Well it's definitely not MY lab, but I'm lucky to work in the Exercise Physiology Lab at Illinois State University's School of Kinesiology and Recreation
My job is so cool - I get to do all sorts of fun laboratory fitness testing on a variety of people. Some of the services we provide:
Body Composition: This is where we measure the ratio of lean to fat mass that a client has. It is a good baseline for determining disease risk (for the general population) and helping athletes determine what their optimal body composition for competition would be. We typically use the “BodPod”, which is an advanced method. The client sits in a “pod” and the machine measures air displacement. It only takes about 3 minutes!
Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR): Through a breathing device, we measure how many calories you burns per day at rest. For the general pop., this is a great weight management tool. For an athlete, this is a great way to help determine a nutrition plan, to be sure they are getting enough fuel during the day.
VO2max test: We have our clients run or cycle with a constant increasing workload until they can’t continue the exercise. We determine their maximal aerobic capacity, along with their aerobic threshold (where their body switches from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism)
FUEL test (or exercise metabolic rate). We have clients exercise at several training and racing intensities, and for each stage determine how many calories they burn, and whether or not the calories are coming from carbohydrate or fat. This helps determine appropriate training/racing intensities, along with refueling strategies during and after exercise! It's also very useful for weight management - we find the best intensity level for weight loss - i.e. where you burn the most fat. My FAVORITE test!
Body AGE: through a short series of muscular strength, endurance and flexibility exercises, along with body composition and cardio testing, we can determine a person’s body age and compare it to their chronological age!
I forsee lots of future blogposts on these topics...ask me questions, send requests!!
I was fortunate enough to work with a fellow Tri-Shark Mike Bernico this past January - he underwent a battery of these tests, and it's really cool to see how he has applied his results to his training and nutrition! He has an amazing personal story to tell as well -check his "About me" on his blog-
"Hi, I'm Mike. In 2007 I was a 380 pound couch potato. Now I'm a fit, healthy triathlete working slowly towards a full Ironman triathlon. This site tells my story. People have called it inspirational, but I don't know about that. It's not pretty, in fact it's just as full of disappointment and heart break as it is glory and success. I might not finish, but I will tri, and I'll learn who I am along the way..."
How cool!! Definitely check out his blog and his story (and of course, his review on his testing at the ISU Ex PHYS LAB!)
Can YOU get laboratory tests done? Absolutely! Email me and I can get you more info :) Have a great day!