Lactate Step Test: execution, evaluation and training plans

The lactate step test is an endurance performance test. The test person is gradually loaded on a suitable ergometer or treadmill. At the end of each step, a small drop of blood is taken from the finger or earlobe to determine the lactate level.

Advantages of the lactate step test

No more half-knowledge – get precise information for the effective and targeted control of your training:

  • Optimal control over your performance development through effective training planning.
  • An objective overview of training success through performance comparison before – after.
  • Safety in the ideal heart rate range train by an exact determination of your training- / metabolism ranges.
  • Healthy, sustainable training by avoiding overtraining.


Before the lactate level review

The following must be observed, otherwise, the measurement will be negatively influenced.

Drunken man sleeping on bar No party the day before the test!


  • On the day before the test and on the test day itself you must not train!
  • Sleep in! No parties/alcohol consumption the evening before the test!
  • You should take the last meal 3 hours before the test! If you eat a snack before your normal training sessions, you may also do so before the test.
  • 2-3 hours before the test do not consume caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, fruit juices or other sugared beverages!

meeting and check-up

At the beginning, we have a short conversation.

  • How does the respondent assess his current level of performance?
  • How often in the week and at which heart rate has training been performed so far.
  • Personal goals and wishes.
  • The general state of health
  • Risk factors (cardiovascular problems, medication, etc.)

Additional anthropometric data such as e.g. anthropometric data are also documented.

  • Size and weight
  • blood pressure
  • resting pulse
  • blood sugar
  • BMI
  • body fat and skeletal muscle mass etc.

This objectifies the development of performance and makes it traceable over a longer period of time.

Illustration Man with Pulse

Procedure of the lactate level review

  • Determination of the lactate values in the individual stress levels by taking blood from the finger / earlobe.
  • The test person begins to pedal and I pay attention to a constant cadence. Also, the body position on the ergometer should not be changed significantly. Now there is a continuous, gradual increase of the load up to the full load.
  • At the end of each stress level, the blood lactate value is determined by taking a blood sample from the earlobe or finger. At the same time, the heart rate is measured and recorded.


Evaluation and Debriefing

Determination of the individual anaerobic threshold (IANS), elaboration of a personal Trainingsplanes. A heart rate lactate curve is created from the test data, i.e. the lactate concentration is set in relation to the performance or load. The aerobic and the individual anaerobic threshold (IANS) of the test person can now be determined from the curve.

The range of the IANS (individual anaerobic threshold) indicates the highest possible stress intensity, which can be maintained without increasing acidity. Based on this value the individual training areas can be derived and thus an efficient and healthy increase in performance can be achieved. More information under lactate level Review vs. rule of thumb.

This post is also available in: German

William C. Hilberg
As an author, Mr. Hilberg has published several papers on health issues that have gained international recognition. He is close to nature and loves the seclusion and activity as a freelance journalist. In his function as editor William C. Hilberg manages the entire content of PENP. Our team greatly appreciates his expertise and is proud to have him on board.