How INSCYD metabolic profiling improves performance

Performance is not random. It can be broken down into a very small number of fundamental components. In cycling, we really don't need to worry about much more than aerobic capacity (VO2max), glycolytic capacity (VLaMax), and aerodynamics.

One of the most used term and metric in cycling is Functional Threshold Power (FTP). A lot of training programmes are prescribed based on a % of your FTP. Race paces in triathlon have also been set based off a set percentage of FTP.

It is not surprising then that the biggest goal for most cyclists and triathletes is to increase their FTP. Armed with HIIT sessions, threshold training and sweet spot efforts athletes go to work on improving their thresholds. But, without understanding exactly WHY they are training in this way.

Approximately 97 to 98% of FTP is determined by the combination of your V02max and VLaMax. Performance is predictable so once you know your V02max and even more importantly your VLaMax, your training becomes clear. Both of these metrics are tied to your own personal physiology and metabolic profile.

With INSCYD testing you will know exactly what your own physiology is. You will know what your V02max and VLaMax is and once you know it you can train them. The testing will provide you with the following:

  • V02max
  • VLaMax
  • FTP or Anaerobic Threshold
  • Fat and Carb oxidation rates

    Information is a very powerful thing and with these results you will no longer be training on hunches and educated guesses from the standard FTP testing approach.

    This form of testing is not standard practice. Whether it is a V02max test with a gas analyser or a blood lactate test where you derive a blood lactate curve they do not consider or calculate your VLaMax. Since VLaMax is the elite coaches’ secret weapon to performance, you should never do another test unless they can provide you with this crucial metric.

    Once you have completed the testing and received your results, you will KNOW for a fact which ‘lever’ you need to pull on to improve training. Should you train your V02max, your VLaMax, try to get your threshold to a higher percentage of V02max, or should you practice your ability to oxidise fat?

    When you know the answers to these questions you can prescribe training for each of these scenarios.

    Imagine the confidence and freedom it will give you knowing that you are doing the right training for you.


    The following infographics show how this testing will help you in practice:


    FTP Power

    V02max

    VLaMax

    FatMax

    Race Fueling

    Testing Used by the World's Best

    Team Bora Hansgrohe
    Team Lotto Jumbo
      Jan Frodeno
        German Triathlon Federation

        For years professional athletes such as Jan Frodeno, Peter Sagan, Tony Martin and teams such as BORA-hansgrohe and Team Lotto NL Jumbo Cycling conducted physiological testing using a platform only available to the professional ranks called INSCYD.

        These methods were commercially unavailable to amateur athletes, until now. Connect to Perform is delighted to announce that we will be one of the first locations in Ireland to offer testing

        Why does Rider #1 consistently cross the finish line before Rider #2 if both weigh the same, train the same amount, produce the same threshold power, and eat the same? To know why, you have to understand what’s happening inside each rider’s body while riding. This is called a riders Metabolic Profile. And we can provide you with these crucial metrics.

        The performance you are looking for is composed of a variety of components and metrics, but if you only focus on FTP, heart rate zones, or keep training only according to your Rate of Perceived Exertion, you’ll miss accuracy and efficiency. Now you can finally understand the interactions between your aerobic system and your fuelling needs. Do you wonder, “How much should I consume per hour in order to maintain my performance?” With INSCYD, you'll know. INSCYD takes into account, and connect to one another, the most important metrics for training purposes:

        MEASURE – ANALYZE – UNDERSTAND – PROJECT – IMPROVE

        In partnership with INSCYD, Connect to Perform offers athletes the secret weapon that has long been used by the pros. The testing protocol and subsequent results identify your full metabolic profile, including the most valuable variables including VO2max, Anaerobic Threshold, FatMax, and the missing link of cycling performance, VLamax.

        VLamax: The Secret Weapon of the World’s Top Endurance Athletes

        20% of the difference in performance between cycling amateurs and professionals, can be explained by VO2max. 75% of the performance differences in these two groups is accounted for by differences in VLamax, or volume of lactate accumulation and clearance.

        The Secret Weapon of the World’s Top Endurance Athletes

        Measuring VLamax – Your Glyoclytic Power

        Glycolytic power – or VLamax – has proven a highly important metric in endurance sports over the past decade. A high VLamax allows for high performance in short events such as sprinting. On the other hand, high VLamax causes higher glycolytic flux rate at sub-maximum intensities. This leads to high carbohydrate combustion, slower recovery from lactate accumulation, lower energetic contribution from fatty acids and lower performance at anaerobic threshold. The good news is your VLamax is highly trainable. We can train your VLamax to match the demands of your goals, whether you want to improve your criterium performance or better your time trialing.

        In the highest ranks of sports, such as swimming, triathlon and cycling, the integration of VLamax as a metric has helped to understand athletic performance. Almost unnoticed in the past decade, VLamax has been a key metric to success for:

        Jan Olbrecht – advisor to coaches whose athletes won 18 medals in Rio Olympic Games
        STAPS: Europe’s most successful testing and coaching business, having Movistar, Katusha-Alpecin, Bora-Hansgrohe, et al. as their customers.
        Sebastian Weber – one of cyclings most successful coaches in the past decade, worked with athlete such as: Alban Lakata, Tony Martin, Ivan Basso, André Greipel, Peter Sagan, et al.
        Dan Lorang – former head coach of the German Triathlon Federation, private coach of Jan Frodeno et
        Listen to what Dan Lorang, coach of Jan Frodeno and other professional athletes, on the importance of VLamax in Ironman

        Aerobic & Glycolytic Power

        The maximum aerobic power is commonly measured as VO2max – the maximum oxygen uptake capacity. Why is VO2max important? For each milliliter of oxygen processed in the aerobic metabolism, energy is produced.

        In the glycolytic metabolism (glycolysis) lactate (or pyruvate) is produced out of glucose. This anaerobic process (no oxygen is involved) also produces energy. The amount of energy produced per piece of glucose is much less compared to the aerobic metabolism. However, this type of energy is produced at a much faster rate. Therefore, glycolysis is much more important for shorter, high intensity efforts. For such short efforts, a high energy production in a short time is needed. As the amount of energy produced is proportional to the amount of lactate or pyruvate produced, VLamax is a feasible way to measure glycolytic performance. VLamax stands for max production of lactate.

        VLamax hasn’t been widely measured until now. Historically, very few, but highly successful coaches and sport scientists have used it. What’s the reason for this? VLamax wasn’t easily accessible…yet.

        The role of VLamax in endurance performance


        Glycolysis is not only important for sprinters, but has a tremendous effect on endurance performance. Glycolysis is the only way to utilize carbohydrates as a fuel during exercise. High glycolytic rates, enable high rates of utilizations of carbohydrates as a fuel. On the other hand, a high utilization of carbohydrates as fuel, reduces the need for fatty acids as a fuel- thus lowering fat metabolism. Furthermore, the maximum glycolytic power – or VLamax – influences the glycolytic rate at endurance exercises. High VLamax will trigger high lactate production during endurance exercises. This high lactate production lowers power at anaerobic threshold and the ability to recover from lactate accumulation.
      • Do you wonder what enables high performance at anaerobic threshold?
      • Why do different athletes require different fueling strategies and carbohydrate intake?
      • Why do different athletes encounter different abilities to utilize fatty acids as a fuel – even though those athletes might possess similar performance at anaerobic threshold?
      • What allows certain athletes to change their race rhythm and attack their competition, with bouts of high power/energy output, again and again and again?

        If these questions are of interest to you – assessing VLamax might – in most cases – be the answer to these questions.


        Higher maximum glycolytic power (higher VLamax) triggers higher lactate production rates at sub maximum / endurance exercises

        Lets look at two identical athletes. These athletes share identical body weight and body composition (muscle mass, fat mass, etc.), identical efficiency (energy needed to produce one Watt of power), identical buffering capacity, identical aerobic capacity (VO2max), but with two different VLamax. The high VLamax triggers higher lactate production rates at all sub maximum intensities. The athlete with the higher VLamax possess a higher lactate production rate, for any given power output, when compared to the athlete with the low VLamax.

        For the athlete with a higher VLamax, this higher lactate production results in a lower intensity at which lactate production equals lactate clearance. This is the mechanism of how a high VLamax lowers anaerobic threshold- as shown below.

        Higher lactate production rates come with the cost of higher carbohydrate utilization – therefore reducing fatty acid combustion

        Muscles produce lactate using carbohydrates. Therefore, a high lactate production rate consequently results in higher carbohydrate utilization rates. With a higher amount of energy coming from carbohydrates, as a consequence the fat combustion rate is lower.

        For the athlete with a higher VLamax, this higher lactate production results in a lower intensity at which lactate production equals lactate clearance. This is the mechanism of how a high VLamax lowers anaerobic threshold- as shown below.