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LifeStyle Engineering : : Excellence in Fitness & Exercise Services
LifeStyle Engineering : : Excellence in Fitness & Exercise Services

Metabolic Testing FAQ

Gas Exchange

Q: What will I learn from the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) Test?
Your (RMR) is the number of calories per day that your body requires in order to maintain life at rest. By measuring Oxygen consumption and Carbon dioxide production, this assessment provides a scientifically sound and reliable measurement. If you know your RMR you can adjust your daily caloric intake (diet) and output (exercise) to help you either lose or maintain your weight. It will also reveal if you are an effective "fat burner". A specialized exercise program can then be designed to help you train your body to be a better fat burner!

Q: What is an Active Metabolic Test (VO2)?
This test measures the body's specific physiological response to exercise. While you are on your favorite stationary training apparatus, you will breath into the Gas Analyzer. Oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production and heart rate are measured to determine the amount of calories, from fat and carbohydrate, you burn at different heart rate intensities during your workout.

Results show you, among other things, where your body burns the most calories, the most calories from fat, max heart rate during performance, over all capacity to perform, chemical zones, as well as overall Cardiovascular Health Rating. Let us help you design a personalized zone training program for you weather your goal is weight loss, maintenance or performance.

Q: What is Zone Training?
Teach your body to be more efficient at burning fat as a fuel or maximize your time, with a scientifically designed Cardiovascular Training Program. Using a heart rate monitor you will be able to control your intensity, maximizing your results to attain your goals safely. This is also a great method to maximize time-spent training.

Q: What are the advantages of breath-by-breath metabolic testing?
The advantages of Gas Exchange Metabolic Testing over conventional estimated fitness tests are that Gas Exchange Testing measures several parameters during exercise including: the Heart Rate, the amount of Oxygen consumed, and the amount of Carbon Dioxide produced.

Exercise Professionals with a 4 year degree, or more, in Exercise Physiology are educated in this testing format, and are able to read the intricate raw data produced.

It can evaluate a defect in the pulmonary system, the cardiovascular system or a defect simply secondary to obesity or deconditioning.

More importantly, it can "pinpoint" the weak link in the chain of exercise intolerance, and identify the most effective intensities to exercise at. No matter what your goal, the scientific facts are critical in this equation.


Conventional fitness tests only look at a client's projected heart rate during one particular exercise, the Monark Bicycle.

The results of metabolic analysis are highly accurate. Metabolic testing has been in use for over 20 years throughout the country, at the most highly accredited Health and Wellness Facilities.


Q: Who can be tested?
Cardiopulmonary Exercise & Metabolic Testing offers a host of benefits to many people.

For people with shortness of breath, Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing can indicate whether a problem is psychological or physiological. It can determine whether the cause of the shortness of breath is cardiac or pulmonary in nature or whether it is secondary to muscle disease or deconditioning.

For athletes, Metabolic Testing can determine peak performance and guide training programs. This type of testing is utilized by many professional and Olympic athletic teams.

For people who wish to gain or lose weight, Metabolic Testing can give your physician or Exercise Physiologist the information necessary to prescribe a safe and healthy weight control program.

Q: How are the cardiopulmonary stress tests performed?
The Cardiopulmonary exercise test is typically performed on a stationary bike or treadmill against an increasing resistance. This exercise is similar to riding up a hill, with the hill gradually becoming steeper as you progress.

While the testing is performed, the patient is breathing into and out ¬of tubing which is connected to extremely sensitive analyzers. At this time, several things are monitored and analyzed:

  1. The amount of air the patient breathes¬ in and blows¬out (expires) is measured breath by breath. This gas is also instantly analyzed to determine the amount of oxygen consumed, and carbon dioxide produced.
  2. The patient's arterial blood is analyzed for oxygen and carbon dioxide content.
  3. The patient's heart rate, electrocardiogram and blood pressure are continuously monitored throughout the test.

The patient is exercised to their limit, as long as they do not develop a danger signal such as a severe drop in blood pressure, a change in the electrocardiogram, or chest pain.

Indirect Calorimetry is performed by breathing into and out of a "bubble." The patient rests in a reclining chair and can read, sleep or listen to music. The apparatus is comfortable and completely non¬confining.

Q: Why is your burn rate important?
In medical terms, your RMR, or resting metabolic rate, is the rate at which your body burns calories while at rest. 

So why is this important?  In order to determine caloric intake for weight loss, gain, or maintenance, we must first and foremost know the RMR.  Until now, this has been "averaged" by dietitians, nutritionists, and physicians based off of an individual's current weight, height, age, and gender. 

By simply breathing into our New Leaf Gas analyzer system, we are able to calculate an individual's unique RMR based off of oxygen consumption.  For every calorie we burn, we consume a fixed amount of oxygen. By measuring oxygen consumption then we can calculate the caloric burn rate.  This allows for a precise baseline in which we may then formulate nutritional and exercise guidelines.  It also allows us to see beforehand if an individual has a slow, fast, or normal metabolism.  If a metabolism is abnormally slow, it may hinder weight loss even if that individual restricts their caloric intake.  

Many individuals severely restrict their caloric intake when trying to shed unwanted pounds.  This can actually cause an adverse affect, causing the metabolism to slow.  This is why we so often see individuals not losing the weight while they are consuming low caloric intake.

Why estimate when so much effort is involved in weight maintenance?  Understand your body and yours alone!

Dietary Goals & Indirect Calorimetry
Patients who are trying to lose or gain weight, are greatly assisted by the precise knowledge of how much energy they expend while resting.
A major impediment to continued weight loss is the decrease in energy utilization that occurs with dieting. This makes it even more difficult to lose weight. By following total caloric utilization throughout the dietary program, diet and exercise suggestions can be constantly adjusted and refined.
By considering a patient's energy needs and accounting for activity, specific caloric intake can be advised so they can reach their weight goal.

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