Muscle Oxygen Test with Kendal Cycling Club.

Muscle Oxygen Testing

December 07, 2021

We had an opportunity to film a fitness test in a partnership with Kendal Cycling Club TV.  In this film we get to lift the lid on what happens at a fitness test, and show you why we do them. 

Here is the video, below we add some more context. 

I hope you enjoyed that. 

Now, every rider is different, and although we know that, this test enables us to visualise it and explain the differences. 

We compare what we feel, and have observed of ourselves, to a visualised and graphed data. With this we get a deep understanding of how our unique body works and reacts to exercise. With that comes a renewed focus on how best to train.

Knowledge is power, is a mantra we often use, and it is so true that the more we understand the more informed our decisions become. 

This Moxy 5-1-5 test is the one to ask for when you feel like you are trying and trying with your training, but progress just isn't happening. The Moxy 515 test shines light on the limiting factor of your progress. Of course, this is in terms of energy production, rather than any biomechanic, injury or psychological limiter. 

This test examines the muscle oxygen saturation, known as SmO2. Saturation of Muscle Oxygen. This is displayed as a percentage and is measured by examining the colour difference in oxygenated and deoxygenated cells in the Hemoglobin and Myoglobin.  Hemoglobin is of course in the blood and Myoglobin is muscle. This is the key difference between the sensors we use, and the finger sensors you see on the internet and in hospital. Those measure SpO2 with the p for Pulse. 

In the muscle we see all the oxygen variation, as the oxygen is consumed by the mitochondria to create energy (ATP) as a rider exercises, and we see how it is replenished and stored back in the Myoglobin as a rider takes a recovery. 

Alongside this we also get an insight into the Total Hemoglobin (THb). This is a count in grams per decilitre of hemoglobin in sight of the sensor. The rise and fall of this number highlights how blood is flowing into and out of the muscle. When we add additional sensors like in the video we then get a look at how and when the body redistributes blood flow as required.  We look for arterial occlusions where blood flow is restricted on entry to the muscle, but can flow out. A Venous Occlusion on the other hand shows up as an accumulation of ThB as blood flows into the muscle, but is restricted on exit. With this we can then get a look at the vasodilation effect (relaxing) that happens with the build up of C02 and the body seeks to find a happy hemostasis (balance) again. This tightening and relaxing of the arteries and veins can happen due to big muscle contraction, a fit restriction or a subconscious reaction of your body deciding to redirect blood flow to more important regions of your body. 

The image below shows how Sm02 varies though rest and exercise, and how the Quad and Shoulder measurements relates as the test progresses. 

Moxy Test data

The whole thing is fascinating and a fitness test is just the start, We use the moxy monitors in classes too and when you ride with the insight of muscle oxygen your training is so much more informed and ultimately so much more effective. 

After the test we will supply you all of the results in an e-mail report, along with your Moxy Limiter Dashboard you saw in the video, and a private video analysis you can keep and refer to.  This video is the most important, as so much information will be flying at you, that you will need to watch, reflect and rewatch, before you come back to us or your coach with fresh questions, or a decision of your own. 

To find out more, just get in touch. We also offer VO2 tests, FTP tests and a host of individualised sessions to get to the understanding you need. 


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