Physiological Test Results

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  • #8111

    Hey guys,

    I just completed my physiological test at CU Boulder yesterday. The staff was very helpful but I’m still very new to all this data and how to interpret it. I was hoping you all here, along with Steve and Scott, might be able to assist.

    First off, I am out of shape and returning to training after a couple injuries. So I’m sure the results show that I’m in terrible shape! That being said the guy that administered the test said that my fat/cho results were rather weird. He made it sound like my body doesn’t want to use carbs (which I thought was good) when in his opinion it should.

    My hope is that you all will be able to help me interpret the results and figure out how to apply to training.

    A couple questions:

    1. Am I slightly more fat adapted than some new athletes? Why are these results weird? Is my fat/cho usage bad? Do I need to change my diet?

    2. He did an ultrasound on my quads and hamstrings and said I have almost no carb stores in them and my fuel is sub par. What does this mean and how do I fix it?

    3. For my zones, would they be as follows:

    Recovery/zone 1: less than 150
    Zone 2: 150-160
    Zone 3: 160-182
    Zone 4: 182-192
    Zone 5: 192-205

    4. He said my lactate started out very high and should be sub 2 mila moles. How do I correct this?

    Thanks so much for all your help!



  • Inactive
    Anonymous on #8122


    Do you have an email address for the tech Jared Berg who did this test? I’d like to contact him then get back to you. Email me at


    s.luedtke on #8127

    Uh oh, this doesn’t sound good!

    Here’s his email Scott:


    I look forward to your help and thanks for your quick reply.



    Colin Simon on #8129

    Shouldn’t Seth’s crossover point be much lower than 181 bpm?

    The visual crossover point in the graph it is(roughly) .3g of fat versus 2.2g of carbohydrate.

    If fat contains more energy than carbohydrates, we should multiply the fat by 9/4 to get an apples-to-apples energy consumption; so it’s comparing 0.675 fat versus 2.2 carbs. Shouldn’t it be 1:1?

    So they aren’t equal at all, and the CU-lab test resizes the y-axis to make the curves visually cross.

    I’ve taken the lab test there twice, and my y-axis are both “resized” so the curves visually cross. And both are different from Seth’s. Shouldn’t they stay the same, or am I missing something?

    Anonymous on #8560


    The test was certain still informative and can be used to set training zones. The CU lab has recently changed protocols since we started using them a few years ago. There’s been staff turn over and as a consequence the test is not quite as useful as it used to be. Colin picked up on the biggest issue I have noticed on these CU tests of late. They have different scales on the vertical axis for measuring fat and carbs. This makes this an apples vs oranges comparison. I have asked for an explanation as to why they are doing this rather than a simple % of fat vs % of carbs usage scale. So far no answer. However you can use the bar graph on page 6 (Calories/hour) to see where the cross over point is. It is where fat vs carbs is 50% from each. In your case this is about HR=158. You can also look at the Lactate curves and see you are making about 2 mMol/L at this same HR. In This means that you AeT and your cross over are the same and the top of your Z2 is around 158. This coincides with the intensity zones they suggest with Z2= 150-160. I’d use their zone recommendation as written but if you want to dial in the top of Z3 then do the anaerobic threshold field test described here: That’ll tell you right where your endurance limit is.

    I hope this helps


    max_frey on #10610

    I just want to follow up on this thread. I’m in Denver and saw this a few months ago, and got cold feet about investing in a test from CU. At this point tho, I’m tired of setting arbitrary HR goals and just want to get tested.

    I searched on this site about choosing a lab and found good articles, but I’m wondering if you have a specific recommendation for a lab you like working with in the front range of CO? Denver/Boulder/CoSprgs would be great.

    Thank you,


    s.luedtke on #10653

    I’m with Max. I’d be curious as to where you recommend going. My understanding is that the lab technician never fully responded to your questions via email and never provided additional clarification. I’d like to go back in another few months and get retested to see where I’m at, but I’m not sure I want to return to CU.

    Always curious as to Steve and Scott’s insights.



    Colin Simon on #10696

    I’ve been to the CU performance center twice now, and I still believe it is a good place to get tested. There are two fixable problems that Seth came up against:

    1. Pages 3 and 6 really tell you everything you need to know, and if you want to find the crossover(pages 4 and 5) you need to plot the graphs yourself. This is middle school pre-algebra level math.

    2. The CU lab typically tests endurance athletes of a very high caliber, and you need to adjust their expectations. Warm up before you go in, and ask them to start out slowly, walking if need be, particularly if you don’t run a lot. Alternatively ask them to just up the grade so you are hiking up a progressively more inclined treadmill.

    s.luedtke on #10707


    As to your first point, my only complaint would be the fact that I’m paying them to do the analysis and graphing because I’m not the expert. Just my .02

    As to your second point, I explained in great detail the fact that I was in poor shape, coming back off an injury, and needed to ease into it. The instructions specifically tell you not to exercise before hand and they will warm you up. I even provided him with recent runs and corrosponding heart rates so he could see where I was at. I know I’m not a world class athlete, but i also didn’t proport myself to be.

    Just my opinion,


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