University of Waikato at the Avantidrome

The University of Waikato is the tertiary education partner of the Avantidrome, owned by Home of Cycling Charitable Trust, with a dedicated sport science laboratory, He Puna Oranga Tinana, located in Cambridge.

Sports Science Services

The University of Waikato Sports Science laboratory, He Puna Oranga Tinana, provides specialist fitness testing services for recreational to high performance athletes, sports teams and schools.

Athletes visit He Puna Oranga Tinana to gain an insight into their current physiological status using measures of anaerobic/aerobic capacity and efficiency, speed, agility, strength and power. This information can be used to set training zones, monitor performance and to guide training programmes to ensure athletes are training efficiently and effectively.

Our cutting edge testing equipment includes a metabolic cart (to test VO2max and other metabolic indices), a range of high-end testing ergometers (kayak, cycling, rowing and running), blood lactate analysis equipment, field testing technology (GPS, wireless timing lights, vertical jump equipment) as well as biomechanics technology (force platforms, force transducers) which enable us to test many difference components of athletic performance. We also run seminars catering for athletes and coaches wishing to understand the application of data to a training program.

Specialist packages can be designed for schools wishing to provide their students with unique education offerings in an applied high performance setting.

View our Menu of Assessments for more information.

Menu of Assessments

Lab Testing Services

Services available at the University of Waikato Sports Laboratory (Avantidrome) and University of Waikato Adams Centre for High Performance (Tauranga)

VO2max Assessment - $160

In endurance sports, an individual’s maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) is a key determinant of performance and is considered the ‘gold-standard’ measure of cardio-respiratory fitness. This assessment is relevant to any endurance athlete or fitness enthusiast interested in accurately measuring their current level of aerobic fitness.

The assessment is ~15 mins in length during which time your oxygen uptake will be scientifically measured using a metabolic system. You will receive a summary report of your results indicating your current aerobic fitness level and guidance for your endurance training.

Lactate Profile Assessment - $180

The lactate threshold has been shown to predict endurance performance and can be very sensitive to specific training. By measuring this threshold we are able to establish your individualised training zones, and help ensure you are training at the correct intensity to maximise your performance improvements. If the test is repeated every 6-8 weeks it will also show the effectiveness of your training.

During the lactate profile assessment your blood lactate levels (small finger prick) and heart rate will be measured, as the test progresses from easy to hard. The assessment takes approximately 40 minutes and can be conducted on a cycle, treadmill, kayak or rowing ergometer.

Combined VO2max, lactate and Economy Assessment - $220

The most comprehensive physiological assessment that elite athletes can undertake is a combined VO2max, lactate and economy/efficiency assessment. This test provides all the information you need to help improve your endurance performance.

The assessment takes approximately 40 mins and can be conducted on a cycle, treadmill, kayak or rowing ergometer.  You will receive a detailed report outlining specific information as to your current physiological status, as well as specific recommendations to guide your future training.

Peak Power Assessment – $100

Typically used for sprint athletes to determine their power output over a short durations (10s & 30s). The test can be repeated after each training block to show the effectiveness of your training programme.

The assessment takes ~30min which will include a 10s maximal effort, a 15min recovery period prior to a 30s maximal effort on a cycle ergometer. You will receive a summary report of your results indicating your current peak and mean average values for each effort.

Metabolic Efficiency Test (MET) - $200

The most recent development in Exercise Physiological profiling, the MET measures your carbohydrate and fat usage over the course of multiple 5 min stages providing a metabolic profile. Starting at a very low intensity your profile is established based on your energy metabolism in a fasted state (4 hrs post prandial). You will receive a report detailing carbohydrate and fat utilisation over multiple stages and identify the intensity of your optimal fat consumption. The assessment takes approximately 60 mins and can be conducted on a cycle, treadmill, kayak, or rowing ergometer.

Resting Metabolic Rate Assessment (RMR) - $120

RMR is the dietary energy we require to complete essential metabolic process. By knowing your RMR and calculating your energy expenditure we can determine how much energy you should be consuming for your body to match the demands of your sport.

If the energy we consume (through food) is lower than what we exert through daily living and exercise, then energy deficiency will occur. Energy deficiency could result in poor athletic performance as well as create a number of health concerns e.g. menstrual dysfunction, lower bone mineral density, reduced immunity and fatigue etc.

For this test, you will arrive fasted and will be required to lie under a ventilated hood for 20 min. Measurement of expired gases will be recorded to determine your RMR.

Metabolic Efficiency/Lactate Profile Assessment - $240

This assessment combines the MET with lactate measurement in order to provide a metabolic and lactate profile to ensure aspects of low, moderate and high intensity training are covered alongside your metabolic efficiency.  Your summary report provides a detailed analysis of carbohydrate and fat utilisation your lactate profile and heart rate based guidance for your endurance training. The assessment is approximately 60 mins in length and can be conducted on a cycle, treadmill, kayak or rowing ergometer.

Field Testing Services

The University of Waikato Sports Science lab offers field-testing for team sports and individuals. This includes sprint speed, agility and jump height to assess athletic performance. We are also able to run beep or yo-yo tests for measurement of aerobic ability.


Test* Cost ($) Description
Speed test $115 Test using timing lights
Change of Direction $115 Test using timing lights
Jump $115 Vertical test (Vertec) and horizontal test (broad jump)
Speed and Jump $200 Testing using timing gates and Jump testing
Aerobic $115 Yo-yo test, shuttle run, 30-15 or a repeated sprint test
Comprehensive $250 Speed, Jump, and Aerobic


* Up to 20 athletes per test
All prices are GST inclusive

Additional services available at the University of Waikato Adams Centre for High Performance (Tauranga)

  • Heat Acclimation
  • Altitude Acclimation
  • Heat and Altitude Acclimation

Our qualified, knowledgeable and experienced staff will guide you through the preparation, training and recovery process from heat and altitude exposure. Training using either heat or altitude is an incredibly time efficient method to increase key physiological parameters. The chamber is only one of a handful in New Zealand with the ability to combine both heat and altitude in the one room. Our resident experts are experienced in both heat and altitude training and will ensure you have the most efficient sessions to maximise your training time.

Heat Acclimation $115/h*

Environments that are thermally challenging can have a significant negative impact on sporting performance therefore preparation for competing in these environments is critical. In preparation for these more challenging climates athletes will often carry out specific sessions in environments that simulate the expected environmental conditions. In as few as five sessions individuals can adequately adjust (acclimate) to more thermally challenging conditions and improve their physiological profile. The sessions are up typically 60 to 90 mins in length and programmed into your training week to cause minimal disruption to your preparation. Research has recently shown that training in thermally challenging environments increases performance in thermal neutral conditions also. If you struggle with competing in warmer environments see us for more information about how to improve performance.

Altitude Acclimation $115/hour*

Competing at altitude can complicate an athletes training schedule especially if preparation requires then to travel to altitude in order to acclimate. Based at sea-level, our altitude chamber is capable of simulating an altitude of up to 3000 m, allowing you to train at altitude at your convenience and carry all other sessions at sea-level. Research has demonstrated the positive benefits of training at altitude, now you can do this in a safe, reliable and low fuss manner in our state of the art environmental chamber.

Heat and Altitude Acclimation $138/hour*

By combining both the heat and altitude training options you will ensure optimal physiological preparation leading into your next event. The physiological stress from just a few sessions in this challenging environment will stimulate a substantial physiological response.

(*Minimum number of 5 sessions and 6 athletes per session)

Contact details

Shannon O'Donnell

Sports Science Laboratory Manager