Elite athletes test out CPIT Zone

News News & events

23 Nov 2011

Elite mountain bikers were put through their paces at CPIT’s sports science and wellness facility The Zone last week and the information they gathered about their performance will prove invaluable as they prepare for national competitions at the end of January.

Brad Hudson, 18, and Charlie Murray, 15, completed blood lactate and VO2 max tests with The Zone staff after their coach, Hillmorton Physical Education teacher, Melissa Newell contacted CPIT for help. Both are standard tests for elite athletes - blood lactate measures an athlete’s lactate threshold and VO2 max measures the maximum amount of oxygen that can be consumed and utilised by the body.

“It’s just huge for these athletes having the scientific information to base their training on. It’s invaluable,” Melissa said. As a highly regarded mountain biker herself, Melissa knows the value of this objective data. “I remember when I was young getting information from tests was so helpful. There’s not much funding for this sport in New Zealand, so I am helping these guys out.

Having scientific information about the body’s capacity can lead to new insights, Melissa said. “It’s about your headspace. There might be more there than you realise and sometimes the body can keep going but the mind says ‘no’.”

The Zone uses custom-built sport and exercise science facilities developed for the Bachelor of Applied Science degree with specialisations in sports and exercise science and physical activity, health and wellness.

As well as providing state-of-the-art facilities for CPIT students, The Zone also offers fitness testing and assessment services for elite and recreational athletes. Assessment and training programme guidance is also available for a variety of clients. Biomechanical analysis, physiology lab testing (including blood lactate and VO2 max), anthropometry/body typing and field testing are some of the services offered.

The Zone Manager, Dr Peter Olsen, said it had been a pleasure working with the young athletes. “They are very fit young men and it was great to be able to contribute specific scientific information which will inform their training plans as they build up to the national titles and then the Oceania competition after that. We’re very happy to help.”