Spiroergometry vs. lactate analysis

Anyone who wants to make their training more professional will sooner or later be faced with the question of how to find the right training strategy and training dosage for themselves. Two different methods are available for this, which are presented and compared here: Spiroergometry and lactate analysis.

If you take a close look at your physical requirements for sport and exercise For example, if you want to find out why you are no longer making progress in training, how best to start exercising or simply to find out more about your body, sooner or later you will look for analyses. In this context, you've probably already heard of metabolic analysis. The aim of such an analysis is to find out more about your health and, among other things, to be able to adapt your training to your body in the best possible way.

But is the analysis any good? What types of analysis are there and what are the differences between the methods? De cover these topics, among others, in this blog post.

Spiroergometry vs. lactate analysis

If you want to tailor your training better to your needs, you can sooner or later he/she will be faced with the question of how to find the training strategy and training dosage that suits him/her best. Two different methods are available for this purpose, which are presented and compared in more detail here: Spiroergometry and lactate analysis.

But first - what results should the two analysis methods actually produce?

In addition to determining other important parameters for training, both forms of analysis focus on analyzing the personally suitable heart rate and load ranges. The individual anaerobic threshold is determined according to the current fitness level. This threshold represents the exact exercise intensity at which our body switches from fat to carbohydrate metabolism. With increasing stress, our body falls more and more into an oxygen deficit, which gradually leads to an over-acidified state. This is not a problem from time to time, as it is also accompanied by adaptations. The decisive factor is the ratio between training sessions of a more relaxed nature and more challenging sessions. This ratio naturally differs depending on the person's goal.

And now to the most important question of all: But is it also suitable for normal people or only for really good athletes?

The basic answer is: everyone is different and everyone needs a different dose of exercise and sport. Depending on your current situation. This dosage is determined by metabolic analyses so that, regardless of the goal (losing weight, fit & healthy, body shaping, etc.), our system is neither under- or overloaded. This is the main reason why people are unable to integrate exercise and sport into their lives. They don't realize that in most cases less is more and we tend to exercise too often and too intensively or not at all. 

1. lactate analysis

During the lactate test, you usually start by running slowly at a steadily increasing speed. Blood is then taken - usually from the ear - to determine the lactate level. The procedure works as follows: when the intensity increases, more lactate is produced than can be broken down in the same time - this increase in lactate can be measured in the blood. Drawing capillary blood should be carried out by well-trained specialists and becomes increasingly difficult as physical exertion increases. The reason for this is that the body centralizes the blood and draws it from the extremities. Nowadays, lactate values are usually evaluated on site. The translation of the values obtained in lactate analysis is dependent on sports medicine and sports science personnel, as a wide variety of models are used on the market to calculate the individual training zones and the anaerobic threshold. This repeatedly leads to controversial discussions. 

2. spiroergometry

You can do spiroergometry on a treadmill or bicycle ergometer. Here mThe work of breathing and gas exchange are measured with a mask over the nose and mouth. In this method, the breathing air is analyzed in the course of a step test with increasing exposure. The proportion of carbon dioxide - CO2 - in the exhaled air is particularly important for determining the respiratory compensation point relevant. From this point onwards, a significant increase in the carbon dioxide concentration is noticeable. Due to the increasing anaerobic energy supply, the blood becomes more acidic due to the lactate, which leads to an increased exhalation of carbon dioxide. The respiratory compensation point is therefore comparable to the anaerobic threshold. By determining many parameters from the respiratory air, more compensation mechanisms and influencing variables of the body can be taken into account and the value obtained provides a realistic statement about the physical requirements. A further advantage is that there is no need to take blood samples for lactate determination and the spiroergometry evaluation is carried out directly as part of the test.

In recent years, the interest in investigating a person's metabolism at rest and during exertion has spread further and further into popular and amateur sports and even into the health sector due to technical progress and the call for more individuality in training and nutrition.


Lactate diagnostics is now the subject of controversial debate in the camp of sports science and sports medicine, as many different approaches have developed over the years. (threshold value models) of the evaluation, which increases the objectivity of the resulting pulse and load ranges. is in doubt.

In addition, the acceptance of Capillary blood during physical exertion is not easy and requires a high level of expertise from specialist staff. This is quite different from respiratory gas analysis: by simply putting on the mask and subjecting the test person to standardized stress, we can obtain important information directly.

As briefly mentioned above, lactate determination provides a very good insight into muscle metabolism. However, respiratory gas analysis provides more "systemic" information, as breathing and, above all, the respiratory gas patterns provide a holistic insight into our energy metabolism.

For our analyses, we have developed an independent evaluation system together with the development department of the University of Leipzig. The aim here is to establish independence from the evaluator in the practical interpretation of the results of breath gas analyses, so that objectivity and reliability are ensured both in the first examination and in repeat analyses, i.e. in a before-and-after comparison.

Another major advantage of spiroergometry is its simplicity of use. In comparison to the time-consuming lactate analysis, which is dependent on specialist personnel, the comparison is clearly in favor of respiratory gas analysis, as after the fully automated calibration you only have to make sure that the mask is close to your face.

Spiroergometry can also be carried out easily and anywhere in the D-A-CH region. Go to our location finder to view a location near you now.

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