Moxy monitor | Assessment 5-1-5 and case study physiological limits of the athlete

I have in my hands the sensor in muscle oxygenation Moxy Monitor. In a previous article, I described the operation of the sensor of oxygenation. Through these lines, I will detail how to perform and interpret the richness of the results of the test Moxy. It allows you to assess what is the physiological system limiting the performance of an athlete.

The Test 5-1-5 Moxy Monitor

The test format is similar to an exercise increment where it is necessary to carry out a series of intensities increasing during a fixed time. It is designed to see how physiology reacts to the loads and durable cons short exercises. The difference between a performance test and 5-1-5 are the following:

  • A resting inactive of one minute is introduced between each interval.
  • Each intensity is repeated 2 times for 5 minutes.
  • There is no warm-up.

The physiological reactions are measured by infra-red with an oxygen sensor in muscle that is located on a specific muscle. For the cycling or running legs, the Moxy is placed on the Wide side of the quadriceps.

protocole test 5-1-5 moxy monitor

Why is there a warm up ?

The muscles begin to use oxygen almost immediately at the intensity, but the oxygen supply system takes several seconds to a few minutes to respond. The effort highlights the ability of use of the oxygen to the muscles: the oxidation capacity of muscle.

Why there are 2 times 5 minutes of intensity ?

Because the cardiac output, the exchange ventilatory and vascular tone take several minutes to adapt to stress. At the end of 5 minutes, the homeostasis is reached. This reminds us of the power test critical 5 (CP5).

By doing 2 loads at the same intensity, alternated with a rest that allows you to compare how the body reacts to the intensities repeated. In other words, the faster your muscles have a capacity to recharge 02 (SmO2) the better you tolerate the repetitions.

The effect of heavy legs after the rest is done harder and harder.

The intensities are determined as a function of the FTP or your pace VMA: 44%, 66%, 88%, 110%, 132%.

Important ! This test is not a test of performance, a maximum effort is not the purpose of the assessment. If you are unable to take the intensity in the time, stop the test. It takes a minimum of 4 level of intensity to exploit the data. The 5th level is extremely difficult to maintain because it is on an effort close to of the LDCS..

Why there are rest without pedaling ?

The intensity comes to a sudden stop. The use of oxygen in the muscle activity decreases almost immediately. Stop pedaling allows you to monitor the time of rebound, and the kinetics of the oxygen. This stop allows for muscle tension to relax completely. Any mechanical effect on the volume of blood is eliminated. The vessels swell and one can discern the mechanical effects of blood volume the effects of vascular tone and needs O2 related to a request. Is measured actually the speed of physiological recovery.

The three systems which are limiting performance ?

Oxidation capacity in muscle

The person that can provide more oxygen that the muscle can not consume. Various reasons are possible : the mitochondria leading to the mitochondrial function poor, low capillary density, an inability to recruit muscle fibers, or other causes. People in sedentary or less trained have the inability to desaturate to high workloads, as shown in figure 1.

Oxidative Limitation

Capacity Heart

It is the ability of the heart to move adequate amounts of oxygenated blood to meet the needs of muscles and organs that work to support the exercise. If the SmO2 and ThB decrease continuously this indicates that the heart is unable to supply sufficient oxygenated blood to the active muscle during exercise or recovery. Graphics example.

Cardiac Limitation decreasing SMO2Cardiac limit decreasing THb
Capacity Pulmonary

The lungs do not have the ability to load oxygen in the hemoglobin, or to effectively reject the CO2 from the body to the environment (Graph example) . The difference between a limitation in lung and heart is the response of the THb in the last part of the assessment 5-1-5.

  • The THb during the interval will continuously increase.
  • The SmO2 continues to decrease. This is due to the inability of the body to get rid of the CO2. CO2 is a powerful vasodilator, which means that more blood can flow to the muscle.
    Pulmonary limitation to increasing THb

Pulmonary limitation increasing THb

How to observe the test ?

The interpretation is the subject of a series of questions to observations to measurements of Sm02, THb, and Heart Rate. According to one of the 5 possible answers, a score is associated.

  • Clear increase
  • Slight increase
  • Stable
  • Slight decrease
  • Clear decrease

By mixing the data and the scores, the interpretation guide provides not Moxy gives the result. It allows you to identify the limiting factors to the performance of the athlete at a given time.

The observations of the Sm02 ?The observations of the THb ?The recovery time ?The comments heart ?
  • Enter the rest SmO2 values (as %)
  • Which of the following best describes the lowest Minimum Work Sm02 achieved during the later part of the assessment (typically last 2 load steps)?

1-Obsvervation SmO2 en réponse à la charge du test moxy 5-1-5

  • Which of the following best describes the trend in rest SmO2 values in the later part of the assessment?

2-Obvervation SmO2 en réponse à la charge du test moxy 5-1-5

  • Which of the following best describes the trend in working SmO2 values (across intervals) in the later part of the assessment?

3-Obsvervation SmO2 en réponse à la charge du test moxy 5-1-5

  • Which of the following best describes the trend in working SmO2 values (within intervals) in the later part of the assessment?

5-Obsvervation SmO2 en réponse à la charge du test moxy 5-1-5

  • Which of the following best describes the trend in rest tHb values in the later part of the assessment?

6-Obsvervation THb en réponse à la charge du test moxy 5-1-5

  • In general, for the later part of the assessment, what trend do you observe for the Working THb values across intervals?

7-Obsvervation THb en réponse à la charge du test moxy 5-1-5

  • In general, for the later parts of the assessment, what do you observe for working THb on the repeat load compared to the first load?

8-Obsvervation THb en réponse à la charge du test moxy 5-1-5

  • In any of the loads towards the end of the assessment, when the load is removed and recovery begins do you observe delays in SmO2 rebounding?

9-Supperposition de Sm02 du test 5-1-5 moxy

  • Which of the following best describes the trend in resting HR across the last few recoveries?

10-Obsvervation frequence cardiaque en réponse à la charge du test moxy 5-1-5

  • Which of the following best describes the trend in working HR across the last few intervals?

11-Obsvervation frequence cardiaque en réponse à la charge du test moxy 5-1-5

  • Which of the following best describes the trend in working HR within the load of the last few intervals ?

12-Obsvervation frequence cardiaque en réponse à la charge du test moxy 5-1-5

  • In general, for the later parts of the assessment, what do you observe for working HR on the repeat load compared to the first load ?

13-Obsvervation frequence cardiaque en réponse à la charge du test moxy 5-1-5

Study of my case

The exercise and the adaptation is a complicated process. The limiting factors of performance may be the result of a myriad of variables.

The conditions of the test. I was on a status tired and a week of work. The day of the test was not representative of a state of optimum performance. For a guy tired, I’m out but I felt my limitations current on the latest charges. I have not been able to keep the last two 5 minutes.

test assessment 5-1-5 moxy facteurs limitations de la performance de athlete

My muscle oxidative capacity is excellent!!!

It is represented by the decrease of Sm02 at intensities, that is, the ability to use oxygen to function fully in the opposite of a person under-trained or sedentary.

My heart is very good, but …

My faculties of recoveries are excellent. The time of rebound of the Sm02 is almost zero. The increase in SmO2 is clear but nevertheless incomplete on the last loads shows my fatigue. It confirms my ability to recovery quickly between the intensities with a SmO2 that reduces the logical effort and a THb which increases in recovery.

augementation THb au repos haute intensite

Augment

My pulmonary capacity is rate-limiting 🙁

It translates into an increase of THb on the past intensity current intensity. This means a difficulty of exchange of C02 with oxygen in high intensity.

How to improve the limitations ?

These limiting factors can be improved by a variety of methods to include in its daily Nolio.

  • By monitoring the Heart Rate Variability and quantification of load to adapt its sessions.
  • The nutrition and micro-nutrition. Some foods rich in nitric oxide can increase the Sm02. Or foods rich in iron, vitamin B12 which will help to set the oxygen on red blood cells
  • Workouts varied stamina training split, sprint, strength, velocity.
  • The stretching and the rest for the purpose of resolving all tensions muscle that may constrain the flow of blood.
  • Training at altitude or in altitude simulation.

Can you identify areas of training ?

YES ! You can determine the areas but the SmO2 can change day to day depending on stress, fatigue, etc 3 areas are useful and are parallel to the 3 areas that are commonly used.

Active Recovery :Endurance High / Threshold

 The first zone is an output power or heart rate that allows SmO2 to continue to increase during the interval. This indicates that more oxygen is delivered to the muscle than is used, and could be used for things like recovery or warm-up days.

The second is an output power or heart rate that allows SmO2 to stabilize. This means that the intake and use of oxygen are in balance and that your muscle has found energy homeostasis. 

The third and fourth zone is at a power that continuously decreases SmO2. The more SmO2 decreases, the oxygen in the muscle will not be enough and fatigue will occur.

zone entrainement moxy monitor sm02

In search of performance

The use of the Moxy gives a different approach to the progression. It allows you not to get the wrong fight and be even more qualitative, in particular in the recovery phase and in the achievement of a threshold physiological that a particular watt or FC cannot be measured.

Needless to want to win for watts, if your body is not able to follow. However, work on its weaknesses limiting is a concrete way to exploit your potential.

There will always be a physiological limit to performance. The objective is to tend to stabilize the THb and the Sm02 in high intensities. It is pushing the most out of its anaerobic threshold, where the Co2 is more and more strong. It is the ability of muscles to use oxygen and to be fed with O2 and purge Co2.

It is not necessary to take the wrong path, advancing with its capabilities and its sporting qualities.

Yes. The Moxy Monitor may appear too scientific, because these are values that are invisible. The SmO2 can be achieved by your breath and your perception of the effort.

Useful links

Thanks to Phil Batterson (Physiologist Moxy) and Roger Schmiz (CEO Moxy) for their collaborations.