Exercise and performance testing information

Our Exercise and Performance Testing Services at the Cambridge Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences (CCSES) offer tailored scientific support to individuals and teams interested in improving health, fitness and performance.

Our laboratory facilities are nationally accredited by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), recognising the high standards routinely undertaken within our consultancy services which range from those who regularly exercise through to high-level performance athletes.

Our testing services operate in the evenings during the week between 5-7pm and at weekends throughout the year.

If you have any specific questions, please contact us at [email protected].

Important: please note, you must be aged 18-64 years, currently active and have no underlying medical conditions to undertake an exercise and performance test and will need to complete pre-screening questions before booking. 

Further information and how to book a test

Whether your goal is to get fit, lose weight, train for a specific sport, prepare for a marathon, or even take on an Ironman triathlon, our services can benefit and support you. Getting fit and healthy is one challenge, training for performance is another; however, both benefit from knowing if the exercise is actually achieving your goals.
How our clients have benefitted from regular exercise testing:

  • Supporting lifestyle changes
  • Measuring body composition and monitoring weight-related goals
  • Monitoring current fitness level and training progress
  • Assessing fat burning potential with exercise
  • Providing motivation to train correctly

In addition, those more interested in performance testing have benefitted from:

  • Establishing individualised training zones
  • Supporting or modifying training programmes based on scientific data
  • Assessing performance economy and preparing for events
  • Improving performance through application of scientific principles

Exercise and Performance Testing at our CCSES laboratories typically takes around 2-hours and include a personalised feedback session on the results.

When you arrive at Compass House, you will be met by one of our experienced team members, who will go through test information with you, and ask you to complete health and consent forms before the testing starts.

Each test session will involve various physical and physiological measurements, depending on your specific requirements which will be discussed with you. However, we typically undertake the following routine tests:

  • Assessment of body composition
  • Resting heart rate and blood pressure
  • Submaximal exercise stages (with/without blood lactate) to determine heart rate zones relevant to training
  • Maximal exercise stages (if applicable) to determine your overall capacity
  • Summary report with personalised training information

Tests can be undertaken on a treadmill, bike or rowing ergometer. Throughout the test you will be required to wear a standard face mask which is connected to an online analyser monitoring various respiratory factors. We may also collect several small (fingertip) blood samples at each stage to monitor blood lactate and glucose responses to exercise.

Please note that our testing services are not intended to prescribe personalised training or exercise programmes but provide key scientific data to support your training or monitor adaptations over time.

Single test offer: £150
Recommended for: A one-off test can provide useful information on where you currently are in terms of general health and fitness. This can be a great way of deciding what type of training or exercise programme might be effective for you, or how you might modify a training programme to gain the most benefit for you.

Test-retest offer: £285
Recommended for: if you are training for a short to long-term event or interested in monitoring the effects of an exercise programme. Choosing this option is beneficial if you are in the process of training for an event or looking to simply monitor the effect of a current programme (e.g. weight loss).
Finding out how you personally respond to exercise before and after a programme you might be doing can be useful to determine how effective the training is (or indeed how you could modify your exercise routine).

3 test offer: £405
Recommended for: if you are training for a longer-term event (e.g. half marathon, marathon, triathlon) where monitoring every three months can be beneficial in tailoring your programme.
We especially recommend this option if you are preparing for an event in the future, i.e. a half marathon or marathon next year.
Being monitored every 3 months can be a real motivator to how well you are doing, and provide crucial information on exercise economy and how efficient you are when exercising.
Tracking your improvements can also help in refining training as you approach your event, and can make a real difference in your success.

Summary Report and Consultation

Following each assessment, we will discuss the results with you and provide a summary report with key information to help you. Testing can be tailored specifically to your sport or event, and can be carried out on a treadmill, bike or rower based on your preference.