LPL Performance Testing & Research

LPL Performance Testing & Research

The SMU Locomotor Performance Laboratory offers one of the world's premier testing and research facilities. Three types of performance testing are currently offered:  maximum velocity sprint testing on the high-speed force treadmill, sprint acceleration testing on the in-ground force plates, and VO2 Max testing.

Maximum Velocity Sprint Testing

Maximum velocity sprint testing includes 2-3 sessions of 90 minutes each. Each session consists of 10-12 runs of short duration at moderate to top speeds on a high-speed force treadmill. Video feedback is provided for each run and coaches are welcome to attend the sessions. Numerous international-caliber athletes have completed this testing, including Olympic Gold Medal winners and finalists in the sprints. After the testing, athletes receive:

  • Slow motion video of sprinting technique combined with synchronized force data
  • Data report on Stride Rate, Stride Length, Ground Contact Time, and Flight Time
  • Summary data on ground force and leg asymmetry for athletes and coaches to assess sprinting fitness

Sprint trial on the high speed 3-axis force treadmill:

Slow motion video of maximum velocity sprint trial with synchronized vertical and horizontal force data:

Slow motion 3-view video of maximum velocity sprint trial with synchronized vertical and horizontal force data:

 

Sprint Acceleration Testing

Three consecutively-embedded force plates (located in the Simmons Building Applied Physiology Lab) allow for synchronized force and video data to be collected during sprint accelerations.

Slow motion video of sprint acceleration with synchronized vertical (top) and horizontal (bottom) force data:

 

Endurance Testing

Maximal aerobic capacity (VO2max) tests can follow a continuous or discontinuous protocol. A continuous VO2max test consists of constant speed running at increasing treadmill inclines until exhaustion. The test lasts approximately 10 minutes. After the testing, athletes receive a data report containing:

  • Measured VO2max value
  • A table with population normative data for reference and comparison

VO2 Max Testing (Continuous Protocol):

A discontinuous VO2max test consists of 7-8 five-minute running trials. Running speed increases with each trial until the participant cannot complete the full five minutes. A discontinuous VO2max session is approximately 90 minutes and participants receive the following:

  • Measured VO2max value
  • A table with population normative data for reference and comparison
  • Running energy expenditure
  • Running speed at VO2max