AIC Center for Sport Physiology and Exercise Testing (CSPET)


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    AIC Center for Sport Physiology and Exercise Testing (CSPET)

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      To better serve both AIC and our neighboring communities, it is the Exercise Science Department’s objective to provide the best possible advanced exercise testing assessments and analyses for a better understanding of health and performance. Our team, comprised of exercise physiologists, exercise science faculty, and exercise science students, strives for the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of long-term health and sport performance measures. Additionally, the center serves as an educational opportunity for the students of AIC in the allied health professions.

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      The AIC Center for Sport Physiology and Exercise Testing offers a variety of data-backed physiological testing services including, but not limited to:

      BOD POD Body Composition Testing

      The BOD POD is a body composition tracking system that accurately estimates the amount of fat tissue and lean mass within the body. This data is very useful for the interest of athletes or individual progress, performance, and overall health status. Body composition data is used in advanced research studies to monitor the progress of fitness/nutrition programs and for overall health information.

      BOD POD Informed Consent


      The BOD POD utilizes air displacement plethysmography to accurately estimate the amount of fat tissue and lean mass within the body. People who get inside the BOD POD will have their body density measured using mass and volume. From those results, fat percentage can be determined via an equation. The BOD POD is a highly accurate test with a slim margin of error between 1-2%.


      This data is especially useful for athletic or individual progress, performance, and overall health status. Too much or too little fat tissue can pose health and physiological risks of acquiring certain diseases or illnesses—i.e., obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain cancers, etc. For the active population, performance can be enhanced by optimizing the amount of fat and muscle tissue one has.

      Fat Mass: includes all essential and non-essential fat. Essential fat is the fat needed for proper physiological functioning of the human body. Non-essential fat is excess fat that is not necessary for human function/health. Excess non-essential fat can contribute to adverse health complications.

      Lean Mass: includes all other tissues other than essential and non-essential fat. This includes bones, muscle, organs, connective tissues, etc.

      What to wear:
      • Compression/spandex shorts
      • Swim cap (AIC can provide caps that are washed after use)
      What not to wear:
      • Jewelry
      • Glasses (during BOD POD test only)
      • Before getting into the BOD POD, please let your test administrator know if you have any metal equipment for medical purposes (braces, metal plates, etc.)
      What to Expect:
      • Each test takes about ten minutes to perform, including preparation
      • The subject sits quietly in the BOD POD for approximately two minutes
      • Subjects must breathe normally throughout the protocol
      • This test is easy, efficient, and comfortable for all participants
      *Please arrive ten minutes prior to testing.

      Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) Testing

      The rate at which your body uses energy at rest in one day is your resting metabolic rate (RMR). RMR testing is simple and non-invasive.

      RMR Informed Consent

      The COSMED Metabolic Systems accurately captures and analyzes the metabolic composition of your breath to determine how many calories you burn while at rest. A mask will be placed over your nose and mouth to capture your breath while you are sitting.

      In the most basic sense, an accurate test will tell you how much you should eat or how many calories your body needs to maintain your composition the way it is now, per day at rest. Knowing your RMR can help develop individualized nutritional and exercise plans to optimize your health or fitness goals—i.e., losing weight, maintaining weight, gaining weight, etc.

      An RMR test does not consider active calories burned throughout the day. Total energy expenditure (TEE) is the total amount of calories burned throughout the day.

      TEE includes:
      • RMR — energy expended at rest
      • Thermic Effect of Food — energy it takes to break down nutrients
      • Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis — energy expended completing daily movements (walking the dog, chores, etc.)
      • Thermic Effect of Activity — energy expended during planned exercise (running, swimming, lifting weight, HIIT, etc.)

      This assessment will take about a half hour to complete once it begins. As you prepare for your evaluation, follow the instructions below to ensure that your results are as accurate as possible.

      It is ideal that you have an overnight fast before your test. You may drink as much water as you wish.

      • Avoid consuming large amounts of carbohydrates the day before your evaluation, such as:
        • Pasta or rice
        • Desserts
        • Alcohol
      • Avoid high intensity exercise the day before your test
      • Try to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep the night before your test
      • Starting 12 hours before your test, refrain from the following:
        • Alcohol
        • Recreational drug use
        • Exercise
      • Starting 6 hours before your test, avoid:
        • Caffeine
        • Food or beverages other than water
      • Do not smoke for at least 2 hours before your test

      Come wearing comfortable clothing. Feel free to bring a pillow and/or a light blanket; we are happy to provide a pillow if necessary. You may also bring headphones to listen to soothing music. We can provide music if necessary. To calm your mind as much as possible, it is recommended that your cell phone be silenced and placed out of reach.

      VO2 Max Testing

      VO2 Max is also referred to as maximal oxygen consumption. During a VO2 Max test, your maximal aerobic capacity will be measured. This test provides information on how aerobically fit you are and is the best indicator of cardiovascular fitness.

      VO2 Max Pre-Screening

      VO2 Max Informed Consent

      The COSMED Metabolic Systems accurately measures the metabolic composition of each breath to determine how much oxygen is being consumed and how much carbon dioxide is being produced. This test can be completed on a treadmill, a bike, rower, or arm ergometer. This test is suitable for a wide range of individuals, from those living a sedentary lifestyle to elite athletes.

      Completing a VO2 Max Fitness test can give individuals and trainers the data to set realistic training goals and assess aerobic improvements over time. Many clients or athletes are inefficient exercisers with limited knowledge of the intensity or duration of training that would best help them reach specific goals (endurance training, fat burning, weight loss, etc.). VO2 Max testing is a valuable tool for athletes and trainers to assess current performance and evaluate training programs and progress. An initial VO2 Max assessment can help determine target heart rates, exercise intensity, and duration, which can aid everyone to reach their fitness goals more efficiently. Multiple VO2 tests provide helpful feedback as the fitness program progresses over time.

      Aerobic testing is also beneficial because poor fitness levels are associated with an increased risk of chronic illnesses, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other metabolic conditions. Good fitness levels indicate a reduction in the prevalence and likelihood of developing such conditions.


      A VO2 Max test is performed on a treadmill, cycle, rower, or arm ergometer. The exercise modality of the test is up to the individual and is chosen based upon preference or what will give the most accurate results for that specific individual. After a brief warm-up, the speed and intensity of the test will gradually increase, therefore putting a greater strain on your cardiovascular system to work harder with the increased workload. Over time, aerobic capacity (oxygen consumption) will peak, and an individual will then proceed to go completely anaerobic after the fact.


      The Center for Sport Physiology and Exercise Testing (CSPET) is in the Colaccino Center for Health Sciences at 1020 State Street in Springfield, MA. AIC’s Human Performance Laboratory houses advanced exercise testing equipment where our program faculty provide students and participants with specialized educational experiences.