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About Our Metabolic Lab

First measure, then improve

The Metabolic/VO2 assessment lab at ARB Cyclery offers superior metabolic testing services for world class professional athletes, serious amateurs, weekend warriors as well as those just starting an exercise program.  True to the SoCal Endurance Lab's motto of "First measure - then improve," our testing center allows you to measure your fitness level and determine your strengths and weaknesses.  Return visits then allow you to objectively measure your progress as an athlete.

What Separates ARB's Metabolic Lab from Others?
A comprehensive metabolic stress test is considered by many to be the gold standard of fitness assessments for endurance athletes. Each individual, regardless of their age or fitness level, has a unique cardio/power metabolic profile.

Metabolic testing at ARB Cyclery is conducted by Saul Blau of Power to the Pedals (P2P), a pioneer in exercise physiology, specifically as it relates to cardio-metabolic testing. There are few people in the industry who can match Mr. Blau's credentials and experience.

Saul Blau, MS

Saul Blau, MS

Assessments Conducted
by Saul Blau, MS, Owner
of "Power to the Pedals",
LLC

Mr. Blau has a Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology and over twenty (20) years of experience in metabolic assessment and heart rate training prescription. He has conducted metabolic tests on over 12,000 people during this time. 

From 1985-1998, Mr. Blau partnered with Olympic Cycling Team Cardiologist Dr. Herman Falsetti at Health Corporation. Working with renowned cycling coach Eddie Borysewicz ("Eddy B"). Mr. Blau conducted cardio-metabolic testing on members of the Subaru-Montgomery and US Postal Cycling Teams. Cyclists tested include Lance Armstrong (pre- and post-cancer), George Hincapie, Bobby Julich, Tyler Hamilton, Andy Hampsten, Bart Bowen, Ken Carpenter, and Michael Carter to name a few. 

Mr. Blau's list of clientele is extensive. He has tested many professional athletes in team sports including members of the New York Giants football team (including Michael Strahan), the Anaheim Ducks and LA Kings hockey teams, and the Toronto Raptors basketball team, as well as individual athletes such as 2006 Olympic Figure Skating Silver Medalist, Sasha Cohen, 2-time Hawaii Ironman Triathlon winner, Scott Tinsley and 3-time New York City Marathon winner, Alberto Salazar. 

Mr. Blau has conducted extensive research into cardio-metabolic assessment and using metabolic markers to partition energy systems and Heart Rate Zones and owns a US User's Patent Titled: "System and Method for Cardio-Respiratory Conditioning" awarded in 2001.

Superior Medical-Grade Metabolic Testing Equipment
A key difference between ARB's testing facility and many others out there is the quality of the metabolic analyzer equipment. At our lab, we use true medical-grade equipment, as opposed to lesser systems such as New Leaf & Korr which are used in other facilities. This ensures you will receive the most accurate metabolic data from your test as well as consistency across multiple tests.

All metabolic testing will be conducted by Saul Blau, MS, owner of Power to the Pedals - VO2 Metabolic Assessment Lab, at ARB Cyclery. All tests will utilize the highest quality SensorMedics medical grade Vmax system. The Vmax System uses two known medical grade cal gases (registered at 0.02% chemical accuracy) plus room to air to assure consistent repeatable accuracy for each test. Saul is a stickler for accuracy and operates under the premise "If it's not accurate and repeatable, it's not science".

For all cycling tests, your own bike will be attached to a Velodyne cycle ergometer. The Velodyne is widely known as one of the most accurate and consistent machines ever made for measuring wattage and adjusting known workload. With the results of your metabolic assessment, training zones for power (wattage) and heart rate (bpm) will be setup for you, so that you can gain the same training advantages the pro's use.

Synergistic Location
The Power to the Pedals Metabolic testing facility is only one of the key service components of ARB Cyclery and is part of our larger SoCal Endurance Lab. In addition to getting your body's unique physiological profile, you have access to state-of-the-art bike fitting technologies with the Retul 3D dynamic motion capture system. Our fit specialist, Barrett Brauer, is both Retul and Slowtwitch-certified. And If you want the ultimate in bike fit, whether road or triathlon, we can create a custom frame tailor-made for your body dimensions and riding style. We use the Purely Custom Size Cycle to determine your optimal frame geometry. We source custom frames through Mosaic in Boulder, Colorado, but work with other custom frame-makers as well. 

Once your training zones have been established, the next logical step is to develop a training plan. At ARB's SoCal Endurance Lab, you have access to coaching services from our in-house affiliate coach, Barrett Brauer, USA Cycling and USA Triathlon certified. 

You also get instant access to some of the best cycling and triathlon brands today. Our product range covers road & tri-bikes, related accessories and components, technical cycling apparel, compression wear, power meters & HR monitors, nutritional products and much more.

How Does the Assessment Work?
The VO2Max - Power/HR Threshold Test uses a state-of-the-art metabolic analyzer and your own bike attached to a calibrated ergometer. Runners use a treadmill. After a warm-up period consisting of 10-15 minutes easy pedaling or walking, the workload is increased approximately every two minutes in increments ranging from 20 to 40 watts (.5 mph to 1 mph or incline steps of 2% on a treadmill), depending on your fitness level. The last seconds of the test take you up to your maximum effort level. The entire test lasts approximately 20 minutes. 

If you are a beginning runner/cyclist/triathlete or are starting up again after a long lay-off, we can perform a sub-maximal test which will end immediately after reaching Anaerobic Threshold and before reaching exhaustion, a few levels below your maximal effort. At the end, we will determine your Anaerobic Threshold (AT) or Functional Threshold Power (FTP) in watts, but not your VO2 Max. However, AT is the key metric for setting training zones for both Power and Heart Rate and learning to train like the pros.

Assessment Day
Click here to find out about the full range of assessment options available and what you will receive at the end of each test. We also tell you how to prepare for your upcoming assessment as well as what forms you will need to complete.

 
         
Main St. & Red Hill Ave. Irvine, CA 92614
949-752-2080 (call or text)
(866) 742-2196 toll free (call only)
Store Hours:
Mon - Fri: 10:30-6
Sat: 8-5, Sun: 12-5
 
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