Benefits of VO2 Testing
When it comes to health and fitness, there’s lots of conflicting advice out there. For anyone interested in upping their stamina when it comes to something like running (especially as marathon season approaches), it can be hard to know how much to push themselves. Among other things, the team at Health Matters offer a service called VO2 testing, which, says founder Seán Kinane, uses a metabolic data analysis to provide a bespoke plan for each client.
A Flawed System
“A lot of people train using dated, generic formulas,” Seán begins. These, he says, are flawed, and result in many people over or under stimulating in their training, increasing the chance of burnout and fatigue. “We aim to challenge the culture and acceptance of that old way of thinking,” he continues. “We want to educate people, but in a scientific way - using a metabolic analysis of data.” The service, he notes, has in the past only been available to professional athletes. Today, Seán welcomes anyone who wants to optimise their performance, whether they’re training for a marathon, doing a Couch to 5k, or simply want to get a sense of what their fitness is like.
So, what does a VO2 performance test entail? “It’s ‘progressive overload until failure’”, explains Seán, meaning that the client starts off on a treadmill at low intensity (depending on capability), and the process gradually becomes more difficult. Once they reach a point where they have to stop, there’s a period of active recovery, before Seán takes them through their data. The test measures everything from fitness level and heart rate elevation to breathing patterns and lung function. Based on these findings, Seán creates a bespoke plan to help them optimise their fitness, in a productive way that’s in tune with their body.
The Importance of Nutritition
Seán is also keen to stress the key role nutrition plays when it comes to overall health. “It’s something that’s often neglected in sports performance,” he says. "People are concerned with training, but often don’t prioritise food.” As part of the testing, Seán calculates how many calories the client expels at a given heart rate. “We can figure out exactly what you need to eat,” he says, and create a personalised fuelling plan.”
For more on VO2 testing, visit Health Matters.