In two previous posts we discussed who can benefit from testing and what tests are available and what they deliver. To read part I, click here, to read part II, click here. Today we offer our thoughts on the value of testing.
Part III – Why Test?
Physiologic testing provides invaluable understanding to empower athletes and improve their training. Often, we find that it’s the person relatively new to exercise who often benefits the most from testing. Through the testing process, athletes gain a deeper understanding of how the resulting individualized training zones connect to their unique fitness goals. This information can take an athlete from unproductively and mindlessly going through the motions to purposeful, motivated daily workouts.
Testing helps the athlete, from recreation to elite, avoid common training pitfalls and optimally focus each day’s workout toward achieving the ultimate goal. As a result of testing, individuals learn and understand the importance of quality intensity and quality rest, and incorporating variety in to the weekly training plan.
Many recreational and master athletes have a limited time frame for exercise and do the same activity at the same intensity, every day. We all know that person who diligently runs for 30 minutes and is mystified why he/she is not experiencing fitness gains and results.
Successful training plans – at every level – are based on gradual progression and systematic variety of elements relative to each individual’s current fitness and future goals. A well-structured training plan utilizes an individual’s training zones to develop a program that progressively stresses/challenges the body’s central (heart and lungs) and peripheral (skeletal muscle) components, while countering the work load with rest and recovery. This plan reduces plateaus and achieves continual fitness gains.
Physiologic testing provides the tools to help us educate our clients on the importance of quality intensity (at varying intensity levels) and quality rest, guided by the testing derived heart rate/power zones to deliver effective results.
Andy Pasternak established and owns Silver Sage Center for Family Medicine, as well as Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab. Julie Young is the Director of Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab and owner/head coach-performance trainer at o2fitness Coaching and Training.