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Cavazos-Oto: Metabolic endurance domain


The purpose of these tests is to measure the body’s ability to sustain high levels of energy output, primarily as limited by capacity in the glycolytic and oxidative metabolic pathways.

There are four constituent tests: a 1600-meter (mile) run, a 5 kilometer run, a Tabata row interval, and a 400-meter run. Running has been emphasized for two reasons: (1) It is an important functional ability in its own right; and (2) It is an activity that will generally be limited by metabolic endurance before it is limited by anything else. The Tabata row is included to test a different movement pattern, to include a non-bodyweight test (i.e. heavier athletes have an advantage), and to test recovery—an important metabolic component—by using an interval scheme.

Runs shorter than 400-meters are considered too power- and speed-intensive to be a test of metabolic endurance. Runs longer than 5k are considered too cumbersome to test regularly, and moreover are merely longer applications of the oxidative pathway, something already tested in the 5k.


These tests are prioritized, and therefore must be performed in the correct order. A Tabata row score will not yield a domain result unless a 1600-meter Run and a 5k Run have already been performed. It is not necessary to complete all four tests in order to obtain a Metabolic Endurance score, as long as none are skipped.

The runs should be performed on relatively flat ground—a standard 400m track works best, though this may become boring during the 5K. Any shoes may be used. Treadmill runs are not allowed.

Test one: 1600-meter run

The mile run is prioritized first, as a compromise between anaerobic and aerobic output.

Run 1600 meters as fast as possible and record your time. A standard mile (1609 meters) is acceptable, or four laps around a metric track (1600 meters) works fine. Your time in seconds is your score.



Test two: 5 kilometer run

This test is prioritized second, and is the main test of the athlete’s competency in the longer oxidative pathway.

Run 5K as fast as possible and record your time. A track is best; a street run is acceptable, although obstacles may negatively impact your score. Your time in seconds is your score.



Test three: Tabata Row

This is the only non-running-based metabolic test, as well as the only interval. It is performed as follows:

  1. On a Concept2 rower, set the display to show output in meters rowed. If possible, program an interval workout, with 8 20-second intervals and 10-second rests.
  2. Row a 20 second piece at maximal pace.
  3. Record your distance rowed while you rest for 10 seconds.
  4. Repeat for 8 total intervals.

Your score is your lowest distance rowed in any interval. For example, if you rowed 100 meters on each of the first seven rounds, and 75 meters on the last, then your score is 75 meters.



Test four: 400-meter run

This test emphasizes anaerobic output, and is prioritized last due to its greater reliance on strength, power, and muscular endurance.

Run 400 meters and record your time. For greater accuracy it is recommended although not required to have an assistant time this effort. Your time in seconds is your score.



Total metabolic endurance score

The below number is the average of the rankings calculated above. Nothing complicated is being done; the numbers output by the above tests are simply being averaged for your convenience. This average is displayed automatically; however, as described in the instructions, the Metabolic Endurance domain is of the “prioritized” type, and as such, will not be valid unless you complete the tests in order. If you have only one test, it must be the 1600-meter Run; if you have only two, they must be the 1600-meter Run and the 5k Run; and so on. The averaging tool is not smart enough to test for this, so you must keep it in mind when inputting numbers.

» Metabolic endurance score: «