Metabolism Assessment FAQ

Q: Do I need to be fit or get in shape before doing the test?

Absolutely NOT!  This is a common myth.  In fact, it actually defeats the purpose!  The entire idea of the assessment is to get a baseline or “snapshot” of your current metabolic profile and determine the most effective way to get your results based on the test data.

Training without the test data is essentially guessing and you will likely end up putting in more effort, time, and frustration than necessary.  It’s best to get the test at the beginning of your journey, apply our recommendations, and get better results in less time!

Q: How hard is the test?  I’ve heard scary stories!  What can I expect?

There is no need to worry!  The Resting Metabolic Assessment (RMR) is the easiest test you will ever do.  Basically, you sit in a chair, relax, and breathe casually for about 20 minutes.  Think you can handle that!

The Exercise Metabolism Assessment (VO2max) is more challenging, but it is always up to you when to stop.  Our coaches will challenge and encourage you to continue to a maximal level, but our main goal is to reach Anaerobic Threshold (AT).  This is a moderate level and the point where you switch from using fat for fuel to using carbohydrates (At your assessment we will explain more about this important marker and how it relates to your training plan).

While it may be above the level you are used to working at, virtually everyone is physically capable of reaching this point without too much struggle.  Anything past here is considered a bonus and will show us the capacity of your anaerobic system (also important).

You will start off at a walk (if doing treadmill test) and the speed will increase each minute until a pre-determined speed (one that is challenging, but that you can hold for 5-8 minutes).  After this point, the incline of the treadmill will increase until you are unable to continue at that pace.  This end point is followed by a 2 minute recorded recovery walk (after this you can continue to recover as long as needed).

I usually tell people that the Exercise Metabolism Test is only 2 minutes of hard work…but I get to tell you when that 2 minutes starts!

Q: How long is the test?

Each appointment is 60 minutes in length, but the actual assessment takes about 15 minutes.  The remainder of the time is used to complete a detailed consultation on the results and ensure that you understand everything necessary to get started on your plan for successfully improving your metabolic results.

Q: How accurate are the results?

The main sensors in our metabolic cart systems are optimized to measure the volume and ratios of Oxygen (O2), and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and are the same lab quality sensors found in world class physiology labs around the world and hundreds of University Human performance Laboratories.

Our system is manufactured by iWorx, a global leader in physiology and medical testing equipment and provides all of the important sensors and software for performing metabolism assessments on healthy populations.

Q: How long have you been providing these tests?

FRESH! Fitness has been providing these assessment services in Calgary since 2003.  In fact, we were the first company in Calgary to have this system and the first to provide metabolism testing on a mobile basis.

Tim Borys, the owner of FRESHFitness is a leader in the education and interpretation of metabolism assessment results.  He has been hired multiple times to train other practitioners in the use of this system.  All staff at FRESH! Fitness must have University level anatomy and physiology education in addition to completing a rigorous internal education program and practical internship on the system prior to providing assessment services to clients.

You can be sure that with FRESH!, you are in the most capable hands for Calgary metabolism assessment services.

Q: Can I do both tests in the same day?

Yes, you can do both tests on the same day, but there are some scheduling considerations to be aware of.

The Resting Metabolism Assessment (RMR) requires a 12-hour fast where you consume nothing but water for 12 hours prior to testing.  For this reason, the RMR assessments are completed in the morning.  That way you have dinner the night before, have a good sleep, and do the test first thing in the morning BEFORE breakfast.  You can eat immediately after the assessment.

We would then wait approximately 3-4 hours for your food to be absorbed and accessible for your exercise assessment.  There are many people who choose this route and it works well if you want to get everything done in a single day.  Otherwise we would book you for assessments on different days.

Q: What if I have an injury or limitation and can’t run?

Resting Metabolism Assessments (RMR) may be done despite most injuries because you will merely be sitting comfortably in a chair for approximately 20 minutes.  Unless your injury precludes you from doing this, you will be fine.

If you are injured and unable to properly exercise, then it is best to let your injury heal and book your test for a later date.  You may still purchase your test now and reserve a later time slot.

If you have an on-going physical limitation (rather than an acute injury), the experts at FRESH! can work with you to create a custom exercise protocol using virtually any machine (stepper, bike, treadmill, rower, elliptical, etc.) to accommodate your limitation.

With that being said, the treadmill is still the best and most versatile way to perform Exercise Metabolism Assessment.

Q: I’m a triathlete, should I do bike or run testing?

Both tests will provide excellent mode-specific metabolism information and triathletes are strongly encouraged to test in both disciplines to get the most accurate and appropriate information for creating your bike and run training program.

If you are thinking about starting with one test, it is generally recommended to start with your treadmill test.  This is because the weight bearing nature of running makes it easier to reach higher heart rate zones.  Only very elite cyclists will be comparable in bike/run assessment measures.

Q: What do I need to bring to the testing?

When you register for your test, you will receive a detailed description of the preparation needed, a forms package to complete, and instructions for getting to our studio (if you need them).

You can sign up for your assessment by clicking the appropriate link below.  If you would like to sign up for both, choose the one you would like to do first, and we will add the second test to your account when we receive your order.

Q: What does the test cost?

Your initial assessment (Resting or Exercise) is $199.00 and any future tests (either type) are $179.00.  This rate includes the 60 minute assessment appointment, the post-test consultation, a detailed report of the results (usually between 7 to 11 pages of detailed information) that contains high value colour graphs, training recommendations, test data, and phone/email support following your consultation.

NOTE: You can find tests for less money. However, virtually all those fees are ONLY for the test. You won't get a consultation, detailed explanation of the results, or training recommendations. The test results are useless without understanding how to properly apply them to your ongoing training program.

Considering these details, FRESH! is by far the best value in Calgary Metabolism Assessment services.