Pulmonary Exercise Testing Should Be Goal Oriented

May 31, 2020 | Blog

          Performance testing can take on many different looks depending on what you are wanting to measure. For example, if you are looking to improve cardiorespiratory efficiency, VO2max testing is typically used. If you are looking to measure speed, you may use a field test such as a 10yrd dash. Either way you look at it something needs to be measured in order to see if there is any improvement.

            Baseline performance testing should be an important element when managing exercise capacity and exercise tolerance in youth and adults with pulmonary conditions. Performance testing provides the ability to provide in-depth information through quantifiable data to components of an individual’s exercise capabilities. Testing creates a foundational platform to develop a multistage exercise training program to ensure the highest quality of care is being used to guide the training program.

            Performance testing is not obsolete in the pulmonary world and, in some form or fashion, is used in inpatient care and pulmonary rehab. The 6-Minute Walk Test, 3-Minute Step Test, and Shuttle Test have been used as gold standard measurements when cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) isn’t available. Another more commonly used form of measurement in the exercise world is the use of qualitative measures, like the Borg Scale or Rate of Perceived Exertion scale (RPE). These qualitative measurements provide us with information about how a person is/was feeling during/after the workout. These subjective scales are great for understanding the emotional state of the person. Nonetheless, the subjective feedback doesn’t necessarily align with what is intrinsically occurring with the cardiorespiratory system or the musculoskeletal system when training is actually going on. There is an unclear theory about the body having a “central governor” (coined by Tim Noakes) that regulates performance outputs. These outputs are regulated by the brain and how the perception of training, or how an individual feels, plays an important role in how much performance the human body will give. A great example is someone during the last leg of a race. When you are on the home stretch of a run, it feels as if you have been running for what seems like forever and your body is aching, your feet are hurting, joints screaming and you just want to finish, but suddenly you see the finish line with people cheering and out of nowhere, you get a sudden burst of energy and your off! You’re sprinting through the finish line, then finally collapsing into your friend’s or family member’s arms after you’ve conquered your quest to finish the race. The question is; where did that energy come from? You were exhausted, your legs were giving out, and then all of a sudden you were sprinting as if you were in the Olympics chasing down Usain Bolt.

            Perception is not necessarily reality and the subjective feedback of the client who is training is very important in understanding the overall picture of how well training is going, yet it only sheds light on the acute emotional state of what exercise is doing for the individual. The mental component impacts to training is big and clients should feel great after their workout, but having a client feeling great shouldn’t be the only standard exercise professionals hold their exercise programing standards to.

             Research has shown that structured exercise programs have a positive impact on the lifespan of children and adults with pulmonary conditions (Hebestreit, 2010). Physical fitness has been associated with decreased hospital visits in pulmonary population (Spruit, 2016). This means there is an opportunity for exercise professionals who specialize in pulmonary conditions to help increase quality of life and improve the overall health in individuals fighting pulmonary conditions through exercise prescription. Performance testing allows the exercise specialist a common ground to discuss their goal and how to obtain those goes through specific types of exercise training. It can build transparency and help educate the individual on types of training that can be beneficial for their health. Performance testing can also lead to advancing how exercise training is prescribed in the pulmonary community. Trial and error is the only way to advance exercise science and conducting simple exercise test over a period of time can give great insight to the impact exercise has on underlying health issues.

            On the other hand, time and money can play a big factor in what exercise test are actually done. Exercise professionals can’t just take every individual through every fitness test that is out there and nor should they. Performance testing should mirror what the individual’s goals are. For example, you wouldn’t put an athlete getting ready for the Iron Man through a 10yrd dash field test to gather data on how to improve aerobic capacity 4-weeks before the event. The testing doesn’t line up with the goal and understanding this can help find the right test.

 

     References

 

Hebestreit, H., Kieser, S., Junge, S., Ballmann, M., Hebestreit, A., Schindler, C., & Kriemler, S. (2010). Long-term effects of a partially supervised conditioning program in cystic fibrosis. European Respiratory Journal, 578-583.

 

Spruit, M. A., Burtin, C., De Boever, P., Langer, D., Vogiatzis, I., Wouters, E. F., & Franssen, F. M. (2016). COPD and exercise: does it make a difference? Breathe 12(2).

 

 

 

For more exercises content check out our YouTube Channel: Cystic Fibrosis Fitness Institute 

 

 

 

More From THE Blog

Neuromuscular Strength in Pulmonary Conditions

Neuromuscular Strength in Pulmonary Conditions

           There is no mystical aura that engulfs the gym that gives individuals the gift of brute strength, or gives individual’s cardiovascular capacity like Secretariat, the triple crown record-breaking stallion at Belmont Stakes. There are numerous variables that...

Building the Armor: Sit-Ups May Not Be the Answer

Building the Armor: Sit-Ups May Not Be the Answer

         Sit-ups and crunches have been the staple-mark core exercises used to build core strength and endurance. They are easy to implement; you don’t need equipment or a lot of space to perform them. But, are they really the most efficient exercises to target core...

Your Exercise Training Should Fit Your Goal

Your Exercise Training Should Fit Your Goal

          There are many approaches to exercise.; a buffet of options to pick from these days. You have the option of focusing on mobility and range of motion by participating in yoga classes. You can test your exercise capacity by joining a cycling class or by...

High-Intensity Interval Training: Is It Really Worth It?

High-Intensity Interval Training: Is It Really Worth It?

          It was about a year ago when I watched an exercise video a colleague had sent me. The fitness enthusiast filmed a HIIT training workout for their followers. The workout consisted of various lower body weight plyometric based exercises. It had only been a...

Tips to Build Home Exercise Equipment and Workouts

Tips to Build Home Exercise Equipment and Workouts

There has been a flood of exercise content these last few weeks. It is great to see trainers, coaches, and experts in the field of science giving back to the community. There are many ways to exercise and we have seen many different approaches to training. We believe...

Motivating Youth to Workout at Home

Motivating Youth to Workout at Home

Let’s be honest. Motivating youth to do workouts after school or on the weekends can be hard enough, and now not only are doing their workouts at home, but they are also taking their classes online at home! With so much times at home, how do you keep your...

Protect Your Vocal Folds: The Little Muscles That Give you a Voice!

Protect Your Vocal Folds: The Little Muscles That Give you a Voice!

As a Speech Language Pathologist, I have been curious about the impact’s cystic fibrosis, COPD, and other respiratory illnesses have on vocal quality. Having been around the CF community for a couple of years, I know that CF can impact numerous organ systems that...

Cystic Fibrosis at the Playground

Cystic Fibrosis at the Playground

Your child has a right to be a kid! Of course, having a child with cystic fibrosis brings on more challenges and worries. It requires being more alert to surroundings, your child, and others. But, your child still deserves to play and you still deserve to watch your...

Complementary Approaches to Clearing Mucus

Complementary Approaches to Clearing Mucus

The clearance of mucus is very important for individuals fighting pulmonary conditions. In cystic fibrosis (CF) and COPD the clearance of mucus is crucial to clearing bacteria pathogens to reduce the decline in lung function. To understand how we can attack the...

Motivating Children/Teens to Exercise

Motivating Children/Teens to Exercise

Intrinsic motivation is something that develops over time. Kids don’t yet have the cognitive abilities to grasp the concept that, “exercising is good for physical and mental health.” The understanding that by “doing something good for your body now, your future self...

Are You Apart of the Morning Crew or Night Crew?

Are You Apart of the Morning Crew or Night Crew?

Improving the Quality of Life in Individuals Fighting Pulmonary Diseases   Exercising is important for everyone. Exercising has many benefits from improving cardiovascular health, decreasing stress, to even improving lung function in cystic fibrosis and COPD....

Optimizing Recovery for CF and COPD

Optimizing Recovery for CF and COPD

Improving the Quality of Life in Individuals Fighting Pulmonary Diseases           The body is a remarkable system that takes time to recover. When you have chronic illness, such as CF or COPD, the recovery time the body needs will be a little different than for a...

3-Tips to Programming Strength Training

3-Tips to Programming Strength Training

Improving the Quality of Life in Individuals Fighting Pulmonary DiseasesStrength training can be a powerful tool to daily living.  Strength training helps improve respiratory function, muscular strength and endurance and it supports your ability to live with using...

}
%d bloggers like this: