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CardioCoach VO2 Max Testing

Bridgetown Physical Therapy is now one of only a few facilities in Portland that offers testing with the CardioCoach from Korr Medical Technologies.  This will allow us to administer simple and accurate fitness testing that measures key data including VO2 max, anaerobic threshold, and the precise amount of calories burned at different heart rate levels.  This data will allow our fitness enthusiasts to better understand what heart rate zones they should be working towards during their workouts or competitions.  This can be applied to our runners, cyclists, swimmers and most any sport.  

So why would you want to have these tests done? 

Well, generalized VO2 max and anaerobic threshold calculations can determine an approximate heart rate zone you should be working in based on your age.  These calculations don't factor in how much you have been training, genetics, sex, or altitude.  You usually see these different suggested zones on treadmills that are labeled "cardio" zones or "fat burning" zones but these estimates can be off by as much as 30 beats per minute.  Heart rate target zones should be determine based off of VO2 max and anaerobic threshold tests that measure the amount of oxygen your body consumes during exercise.  The anaerobic threshold is very important because it is the heart rate zone you should be working below to avoid muscle fatigue or soreness during or following workouts.  Working below the anaerobic threshold will also allow you to maintain a steady pace for a long period of time. Working above the anaerobic threshold will improve your cardiovascular fitness, but it will also lead to fatigue during your exercise and discomfort during and following the workout.   

Until recently these tests were only possible in expensive labs for research and available only to top athletes.  Lance Armstrong, Michael Phelps and Alberto Salazar all use VO2 max testing to determine their performance level and heart rate zones they should be utilizing.  Do you think Lance Armstrong looks at generalized heart rate zones when determining how hard he should be training for the Tour?  No way!  Lance Armstrong has his VO2 max and anaerobic thresholds tested when training for his races.  He has been reported to have a VO2 max of 85 ml/kg/min and the highest recorded VO2 max test was 90 ml/kg/min by a cross country skier.  Last month I tested at 55 ml/kg/min which is good, but I have some training to do if I want to catch Lance.   

If you don't know your personalized training zones, this may mean that you are overtraining and causing excessive fatigue.  This occurs when you are training above your anaerobic threshold and lactic acid begins to build up in your body.  On the other hand, you maybe undertraining, which produces slower progression towards your goals.  So that's why we are introducing the CardioCoach.  This allows us to measure the oxygen your body uses at different exertion levels while you exercise.  This is done as you breathe through a mask during a short workout.  The recorded information is then used to calculate your personal target intensity zones.  Exercising within your personalized zones will allow you to train smarter, which is not always harder.  

Summary Info:

When:  CardioCoach Testing will be available starting August

What:  Includes VO2 max test, aerobic threshold, and anaerobic threshold testing.

Cost:  $125 (Includes all 3 above stated tests, calories per hour in these zones, and fitness level evaluation based on national standards)

Duration:  Approximately 30 minutes  

We are excited to bring this new technology to Bridgetown PT.  Please e-mail us at info@bridgetownpt.com with any questions or to set up your appointment for CardioCoach testing.