Self-service metabolic testing?

Maybe some of you read about the whole topic of remote metabolic testing lately. At the moment there are only very few companies who offer a test procedure that feeds into some algorithm that can calculate your VO2max, VLamax, thresholds, fatmax and so on. If you’re aware of that topic you probably mostly heard about one company who works with few WT teams and the test costs around 120-180USD/Euro.

I was fairly intrigued by that topic but the price point seemed rather unreasonbly high for running data through an algorithm. As a consequence I had a look at the papers and studies regarding the topic and developed my own implementation of such algorithm. Since I don’t have my own sport science lab and hundreds of metabolic lab tests I could only compare and validate my results against theirs (approx 50+ reports) and since the numbers are basically indistinguishably close, I think it’s a very decent outcome so far.

I already provided some free metabolic tests to a few TrainerRoad community members who provided me with their initial metabolic report test and to be honest I’m not quite sure how to progress with this. Right now, I have a desktop implementation with no UI that creates pdf reports and a working proof of concept website that would need a ton of polish and backend to be properly useable for actual users.

My question is:
Do you think there’s a market for self-service remote metabolic testing if it’s a lot cheaper than the only current offer? For example, if it involved only very little to no personal support, I think it could be as cheap as 10 USD/Euro per test.

Please let me know what you think.


I think this would be a great service if operational and I am pretty sure people would pay $10 for it once it is established (good reviews, some example data for comparison).

I would do so myself because I am interested in these numbers, but simply can’t justify paying $180 for INSCYD’s PPD when they just push a few buttons for me.

Problems might arise if people don’t follow the testing instructions properly, get bad numbers and then blame the product.

I’ve seen the data and compared against Inscyd and it’s spot on!

As I already mentioned in our messages, I would definitely be interested in this and would happily pay 10 Euros each time to run my data through your algorithm!

I would be interesting with this type of test! It’s great idea and 10euro/usd is not too much for the product. I’m in :slight_smile: !

What do you expect from the result when you know the metabolism based
from VO2max, VLamax, thresholds, fatmax and so on?

The metabolism cannot be changed so quickly, you have to see how you eat throughout the day in order to control fat burning or carb burning.

I’ve been experimenting with Lumen since the beginning of the year, the results are great, I control my food and can eat in a targeted manner and i know, when i need more carbs for my training

Sorry, my english is not the best!

If you know what metabolic path is used in different zones you can adjust your training to it. You can target specific energy system better. Yes, it takes time to change it but it is what it is - your body needs time to adapt to the training. After a few lab tests I know that I need to work on my fat metabolism (I start take my energy from carbohydrates very quickly) and my coach build my training schedule around the results.

interesting, with Lumen i know arround 30-45mins (when i do the measurement) after my Training if i am back on fat burning or not, when i am on fat burning before the training i know, i need some fast carbs (Lumen knows how much carbs, depends on the duration of the training)

I don’t know what Lumen is, I have to check it. What I’m talking about is test energy systems during an exercise/stress test. You can check how much fat/carbohydrates you use in different zones. The goal is to use fat as long as possible to use carbohydrates when you really need it during the race. It all depends on your goals/target events. But for me (long hilly races or gravel races ~150km with 3000+ of elevation gain) it very important to save stored glycogen for the key moments of the race.

ahh, OK, look here:

5k runner made a Review:

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Yes, @bolton summed up the whole idea behind it quite nicely.
The goal of metabolic testing is to properly inform you about the underlying physiology. Something that a 20min or ramp test simply cannot provide that easily.

The model is based on Maders’ work on muscle glycolysis. For example some of the graphs regarding fat/carb ox look like that:


I would be interested.
I would also be interested if the output could provide recommendations on what to do with and about your results so that I can go away and make some changes to my training, diet, … and then come back an re test to see if I have made any change.

Out of curiosity, are you using Maders earlier paper on anaerobic threshold, or his 2003 paper on glyco and phosphorylation? I have those papers and want to do what you’re doing since I have a metabolic cart and blood lactate at home. I just haven’t sat down to code them.

Do you mind sharing how straightforward coding the equations were?

This is awesome! Would be happy to pay. What language did you write the code in?

I think you can easily deploy as a web app and charge a fee. Along with the immediate economic benefit, you’ll accumulate user data that has its own value. Look at TR, they’ve accumulated lots of user data that is helping them create new products / features, which justifies a rising price. Good thing I’m grandfathered into an old rate! :grin:

Well, there is some advice out there how to adjust your training depending on your metabolic profile but it depends a lot on your current state and the goal event. As far as I know, with the current option on the market the coaches who offer the service provide usually some basic recommendation (obviously massively depending on how much they charge for the remote test…)

Basic guidelines in some sort of article/youtube video on how to interpret the result and training plan adjustments shouldn’t be a big problem.

Interesting! Correct, the 2003 glycolysis paper is a very good start but I probably read almost all of Mader’s publications and a lot of those they cite him.
The pyruvate calculations were actually really straightforward and the first prototype was done in a very short amount of time. The tricky part was to calculate VO2max and VLamax from those all-out efforts. Those equations aren’t published but rather “hinted” how they work. Also, those involve (as all of those equations) a ton of “magic numbers”.

However, if you’re interested you could do your garage lab test first and after that do another test with my algorithm implementation to have (n=1) validation.

It’s written in python because I did most of the first prototyping with jupyter notebook. That made it really easy to create a website proof of concept with django as well.



Can your algorithm incorporate VO2 and blood lactate data? I’d be interested in performing an assessment in my garage, and then that data in the algorithm. I’m assuming the VO2 and blood lactate data would help fit the curves more better?

What’s the standard cycling protocol for the test? I can try one this week.

Any reason you can’t code this into a spreadsheet? I live in Excel and use VBA, so that’s where I’m starting. I only intending on using this personally.

Yes, sure. Actually I use blood lactate myself so I can skip some efforts of the protocol.

Never did a VO2 measurement and I have no academic background in sport science but I assumed that you can calculate fat oxidation from the O2/CO2 relations? So there would be no real need for that algorithm anyway.

Regarding the metabolic testing from power only procedure:

  • 20seconds all-out sprint (it’s important that you don’t pedal for ~2min before that effort and start from 0W)
  • 3min all-out
  • 5-7min all-out
  • 10-12min all-out

If you know your MLSS from blood lactate testing you can skip the last two efforts. That’s what I mentioned before.