story.
Unlock the secret to going faster:
- Economy is the single most important parameter in free motion sports such as running and swimming. Obtaining insight on you economy will become a competitive advantage.
- Assess the impact of a prescribed training regime on changes in economy.
- Monitor economy on a regular basis and tune it to your training programs.
- The software we use to evaluate your economy is a high-precision tool that allows you to capture the effect of different equipment such as running shoes or wetsuits and their energy cost at various speeds.
Fat combustion is the bottleneck of endurance performance in sports like running and triathlon, and ultra-endurance cycling events like the Dirty Kanza. We are also able to measure and track this metric through performance testing, so you can create strategies to increase your energy expenditure from fat and thereby enhance your performance.
- Fat combustion rates are highly individual metrics.
- Accurately understanding fat combustion is crucial in endurance sports.
- Significant differences are observed among different athletes, AND between different states of training in the same athletes at different times.
- Knowing the FatMax Zone allows you to train fat combustion most efficiently.
It is also crucial to understand precisely how much carbohydrate you burn during exercise. With this understanding, you can find the perfect level of fueling for your training and races, and which level of fueling will actually fatigue or enhance your performance.
Fuel to perform:
- Focus on carbohydrate combustion and get tailored nutrition plans.
- Perfecting intake of carbohydrates is trainable, but needs to be practiced.
- Adjust pacing and plan a fueling strategy to avoid running out of fuel.
Conventional assessment of carbohydrate combustion based on gas analyses has significant limitations. Not only are these assessments lab-based tests only, but they can also be affected by nutrition status. Scientific research has shown that neglecting lactate measurements when assessing carbohydrate combustion from gas exchange is misleading.
Through the use of our performance software you can finally compare your lactate production and carbohydrate combustion. The only way to produce lactate is by breaking down carbohydrates, thus lactate production is directly linked to carbohydrate combustion.
Measure these metrics where it matters: on the track, on the climb, and on the field.