Indoor blue running lanes

Human Performance Lab

Human Performance Lab

Our Human Performance Laboratory is equipped for assessing the function and performance of a wide range of human physiological, biomechanical and psychological parameters. All equipment and assessment techniques are carried out with due regard for calibration, validity and reliability.

Exercise testing and other measurements are used in accordance with appropriate protocols and adhere to safety considerations.

Sports science support services are provided to any team or individual that may benefit from objective performance assessments, advice on appropriate training methods and preparation for competition, nutritional and dietary analysis or sports psychology support.

The Human Performance Laboratory plays an important role in assisting and facilitating student learning on a range of academic courses.

Who we work with

 

The BNU Human Performance Laboratory provides services to a wide range of clients so we would love to hear from you to discuss your requirements.

Elite Athletes and Teams

We can provide bespoke support for elite athletes and professional teams. Previous clients include England Handball, Watford Academy, FAB Academy and Reading Ladies FC. We'll offer a flexible solution when working with you to ensure that your goals are embedded into the design and delivery of our services.

Recreational Athletes and Clubs

We offer flexible and affordable solutions from our range of services that are relevant and specific to you. If you'd like to improve your performance or monitor your progress we can help, whether it be providing a one off physiological assessment or a programme of testing to underpin you individual training needs - we're here to support your goals at every step.

You can choose what aspect you'd like to address, you choose the frequency, set your goal and let us know your budget - we can then recommend a package to suit you and help you achieve your goals and perform at your best.

Corporate

We can provide health and fitness assessments for businesses and organisations. Our packages will assess your status in terms of cardiac risk factors (including blood pressure, weight, waist-to-hip ratio, blood glucose, cholesterol, lung function) and assess your fitness using a sub-maximal exercise bike test.

Schools, Colleges and Sports Academies

We welcome links with schools and colleges and provide a range of complimentary and competitively priced packages.

Research and Consultancy

 

The Human Performance, Exercise & Wellbeing Centre provides a physiology service to endurance athletes to improve their running performance by prescribing heart rate training zones from lactate profile assessments.

We're in partnership with Wycombe Wanderers FC, working with the squad and fitness staff during pre-season testing, which involves both lab-based and ground-based testing. Goalkeepers in particular make use of our Neurotracker system to help train perceptual-cognitive ability.

In April 2015, we made a positive contribution to the England Touch Rugby Women’s 27 squad as they prepared for their World Cup campaign. This involved squad testing, training programmes, and informative lectures around topics such as recovery and supplementation for optimum performance.

We're also big on research, having worked with Wycombe General Hospital’s Type 1 Diabetes research team, led by Diabetes specialist Dr Ian Gallen. We helped examine novel ways to reduce hypoglycaemia in physically active Type 1 Diabetics, including the use of caffeine, insulin pump management, and different types of insulin.

We're always interested in taking on new research and consultancy projects in the Human Performance Laboratory, so please contact us using the details below to discuss any ideas.

Sport Science for Schools and Colleges
 
Visits, Talks and Taster Sessions

We have a well established schools programme and would love to meet your students. We can deliver talks about career pathways in sport and invite you to visit BNU to enjoy taster sessions in our amazing facilities. These sessions provide students with the opportunity to learn more about the exciting career pathways on offer in sport whilst trying out first hand what it's like in a professional setting in our Human Performance Laboratory.

Price: free, subject to availability.

Curriculum Support Session

With increasing specialist curriculum demands in A Level and BTEC courses, we also offer our sport science fitness assessment sessions. This is an exciting way to support your curriculum and facilitate the delivery of key concepts in sports science and fitness testing. Students will design and deliver a battery of fitness tests, generating their own results for further analysis.

Price: £250 / 2.5 hours (max 16 students per session).

Bespoke Programmes

We can tailor programmes to meet your requirements (i.e. age and level of your group) so that students studying at GCSE, A-Level or at Further Education will all benefit equally.

Sessions available include:

  • physiology lab testing
  • field testing for fitness
  • nutritional analysis
  • various applied support lectures
  • sport therapy taster sessions.

To book a session or for further information please contact Fiona.McCormack@bucks.ac.uk

An inside look

Take a look at Watford Football Club's pre-season training as the Academy visits our Human Performance Laboratory.

 

 

Testing Services

We offer a range of testing services suited to your needs, whether you want to test your fitness levels, or are looking for some more bespoke training, we can help you. 

To book a session or for further information please contact Fiona.McCormack@bucks.ac.uk.

Fitness (Physiology) Tests
 
VO2 Max Test

Maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) provides a measure of an individual’s aerobic power. It reflects the ability to take in, transport, and use oxygen in the active muscles. Typically, the higher an individual’s oxygen consumption, the greater their aerobic power (or endurance ability). Maximal aerobic power is influenced by a range of factors including muscle mass, age, gender and training status.

Suitable for: Anyone wishing to precisely measure their aerobic power for health or performance.

Measures: VO2max, heart rate max.

What does the test involve?

After a gentle warm up the test will begin. During this test, exercise intensity will gradually increase. Heart rate and oxygen consumption (using a gas collection mask) will both be measured continuously during the test.

When the pace can no longer be maintained and volitional exhaustion is reached, maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) is measured. This test provides an excellent measure of cardiorespiratory health/fitness and is also a strong predictor of endurance performance.

This test can be completed using the treadmill, cycle ergometer or rowing machine, to best suit the athletes’ training needs. The test results will be compared to the population of interest and feedback will be given on endurance fitness classification. 

Lactate Profile Test

During progressive intensity exercise the body is less able to remove lactate from the working muscles. The result is lactic acid build up which leads to fatigue. By assessing blood lactate at a range of exercise intensities, a blood lactate graph can be created to determine your lactate threshold (rise above resting lactate levels) and lactate turnpoint (the point where lactate begins to accumulate in the blood). We'll also monitor your heart rate response to exercise. This data can be used to calculate heart rate training zones for you to guide your training and monitor progress.

Suitable for: Recreational exercisers, amateur athletes and professional athletes (combined usually with a VO2max and other tests)

Measures: Lactate threshold, Lactate turnpoint, heart rate training zones.

What does the test involve?

This is a sub-maximal step-test, which will require you to exercise in 3-4 minute stages at progressive speeds/power outputs. During this process your heart rate, blood lactate and rating of perceived exertion (RPE), are recorded to create a physiological profile.

From this test, important metabolic ‘thresholds’ are identified. Recommendations for training will be given based on the data.

Body Composition Test

The Bod Pod is an air displacement plethysmograph, using whole-body densitometry to determine body composition (fat and fat-free mass). The system is safe, non-invasive and has excellent test-to-test repeatability.

Measures: Body fat %, Lean mass %, body fat (kg)

Suitable for: All athletes and non-athletes.

Fitness (Physiology) Test Costs
Test Approx Duration Cost
VO2 max 45 min to 1 hour £60
Lactate Profile 30 min £80
Combined VO2 max and Lactate Profile 1.5 hours £120
Body Composition 30 min £40
Full Fitness Assessment: VO2max, Lactate Profile & Body Fat 2 hours £150
 
Bespoke Testing
 
Power, Strength and Muscle Function Testing

Using our isokinetic dynamometer (CYBEX) we can measure your maximal force (strength) and power of specific muscles or muscle groups. You can use this information to compare one side to the other and identify any imbalances in specific muscle groups.

This will also allow a comparison of the relative strength between opposing muscle groups, for example your quadriceps v your hamstrings. This information can be helpful in injury prevention.

Biomechanical Analysis (Gait and Movement Analysis)

Our Human Performance Lab is fitted with force platforms and 3D motion capture facilities. These can be used to inform sports technique analysis and gait analysis. Studying movement patterns can improve technique and help you perform movements more effectively.

Nutritional Analysis

Using nutritional analysis software (WinDiets), we can analyse your nutritional intake and identify the amount of nutrients consumed in a typical three-day period. We can then advise you on whether the energy consumed in terms of calories is suitable for your gender, age and fitness requirements or sporting activities.

Our nutritional software can also help identify any nutritional deficiencies and provide recommendations on food groups to be consumed to address these deficiencies.

Functional Fitness and Health Status Analysis

In our Human Performance laboratory we can assess the fitness and health status of older individuals. For this we use fitness assessments that have been specially designed for older people. Your blood pressure, blood lipid profile (cholesterol levels), body fat and general fitness in simple tasks will be assessed.

We'll give you advice and recommendations on how to build up your strength, gain energy, improve your cholesterol levels and reduce your blood pressure.

Attentional Focus training

Using our Neurotracker equipment, we can help you improve your attention focus during playing team sports. The Neurotracker exercises the brain to use peripheral vision to identify objects in space at any given time and hence it improves your attention to important elements. This ability is very important to exercise to improve game strategies.

Contact us

To book a session or for further information please contact Fiona.McCormack@bucks.ac.uk. You can find us at the High Wycombe Campus, Queen Alexandra Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP11 2JZ.