The test that changed the way I look at…Well, everything, Part III

Daryl Hataway’s final installment in his three part series, to read part I, click here, to read part II, click here

My results were pretty cool to read and super eye opening.  I efficiently metabolize fats at a heart rate of 122-147, which is amazing to know during our strenuous workouts.  Even cooler, I found the speed at which I transfer from burning carbs to burning fat, great for the days I am looking to get a good burn on.

I am sure you are asking, “What good does this do?”  TONS!!!! If you are looking to be the most efficient than you have ever been, burning fat, being productive in your workouts, and truly becoming the most effective athlete you can be, this is the true key to fitness and endurance success.  There is no pill, no special pink drink, and no ridiculous calorie restrictions…there is the Metabolic Efficiency Test.

Below is a more accurate description of the test results in their entirety:

The heart rate I told you about (122-147) is the sweet spot for my fat burning. The graphs break it down in different ways based on speed or heart rate, or percentage of fat being burned compared to carbs.

If you focus on the blue line, fats, and focus on the area in each graph where that line stays more constant in the middle, that is my key fat burning zone. Where it drops off is where I then start relying more on carbs. So the key is to stay diligent on those prescribed endurance days, so that I am gleaning all of the benefits of developing the capillary and mitochondrial densities, in addition to training the body to become more efficient utilizing its energy stores.



Athletes have varying goals, some to be faster and stronger, some to lose weight or gain weight, all which could be amazingly influenced by the metabolic efficiency test for the following reasons: 

1.    For those endurance athletes looking for performance, this is key.  It is a fallacy to think you can replace the calories you are expending, and often times, in ultra running events, food intake leads to GI distress and proves to be one of the greatest limiters to performance. So if these athletes can better train their bodies, through proper endurance training coupled with proper nutrition, to utilize existing fuels it is advantageous. This type of met efficiency training is best trained in the off-season.

2.    For those looking to lose weight, the metabolic efficiency test provides that baseline caloric intake need to keep organs healthy, and the met efficiency provides the sweet spot in fat metabolism. As individuals stay diligent in training in this zone they not only improve fat metabolism, but they will extend this zone out and be able to use fats for energy at higher intensity levels.

The knowledge I received from this test will forever be locked in my brain, nagging (in a good way) at me, telling me where I need to be and how I need to get there.  I feel as if I now have the key, the key to absolute success with any of my fitness goals.  At this point it is up to me to make the necessary changes and move forward, unlocking my true potential.


The test that changed the way I look at……. Well, everything Part II

This is part II of Daryl Hataway’s three part series depicting his experience with Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab’s metabolic efficiency test. Click here to read part I


My running shoes are slipped on and the upcoming process was explained. I was asked about my 10K time, about 48 minutes these days, not my best work, but OK.  We were going to be starting the treadmill at 3 MPH and every 4 minutes the speed would be increased by .4 MPH,.  A dab of blood would be taken from my ear each time to measure lactate and then the test would be finished when my “respiratory quotient”, RQ, numbers were over .90 for at least two rounds of the 4 minutes.  Understanding the process, I stood up, got my ear pricked (didn’t even feel it, nothing to be afraid of, and I am TERRIFIED of needles) and walked onto the treadmill, ready for the testing.  I was donned with a sweet oxygen mask and a mouthpiece that fit under my lips, leaving just enough room to drool, which I did a TON of. We adjusted my sweet oxygen helmet, plugged my nose for oxygen exertion consistency, ensuring I was only breathing through my mouth, a dab of blood was taken from my ear to test lactate and we started.  We quickly made it through 3 rounds, the third of which was this really awkward run/walk, making me look as if I had one leg longer than the other, but after four minutes we made it to a slow jog and we were off to the races.

Getting used to breathing only through my nose was tough, but I got used to it as I adjusted to each of the speed increases, hopping off each time to get the blood drawn from my ear, again measuring my lactate.  The running was easy, at a nice comfortable pace, attainable and not super challenging.  The most challenging piece of all of this, beyond the drool like a bull dog, was breathing only through my mouth as the pace increased.  The four minute rounds were always the same: blood from ear, increased speed by .4 MPH.  As we started to get faster, my numbers would increase, I would near the number that was our goal, settle into my pace, and the number would drop, meaning simply that I would need to run a few more of the 4 minute rounds (and that I am kind of an efficient little machine).

About 45 minutes into the test, my numbers stayed consistently above the goal and we were finished with the test, ending at a 7:30 pace, which was somewhat difficult only breathing through my mouth.  We were through, my results were locked into the computer, and Julie politely told me I was a heck of a lot more efficient than I thought I was.

It seemed to end as soon as it began, and it was time for Julie and her team to formulate the numbers for the athlete to understand.


The test that changed the way I look at……. Well, everything  

Daryl Hataway, Mayberry Athletic Club General Manager and Personal Trainer, provides the first post in a series sharing his experience taking Silver Sage’s metabolic efficiency test….

I recently had the opportunity to have some pretty cool testing done, a Metabolic Efficiency Test at Silver Sage Fitness and Sport Lab.  I have written a short, three part series on my experience, why I did it, and why every breathing human interested in bettering themselves as an athlete needs to take this test.  I hope you enjoy…

I have never really had the opportunity to have a lot of sport specific testing done, a few sub-max VO2 max tests here and there, but nothing at the elite level. I am talking tubes, breathing masks, electrodes on the chest, plugged nose kind of testing… the stuff used to really hit the nail on the head when it comes to fitness success.  Tests that truly give us the key to unlock our true potential for any of our fitness and sport specific goals.


As I strolled into The Silver Sage Fitness and Sports Lab, already nervous as to what my immediate future held, I was greeted by a very sweet front desk girl, politely asking my name and reason for visit.  I was asked to fill out the standard, “If we hurt or kill you we aren’t responsible for it” paperwork and I sat down.   Clipboard in hand, I went to fill out the typical doctor’s office visit formalities, but as I peered around before the focus kicked in on the paperwork, I noticed something a little different about this doctor’s office.  Off to my left, a Trek Speed Concept 9 series Triathlon bike….an (ah hem), $11,000.00 bike…seated next to it, a gentlemen, preparing the same paperwork as I was, looking to figure out how to make the most out of that ridiculously beautiful bicycle and match it’s equally ridiculous efficiency, dressed in cycling shorts and a cycling jersey, clipless shoes already on his feet. A bike, let’s remember, even an expensive one, is only as efficient as its rider, and this rider wanted the same knowledge I was seeking:

  • How can I better train my body?
  • How can I choose the right amount of nutrition for that long run or ride?
  • And most importantly, what is my key fat burning heart rate zone?

I was soon taken to the standard doctor’s office room, weighed, measured, and told to remove my shirt for my ECG clearance.  This painless test is a standard for all athletes, essentially making sure the individual has a healthy enough heart for the upcoming test. This part was funny…. New girl + Hairy Italian Daryl = need for a razor and a quick shave so the electrodes will stick.  Unfortunately my first test was inconclusive, so our sweet new girl went for some assistance.  As she re-entered the room, seasoned veteran in tow, they tested again only to find out that my electrodes are placed incorrectly.  The two nurses played a cruel of game of “odds or evens” pulling off the sticky electrodes, jokingly guessing if they got an odd or even amount of my chest hair stuck to the tape, shaved two new places, and re-attached them, this time with a successful reading.  Six more pulls of Daryl’s chest hair and I was allowed to get dressed, await my results, and move on to the next stage, the fun part!!

I was escorted into a pretty normal room, normal for what I was testing for.  There is a treadmill, a rolling computer desk, a bike trainer and Julie Young. THE Julie Young, a U.S cycling pro with one heck of a cycling resume. She stands there, her gentle demeanor and graceful presence, a gleam in her eye, with the knowledge of years of training and competing.  This is not just our average Joe getting me ready for this Metabolic Efficiency test, this is a coach, a competitor and the sweetest cyclist I have ever met.