Exercise Physiology Lab

Students working in a research laboratory

About the Lab

The Exercise Physiology Lab is used to study the acute responses and chronic adaptations to exercise. The equipment in the lab allows for the investigation of a variety of physiological systems and fitness parameters. For example, we can measure a person’s cardiovascular, respiratory, and metabolic responses to exercise as well as evaluate an individual’s balance, flexibility, and power. dditionally, our collaborative work with the Body Composition Lab and the Neuromuscular Research Lab allows us to test nearly all aspects of clinical human physiology, physical fitness, and athletic performance.

The Exercise Physiology Lab is one of the most widely used labs in the Kinesiology and Health Science Department. It is used for instruction during the laboratory portions of KIN 4100 (Exercise Physiology), KIN 5100 (Fitness Assessment & Exercise Program Design), and several graduate courses. Many of our M.S. students also use this lab to collect data for their research projects. Finally, this lab is used for faculty wellness testing as well as community testing.

If you are interested in having a physiological test (e.g., pulmonary function, VO2max, etc.), please contact the lab director below.


Dr. Lanny Nadler started the lab in the early 1970s when the current lab space was incorporated into the construction of the HPER building. At the time, the focus of the lab was on clinical exercise testing and wellness programing. Dr. Ed Heath took over leadership of the lab with his arrival to USU in 1999, and Dr. Dale Wagner is the current lab director. Mr. Jon Carey was added as the Lab Coordinator in 2019. The lab has steadily grown in size and scope, with the  Body Composition Lab  and the  Neuromuscular Research Lab  being recent offshoots from the Exercise Physiology Lab. Still, the Exercise Physiology Lab continues to be the focal point for the educational and research training of many Kinesiology students.

Research Opportunities

Every year there are new studies taking place in the Exercise Physiology Lab. Some of these studies are faculty-led, while others are master’s degree projects.

Current Projects

Body composition of club sport athletes

Exercise Physiology and Body Composition labs are currently collaborating on a project: to develop normative reference data for the body compositions (e.g., body fat percentage, fat-free mass index, etc.) of university club sport athletes.

Labs and Facilities

Lab Facility

The Exercise Physiology Lab (a.k.a. Human Performance Lab) is located in room 152 of the Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER) building. This lab is on the far east side of the building. It can be a challenge to find, so please ask the receptionist in the front office for directions.

The lab contains an extensive amount of equipment for a variety of physiological tests. Equipment highlights include:

  • Two ParvoMedics metabolic gas analysis systems
  • Four motorized treadmills (Precor and LifeFitness)
  • Two Velotron electromagnetically-braked cycle ergometers
  • Monark 894E Wingate-testing cycle ergometer
  • Four other Monark cycle ergometers
  • Monark 881E arm-crank ergometer
  • A power lifting station with Titan weights
  • Edan USA 12-lead ECG system
  • Higher Peak MAG-10 hypoxic generator
  • Tandem Sport Vertical Challenger vertical jump tester
  • J/Fit plyometric boxes
  • Misco Palm Abbe refractometer
  • Two CareFusion Micro 1 spirometers
  • Airex balance pads
  • Y-balance testing devices
  • Sit-and-reach boxes
  • Goniometers and inclinometers
  • Handgrip dynamometers
  • Stethoscopes and sphygmomanometers

Lab Testing Facilities

There are multiple body composition and physiological tests that our labs offer to USU and the community. If you are interested in a body composition or physiological assessment, please contact the lab coordinator, Mr. Jon Carey, jon.carey@usu.edu. He can answer your questions and help you to set up an appointment.

For general information about the testing services visit our frequenty asked questions (FAQ) page.

Test USU Students & Employess Community
VO2 max w/gas analysis
This is the “gold standard” for measuring aerobic fitness. Oxygen consumption, ventilation, and energy expenditure are measured as exercise intensity is gradually increased until exhaustion. Test can be performed on either a treadmill or cycle ergometer.
$75 $110
Ultrasound Body Composition
Measurements of subcutaneous fat are taken at 3 sites and an estimate of body fat percentage is given.
$20 $30
Bod Pod Body Composition
Body mass, body volume, and body density are measured and body fat percentage is estimated from these measurements.
$45 (with measured thoracic gas volume)
$60 (with measured thoracic gas volume)
Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) Body Composition - Not available until the Fall 2021 Semester
Attenuation of x-ray beams to measure segmental (limbs vs trunk) and total bone mass, lean mass, and fat mass.
$70 $100
Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) BoneScan - Not available until the Fall 2021 Semester
Bone mineral content and bone mineral density at the femoral neck (hip) and lumbar spine.
$70 $100
Bioimpedance Spectroscopy Total Body Water
An estimate of total body water (as well as body fat percentage) is provided using multiple frequencies of electrical current.
$25 $35
Multi-component Body Composition
This is the “gold standard” research method of body composition testing. Basically, we take the best of our laboratory methods and combine them: body density from the Bod Pod, bone mineral content from DXA, and total body water from BIS.
$125 $180
Isokinetic Muscle Strength
Maximal strength can be obtained with the Biodex Isokinetic Machine. This is the “gold standard” for strength testing.
$20 $30
Power Testing
Explosive power is measured with the VerTek vertical jump. Mean and peak anaerobic power are measured with the Wingate test, a 30-second cycle test against high resistance. Testing is done on a Velotron cycle ergometer.
$40 $60
Resting Metabolic Rate
This test determines the rate at which calories are consumed while at rest. The test measures your oxygen consumption while you are lying comfortably.
$40 $60
Pulmonary Function/Spirometry
With a maximal inhalation and exhalation this test measures FVC, FEV1, and the FEV1/FVC ratio which can be used as an indicatory of asthma or COPD.
$10 $15

*All tests include an interpretation of the results. They do not, however, constitute a medical diagnosis.


Please contact one of the lab faculty if you are interested in research opportunities within the Exercise Physiology Lab, either as a study participant or as a research assistant.

Jon Carey

Jon Carey


Kinesiology and Health Science

Phone: 435-797-0677
Office Location: HPER 142