About Topsport Limburg

Opened since February 6, 2015, the Topsport Limburg is a High-Performance Centre with elite training facilities for professional sports athletes. The mission of TopSport Limburg is to offer youths in Limburg the ideal environment in achieving their best performance — a primary goal of every professional sports athlete.

The top-level sports infrastructure features optimal training and sports performance testing. One of these infrastructure is the highly advanced and accurate indirect calorimeter system from Maastricht Instruments, known as the Omnical.

Sports performance testing at Topsport Limburg

Maastricht Instruments asked Stephanie Reid, Manager of High Performance at Topsport Limburg, to share her views on sports performance testing and her experience with using the Omnical. Motivated by helping athletes and making people into superheroes through sports, Stephanie is driving the mission of Topsport Limburg in building an extensive network to help athletes reach their highest potential. She is part of a team that includes a comprehensive network of exercise physiologists, sports science specialists and sports medicine expertise.

What can one expect with a performance test at Topsport?

Depending on the specific sport of the athlete, a performance test can be a basic VO2 max test or lactate test, or a combination of aerobic capacity with physical tests such as strength, balance and strength endurance.

Can you predict sport success based on performance tests?

There are a few predictors that may indicate a possible achievement in power or endurance sports. However it is difficult to predict or define sports success based on off-field muscle strength or maximal aerobic capacity test results, because performance is complex. There are a wide range of factors related to sport success, such as psychological factors too.

Then, why is performance testing necessary?

Performance tests provide a quantitative view on the human athletic performance. It provides a baseline for training improvements.  How effective is the training programme? Am I regaining strength and endurance from the rehabilitation programme? What goals can I set? These are some of the important questions that athletes want answers to.

What is the importance of accurately assessing an athlete’s performance?

Athletes should be able to trust that the measured values or a change reflects their current training status. Obviously as a performance tester, I want to be confident that I am providing an accurate assessment.

"One of the main differences of the Omnical is the method of calibration which gives me confidence in the measurement values that I get from the tests."
-- Stephanie Reid, Manager of High Performance

How is the Omnical different from the other systems you have used before?

One of the main differences of the Omnical is the method of calibration which gives me confidence in the measurement values that I get from the tests. The fact that the validation of the system is based on science (with an alcohol combustion test) and the precision of these measurement values, I can be confident that a change is the true reflection of an athlete’s performance and not from system variation.

What is a new feature you would like to see with the Omnical?

Features that can allow me to compare past and present measurement data for data analysis, such as overlaying past and present results.

The ability to predict or estimate an athlete’s resting metabolic rate without the need for taking longer duration measurements in the lying, complete rested state.

About Maastricht Instruments

In close cooperation with the Department of Human Biology of Maastricht University, Maastricht Instruments delivers indirect calorimetry systems such as the Omnical and the Whole Body Room Calorimeter. This unique partnership between business, academic and R&D partners guarantees solid turnkey technology for Metabolic Research to customers worldwide.

Discover what Maastricht Instruments can do for you by visiting our website here. Maastricht Instruments has become the key source of information for all questions pertaining to technical innovations and the valorisation of medical technology and life science applications.

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