Performance Testing FAQs


What does the Bod Pod Measure?

The Bod Pod measures your body composition, or more specifically, what percent of your body is made up of fat versus fat-free mass (i.e. muscle, bones, water, etc.).

What does Bod Pod testing consist of? How long is the test?

You will sit in an egg-shaped chamber for approximately 2 minutes while your body composition is measured. There is a window in the front of the chamber to see outside from the enclosed space. The total time for your appointment, including set-up, testing, and going over results, is approximately 15 minutes.

How should I prepare for a Bod Pod test?

You will be required to wear a spandex outfit – either spandex shorts for men or spandex shorts/sports bra or swimsuit for women. You will be asked to remove any metal jewelry prior to the test. You will also be required to wear a cloth swim cap to cover your hair, which we will provide at the NMRL.

What does the Maximal Oxygen Uptake test measure?

Maximal Oxygen Uptake (VO2Max) testing evaluates your aerobic capacity. Determining your VO2Max will enable you to know your current fitness level and allow you to track progress as you modify your training program for maximum health or performance.

What does testing consist of? How long is the test?

This test is performed on a treadmill. You will wear a mask during the test that will measure your inspired and expired gases during exercise and a heart rate belt to measure your heart rate. After completing a warm-up, the test will begin at a moderate intensity then gradually become harder until you can no longer continue. For the treadmill test, your incline will increase by 2% every three minutes. Total time for set-up, warm-up, and the VO2Max test is approximately 30-45 minutes depending on the total test time (a typical VO2Max test lasts 12-15 minutes or 3-4 stages, not including warm-up). The total time for Bod Pod and VO2Max testing is approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the length of the test.

Can I bring my own cycle for testing?

Yes – you may bring your own cycle, which we will set up with a CompuTrainer® for testing. If you do not have your own cycle, the test is performed on our stationary cycle (RacerMate VeloTron®).

What is Lactate Threshold? How is it measured during the VO2Max test?

During intense exercise, lactate is produced as a metabolic byproduct. During the exercise of increasing intensity, you will reach your lactate (anaerobic) threshold when your body is no longer able to efficiently buffer and clear lactate. We measure blood lactate during the final minute of each stage by taking a small sample of blood via finger stick. Your lactate threshold will be calculated …

Can I eat or exercise prior to Performance Testing?

For best results, it is recommended to avoid strenuous exercise for 12 hours or consuming a large meal within 4 hours of your test.

How should I prepare for Performance Testing?

Please be sure to wear clothing and shoes you would normally wear during running.

What is the Wingate Anaerobic Cycle Test?

The Wingate test is a 30-second, all-out sprint on a stationary cycle against a braking torque. You will perform a short warm-up prior to the test. The test measures the peak anaerobic power produced at the beginning of the test as well as your mean anaerobic capacity produced over the entire 30-second period.

When can I schedule Performance Testing?

Performance testing is scheduled on the first Saturday of each month between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

Will I have to wait to get my Performance Testing results?

There is some processing involved with Performance Testing data. For a VO2Max test, you will receive a printed report after the test is finished. For a Lactate Threshold test, the results will be emailed to you within a week of your test.

How can I pay for these services?

You may pay with either cash (exact change only – no cash box available) or a check made payable to the University of Pittsburgh. Prices for Performance Testing are as follows.

Full Performance Test Trio
Bod Pod, Maximal Oxygen Uptake, Lactate Threshold ($475 – includes two test sessions)

Single Performance Test Trio
Bod Pod, Maximal Oxygen Uptake, Lactate Threshold ($300)

Performance Package
Maximal Oxygen Uptake, Lactate Threshold ($250 – tests are done on different days)

Maximal Oxygen Uptake ($135)

Lactate Threshold ($150)

Can I make a group appointment at a reduced rate?

Yes – please ask about group rates when scheduling.

Are these tests covered under my health insurance?

No, these tests are fee-for-service and are not eligible to be processed through medical insurance.