To train effectively you need to test accurately 

Testing

We provide cycling fitness testing to give you a complete picture of your current fitness. 

Lab Quality Fitness Testing and Assessment from £45.00

Testing is a fundamental part of your training plan, with accurate testing we can define your training zones ensuring the effectiveness of your training effort.  

Whatever you do, test before you start training. Testing will give you an accurate picture of your fitness providing the perfect starting point for your training. With knowledge and understanding of your exercise zones you will be able train effectively and safely to achieve your goals from the start.

Each of us is unique with our own optimal training zones. Your exercise zones cannot be accurately calculated without testing. The non-test calculated training/exercise zones we have all seen are based on age, weight and averages, but no one is an average. Your maximum heart rate and therefore your exercise zones are based on your individual physiology. Figures calculated without testing can be wildly inaccurate and as such would have negative consequences with regard to your training not to mention your ability to accurately pace yourself in events.

Fitness is always changing and so regular testing is vital, not just to measure improvements in performance but more importantly to pinpoint your exercise zones and therefore allow you to “to train smart”, by allowing you to continue to accurately target your work intervals therefore safely maximizing your potential gains. This regular or periodic testing is an essential element and a fundamentally pillar of any effective training plan. With accurate testing your training will without doubt be more productive. If you know accurately where an exercise zones begin and ends and critically where you reach threshold you can target your session and work outs exactly. As we have said these figures move constantly as you gain or lose fitness and form, not testing or inaccurate testing will result in you not achieving your potential, if threshold is assessed to high it could result in failure to complete training sessions, over exertion, fatigue and perhaps injury or overreaching leading to over training. If too low it will result in ineffective training will not produce the desired results and adaptations within your body.

You can test yourself perhaps using the Threshold Test described later within this chapter, self-testing is open to more variation but with practice and increased understand it can be extremely accurate.   However without the necessary knowledge or equipment it is easy to draw the wrong conclusions about your strengths and weaknesses which can lead to bad future training decisions. To avoid any question of accuracy you can also test with us at Bpm Coaching or at another independent facility with testing equipment designed to access your exercise zones accurately. 

At Bpm Coaching we provide fitness testing to give you a complete picture of your current fitness.we test you to accurately assess your exercise zones on state of equipment using two different methods that utilise the best in clinical testing equipment via graded exercise tests where your body is subjected to gradually increasing exercise levels. A test is no more challenging than a short steep climb.

We attach a heart rate sensor and a lactate sensor or face mask breather. You perform a controlled graded session on a state of the art static trainer. When the test is complete you cool down and we calculate the results.

Methods of Testing With BPM Coaching

Option 1: We can test to pinpoint lactate threshold and therefore access training zones based on both heart rate and power using medical grade LED non intrusive technology. This system is non-intrusive in that blood samples are not taken; instead we use medical grade LEDs to look into your calf muscle to constantly monitor cellular changes with regard to blood lactate, accurately accessing the point of lactate threshold from which your unique exercise zones are calculated for both Heart rate and power.

Non intrusive lactate threshold test using medical LED technology to access lactate threshold and exercise zones £40.00 per test

Option 2: We perform metabolic testing using the Korr Cardiocoach to conduct the panicle of fitness assessments, clinically measuring your ability to transport and utilise oxygen, this is the gold standard method to establish an accurate measurement of fitness. We measure the body’s metabolic status and performance at each of the exercise levels by measuring oxygen consumption (Vo2) the data gathered during the test will then accurately calculate the following: -

  • Targeted exercise zones
  • Aerobic & Anaerobic threshold 
  • Maximal oxygen consumption
  • Calories burned at different exercise zone

Vo2 testing using the Korr Cardiocoach to access exercise zones £75 per test

In addition we will give you a body composition assessment, which will include body fat percentage, total body water percentage, visceral fat rating, metabolic rate metabolic age and daily calorie intake using the Tanita Innerscan.

Lab testing every month is ideal scenario for the dedicated athlete, however testing every 3 months to back up your own monthly testing ensuring you are on track is extremely beneficial . One off testing every year at the start of a training plan ensures that you commence your training at the correct intensity, is also extremely beneficial and highly recommended.

To book email: bpmcoaching@gmail.com

Self Test

When self testing try to make the same test at the same point in the training period or month, under as near as possible the same conditions, using the same equipment. Power meters for example work to tolerance of accuracy so if you use two different meters that are perhaps 5% adrift of each other you could be performing sessions in completely the wrong training zone.  This will result in not achieving potential, could result in failure to complete sessions and could result in injury. If you use the same meter its accuracy is in many ways immaterial. 

Measure your HR and if possible cadence and power and always ensure you are rested before you test. The more you test the better at testing you become and as a result your sessions will be more productive. There are many protocols to test performance. Some are simple such as perhaps just measuring the distance covered over a fixed time or the time taken to cover a fixed distance. However testing FTP is far more useful as the result can then be used to target further training.

Threshold Test on the road or on a Static trainer

Your goal in this test is to average the highest watts possible for a 20 minute period of time. When you get to the main effort, make sure to pace yourself so that you don’t tire too quickly. It must also be said that test takes practice and the more you perform them the better you become at producing an accurate result.

1. Start out with a 20-minute warm-up, which means building up to and then just riding along at a moderate pace, at about 65% of your max heart rate (HR) zone 2, which is what we call your endurance pace. (Be sure to do the same warm-up at the same intensity each time you do the test.)

2. Next do three 1 minute fast-pedaling efforts at 100 rpm, with one minute of easy recovery pedaling between each fast pedaling effort. After these three sets of fast pedaling, ride easy for five minutes at endurance pace (65% of max HR) zone 2.

 Now the real work begins.

3. Do a 30-minute time trial. If outdoor try to do this on a road where you can maintain your effort, a steady climb or fairly flat road and allows you to put out a strong pace throughout the test.  Use the first 10 minutes to steadily build the effort so that the last 20 minutes is at your best sustainable pace. Don’t start out too hard! Get up to speed and then try to hold that speed as steadily you can, then going as hard as you can at the end. If you’ve never done one of these efforts before, I suggest trying it on a steady climb or into a slight headwind, which forces you to put out a maximum effort for the entire 20 minutes.

6. Finish the ride with 10-15 minutes easy pedaling.

Your goal in the main portion of the test (the 20-minute segment) is to produce the highest average watts possible over the entire time. The test doesn’t work if you start out too hard in the buildup and suddenly run out of energy, because you won’t be able to produce your true maximal, steady-state power. It’s always better to start out a little under what you believe to be your FTP, build up along the way, and then ride at your maximum level in the last three minutes.

Now that you’ve done the test and downloaded your data, find your average power and HR from the entire 20-minute effort. Take this number and subtract 5% percent from it. The result is your functional threshold wattage value or FTP (Functional Threshold Power) and Heart Rate. For example, if you averaged 260 watts during the 20-minute time trial, 5% of 260 (260 x 0.05) is 13, and 260 minus 13 is 247. Your FTP is 247 watts. Do the same for your HR. Check your average HR against your FTP.

The reason for subtracting 5% from your average watts during the 20-minute test is that your true FTP is the highest average power you can maintain for sixty minutes. Most athletes have a hard time putting out maximal effort for sixty minutes, however, and those who can learn very quickly that a sixty-minute time trial is not much fun and extremely fatiguing. Twenty minutes is a more realistic time frame. A shorter time period, however incorporates more of the athlete’s anaerobic capacity, which skews the wattage data by about 5%. By subtracting that 5%, you end up with a wattage number that should be very close to your true FTP over a sixty-minute effort.

FTP and heart rate exercise zones:

Once you have calculated your FTP or FTHR score, you can use this table to calculate your training zones:

Exercise Zone Table

Intensity    Name                              FTP            Heart Rate    RPE Scale    Sensation
Zone 1       Active Recovery            <55%          <68%              10-11            Light
Zone 2       Endurance                      56-75%       69-83%          12-13            Moderate
Zone 3       Tempo                             76-90%       84-94%          14-16            Hard
Zone 4       Threshold                       91-105%     65-105%        17-19    Very Hard
Zone 5       Vo2 Max                         106-120%    >106%           20         Maximal
Zone 6       Anaerobic Capacity      >121%         N/A             >20         Maximal Plus
Zone 7       Neuromuscular             N/A             N/A             >20        N/A

Maximum Heart rate Test

This is the most basic of tests that will allow you to calculate your Heart rate based exercise zones using the exercise zone table once you have tested and discovered your maximum exercise Heart rate.

 Firstly warm up thoroughly for at least 15 minutes. On a long, steady hill or turbo at a moderate resistance start off fairly briskly and increase your effort every minute. Do this seated for at least five minutes until you can’t go any faster. At this point get out of the saddle and sprint as hard as you can for 15 seconds. Stop and get off the bike and immediately check your HR reading. This is your max HR.

Your max HR figure is sport specific so for example your maximum on a bike will invariably be much lower than it is when you're running. There are a couple of theories on why.  One of those theories is that the bike is taking some of your weight. The other is that cyclists are better at cycling than running and runners are better at running than cycling. 

Testing With BPM Coaching

We provide cycling fitness testing to give you a complete picture of your current fitness. This includes measuring Vo2 Max, discerning the maximum capacity of an individual’s ability to transport and use oxygen, maximal aerobic power output and also lactate thresholds and associated heart rates/power outputs. a popular method to establish a base measurement of fitness and therefore the perfect start point for your training plan. A V02 max reading alone is not an absolute value that can be used to make a direct comparison of fitness between riders. It’s measured in the litres of oxygen used by the rider each minute. The V02 max reading varies with body size. Your report gives two values for V02 max the absolute value and V02 max relative to your body weight. We recommend you take full advantage of these state of art facilities by booking a full test before planning your training.