Fast Talk Podcast, ep. 89: The value of physiological testing

Fast Talk goes into the lab at the University of Colorado Sports Medicine and Performance Center. Can you say symmorphosis?

Photo: Brad Kaminski |

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Riding on the gold-standard Velotron in a laboratory, and breathing into an uncomfortable face mask while a physiologist like our guest Jared Berg pokes your ear for blood might not sound like a good time at all. Which is probably why Coach Connor can’t get enough. But this week’s show is about exactly that—physiological testing. The end result of a good test is a robust set of data specific to you, which can help you understand things like your true physiological training zones, how much carbohydrate you burn for a given effort, and just how well you can get up infamous climbs like Magnolia Road here in Boulder.

Learning about your body’s unique capacity for work is crucial as you prepare for races and work on pushing yourself to your full potential. Our guest, Jared Berg, the lead exercise physiologist at the University of Colorado Sports Medicine and Performance Center in Boulder, is going to walk us through some of the most common performance tests, including the VO2Max test and the lactate test, describing each protocol as well as its benefits.

You’ll learn what’s the right test for you, the ins and outs of the various protocols, and how to prepare yourself for the day of testing. We’ll also discuss how to select a lab that will give you the most accurate data.

Maybe you’ll even learn how to pronounce a few new words with us. Ever heard of symmorphosis? Can you say it? Coach Connor can’t…

Oh, and if you haven’t seen it yet, drop everything and check out the legendary bike racing movie, American Flyers. It’s available on Amazon Prime for $2.99, which is probably too much, but, hey, it’s educational. You can’t consider yourself a true cyclist, nor will you fully appreciate this episode, until you’ve seen it.

Finally, if things already sound a little different and you notice a lot better sound quality on this episode, that’s because we have a new producer on the show! Jana Martin has joined our team, and we’re incredibly excited about that. She comes to us with over a decade of podcast and television production experience. In other words, now that Trevor isn’t allowed to touch the computer, the show is going to get better!

As always, send us your feedback and thoughts at

Trending on Velo

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.