Metabolic and VO2Max Testing

On July 7, I had a Metabolic and a VO2 max test.  I worked with Angie Sturtevant from SSP Specialists in Sports Performance in Madison WI (   Check out the link to see more from Angie about the testing:  I decided to have the metabolic testing done after reading a book by Bob Seebohar, Metabolic Efficiency Training.  More info from Bob can be found at

The testing revealed a few interesting things.  First, I was able to find my maximum rate for fat burning which is around 220-230 watts and 137 BPM.  At the level, I am burning 7.6 kcal/min of fat and 8.2 kcal/min of carbohydrates or total of 15.8kcal/min.  Next, my max aerobic level was at 280 watts and my lactic threshold was at 300 watts.  At my aerobic max, I was burning 3 kcal/min of fat and 16.5 kcal/min of carbohydrates or 19.5 kcal/min with a heart rate of 158, and my VO2 was at 3904 ml/min.  At my Lactate Threshold, I was at 1.2 kcals/min of fat and 21.3 kcals/min of carbohydrates with a heart rate of 168, 300 watts, and my Vo2 was at 4468 ml/min.  What does this mean to me?  First, I will want to stay at 220-230 watts and keep my heart rate around 137 BMP for my long and easy days.   This will help maximize the number of fat calories burned and help keep the carb burning lower on the long rides.   It was also interesting to directly see how many calories of carbohydrates that I am burning at the different levels.  This can help me better formulate a nutrition and recovery plan for longer races.  The testing confirmed what I already knew, which was that my LT at the time was around 300.  

The graph below shows one output I got from the testing.  There is a whole bunch of other interesting info but too much for right now.  The protocol for the test was to increase the power level by 20 watts every 2 minutes while I held a steady cadence of around 90 RPMs.  The red line is my heart rate, the green dots are my %Carbohydrates being burned, the yellow dots are my %Fat being burned.  You can see how the amount of carbohydrates burned goes up as the intensity goes up and the amount of fat burned goes down just as fast.


 At my VO2 Max, my power level was at 470 watts and my VO2 was at 4804 ml/min.  At VO2 max, I was burning no fat and 24.3 kcals/min of carbohydrates and my heart rate was 177.  My weight was at 190 lbs which yielded a VO2 Max of 55.7 ml/kg/min.  I am work on lower my weight to 165-170 lbs over the winter.  I am targeting to get my VO2 Max to 65.  If I get my weight down to 170 and I am able to raise my VO2 ml/min from 4800 to 5000.  I should be able to achieve a VO2 Max of 65. 

  1. Current VO2 is 55.7
  2. Drop weight to 170 should increase
    1. VO55.7×190/170 = 62
  3. Increase O2 volume
    1. 55.7×5000/4800 = 58
  4. Goal 65 = 55.7*190/170*5000/4800=65

I am planning to get retested after Memorial day.  I am not very interested in what my actually VO2 Max numbers are, but I am more interested in seeing if I am able to raise my VO2 volume from 4804 ml/min to a higher number based upon my training.

    Ride Hard,