The new wave of fitness testing is upon us: Metabolic Testing. All across the country, mini-labs are popping up at local gyms and fitness centers, as well as in specialized studios, with the goal of giving you all the info you need to eat and exercise properly, and to achieve your weight and fitness goals.
Once privy only to athletes and the like, now anyone can get this integral knowledge to create a healthier lifestyle, while maximizing the results you get from your workout.
I recently visited NCEP (www.metabolicrxtesting.com) in Redondo Beach, Calif. to get my comprehensive metabolic assessment done. Owner Mike DeMora shared with me his extensive metabolic knowledge throughout my visit. First, we assessed my resting metabolic rate (RMR), which lets me know exactly how many calories my body burns while resting. This was the fun and easy part — I basically sat there, wearing a stormtrooper-like mask with a tube that tracks breathing and oxygen intake. I reclined in a special chair and simply breathed for about eight minutes.
The results of RMR testing determines an exact range of caloric intake to stay within to shed pounds and below to prevent weight gain. Going below this range plunges you into a realm you do not want to be in – because if you consume too little, your body actually starts to eat away its own muscle tissues and organs, a process called catabolism. You also may start burning carbs, which convert to sugar, rather than fat and calories. A healthy person will burn at least 70 percent of fat and only 30 percent of carbs at rest.
When your body predominantly burns sugar instead of those preferred energy-dense fat calories, not only do you spend more time trying to lose the fat, you also cause unnecessary soreness, get hungry after your workout and risk injury as your body tires out. I happily discovered that I could eat a little more than I thought without gaining weight! What could be better than this?
Next, we did VO2 Max Testing, which is perfect for athletes, those training for a marathon, triathlon or other special challenge, or anyone who simply wants to know the range their heart rate should be in to train safely. The exercise machines at the gym give you the range for your age, but they do not take into account the fact that everyone has their own unique metabolic profile.
Those generic ranges may be extremely inaccurate for many individuals, especially those who have metabolic issues. Often times, people actually work out too intensely! For this test, I once gain donned the special stormtrooper mask and a heart rate monitor, and jumped on the treadmill. Each minute, Mike increased the speed until I was at my max, and then I held that pace for one full minute. A quick cool down later, and I was finished.
The VO2 Max Testing measures how efficiently the body burns calories while exercising. I found out that, probably due to some metabolic damage, the range my heart rate should be in while training is significantly lower than the “average” for my age range (or at least what the equipment at my local gym says).
This explains why I’ve had an extremely difficult time when pushing myself too hard, and why breathing gets increasingly difficult at certain intensities. Mike helped me tweak my workout, and I can gauge it again by getting tested in several months. In fact, experts recommend retesting every few months, using the same variables, so that individuals can gradually increase workout intensity and boost metabolism.
“If you don’t get tested to find out your unique metabolic profile, it is as if you are training blindly,” Mike said. “If you are ill and don’t know what is wrong with you, you go to the doctor to find out; you don’t guess. If your training is sick, you shouldn’t leave your training up to guesswork either.”
Having this information is truly life changing; the knowledge you gain can help you achieve real results in less time and with greater ease. The detailed, scientific results you get from a metabolic assessment will help you determine your correct workout intensity, length of exercise and proper nutrition. For more information, visit www.metabolicrxtesting.com or call Mike at 310.430.4664.
Chaton Anderson is a Writer and the Publicity Director for TheSavvyGal.com. A product and pop culture addict, she is always looking for the coolest, hippest things on the market, as well as the newest health and fitness trends to hit the scene. Email her at Chaton@TheSavvyGal.com with questions or leads on products and services on the cutting edge.