Frequently Asked Questions About Metabolic And VO2max Testing
How often should I have my resting metabolic rate (RMR) tested?
After an initial RMR test we recommend scheduling your first retest within 6-8 weeks. If the initial test was within normal ranges then 6-8 weeks allows ample time to make nutritional and/or exercise related adjustments and see tangible results. If the initial test identified a slow or sluggish metabolism and/or a poor fat burning capability, then 6-8 weeks allows time for these issues to be addressed and confirmed via retesting.
Since resting metabolic rate does change with weight loss or muscle gain, we usually recommend a second retest 3-4 months after the first retest and a third retest 6 months after the second retest.
How often should I have my VO2max / HR zones tested?
The Vo2max fitness test can potentially expose up to eleven (11) areas of “limitations”. Once identified, the limitations are prioritized and specific guidance is given on how to address each one and in what order. For example, if a respiratory capacity AND capability limitation are both identified during an initial test, guidance is given on how to first address the capacity limitation. Then, once normal lung volumes (capacity) have been attained, guidance is then given on how to improve the capability to use those new volumes. The initial VO2max test will also determine your baseline cardiovascular fitness levels along with your current HR training zones. Once identified, guidance will be given on how to make improvements to your cardiovascular fitness levels. Successful cardiovascular fitness improvements will ultimately result in changing your HR training zones. We therefore suggest scheduling your first VO2max retest 6-8 weeks after your initial test. This allows ample time to implement changes and see tangible results. A second retest is recommended 3-4 months after the first retest and a third retest is recommended 6 months later.
My scale at home or gym already tells me my RMR. Why do I need to still get tested?
No scale on the planet has the capability to actually measure your metabolism (RMR). Scales are very accurate at doing one thing only….measuring your weight. Some scales while weighing you accurately will also make a relatively inaccurate estimate of your body fat percentage by sending a small electric current through your hands or feet (bioelectronic impedance). Some scales will even go one step further and use that inaccurate body fat percentage to calculate a super inaccurate estimated resting metabolic rate. The only way to know your true RMR with accuracy is to actually have it measured. The PNOE metabolic gas analysis system used at Metabacheck has been studied and show to be equivalent to the gold standard laboratory state-of-art metabolic cart systems.
What’s the difference between the RMR and Vo2max test, and which one is right for me?
As the name resting metabolic rate (RMR) implies, the RMR test gives you the best insight into what your body is burning (total calories and fat vs.carbs) most of the time. The key pieces of information this test provides are: 1) Your current fat burning efficiency at rest. 2) Is your metabolism currently fast or slow. 3) How may total calories you’re burning in a 24hr period. 4) Specific caloric targets for safe weight loss, muscle gain, or maintenance.
Also as the name implies, Vo2max fitness testing gives you a myriad of additional information about your body when active and not at rest. This information includes not only 11 key metrics: 1) Aerobic Health. 2) Cardiovascular Fitness. 3) Respiratory Capacity 4) Respiratory Capability 5) Breathing & Stability 6) Breathing & Cognition 7) Metabolic Efficiency (Low Intensity) 8) Fat Burning Efficiency while exercising 9) High Intensity Performance 10) Mechanical Efficiency 11) Recovery Capacity, but also your specific and unique heart rate training zones, fat usage, and a recommended distribution of resistance training, cardiovascular training, and interval training based on your test results.
Together the two tests give you a complete and comprehensive picture of your current caloric, fat burning and overall fitness state as well as specific guidance on how to make improvements.