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Exercise Physiology Lab Services

The Exercise Physiology Laboratories (EPLs) are located in Johnson Center. The EPLs are a crucial component of the Exercise Science program, serving as teaching, research and clinical facilities.

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The EPLs are equipped to test all aspects of physical fitness and performance including cardiovascular endurance, pulmonary function, muscular strength and endurance, body composition, flexibility, and blood hormone, lipid and enzyme profiles.

lab pics

In addition, the altitude chamber located in Carlisle Gym is an important research facility of the EPLs and, to our knowledge, is one of only a few altitude chambers available for research and educational purposes in the United States.

Altitude chamber

Frequently Asked Questions FAQ's

The location of our lab is The Lower Floor of the Johnson Center. We are located on the South side near the basketball courts

What should I wear?

Some assessments have certain clothing restrictions. See below for details. For your convenience we have a changing room.

Bod Pod: Excess clothing can influence volume measurements, resulting in a less accurate body composition analysis. Minimal clothing during testing is recommended. Please come prepared with a swimsuit or other compression clothing (e.g. Spandex shorts, sports bra) to wear while in the Bod Pod, and perhaps a robe or cover-up for immediately before and after testing. We will provide you with a swim cap to cover your hair and will also request that you remove all jewelry, eyewear, and other accessories prior to testing.

Maximal/Submaximal Graded Exercise Test: Please come prepared with appropriate athletic clothing and shoes. We recommend shorts and a T-shirt for maximum comfort while exercising, because you may become warm and cannot remove layers once testing has begun.
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Am I allowed to exercise on the day of, or prior to testing?

In general, we recommend that you abstain from vigorous exercise for 12-24 hours prior to testing. Please be sure to properly hydrate during and after exercise, especially if you are coming in for a Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis.

For any exercise or performance test, aerobic or anaerobic, we also advise that you refrain from strenuous exercise for a few days before your test, just enough to ensure that you are properly rested.
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How long must I wait after eating or drinking before testing?

It is not necessary to do an extended fast before any procedures, but please refrain from eating or drinking for at least two hours before coming in (6 hours for an RMR test). Also avoid caffeine on the day of any body composition assessment. For maximal exercise tests, we do not recommend consuming a large meal beforehand, but rather a light, healthy snack (i.e. ~200 calories, with carbohydrates and protein) two hours before exercise.
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What is the difference between the different types of body composition tests? Which one is best?

All of our body composition assessments are non-invasive and similarly accurate. Historically, hydrostatic (underwater) weighing was considered to be the "gold standard" for body composition, and the Bod Pod uses similar methodology to calculate fat and fat-free mass in a more comfortable and convenient environment. However, if you are uncomfortable in enclosed spaces for a short amount of time, this test may not be for you.
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What is the difference between total fat mass, total fat-free mass, and percent body fat?

Fat mass is the absolute amount of body fat, measured in pounds or kilograms. Fat-free mass or lean mass is any tissue or part of the body that does not contain fat, such as skeletal muscle, bones, and water. Body fat percentage is a ratio of total weight of fat to the total weight of the body.
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What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept cash and checks only.
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Do you ever need volunteer or research test subjects?

Yes several of the classes taught need subjects/volunteers for students to learn and practice their assessment skills with, you can contact our office for more information

How do I get there and where do I park?

Construction around structure in progress. Validation of parking for community members only.

From Central Avenue, turn North on Stanford (or Princeton). Take a left-hand turn on Redondo and a right (just after Stanford) into the Cornell parking structure. Stop at the table at the entrance and tell the attendant that you have an appointment in the lab or you can mention EHPP. Please make sure you say you have a testing appointment in the Exercise Lab (EHPP). They will give you a voucher and you'll leave one part on your dash, and bring in the other part for us to validate your parking.

After parking, proceed to Johnson Center which is the building just north of the parking structure. You go in the west-facing (main) door. This is the door that faces Popejoy Hall and the big colorful statue. If you do not have a UNM ID, tell the Johnson Gym attendant there that you have an appointment in the lab.

Take the stairs down to the left to the basement. At the bottom of the stairs, turn right up a ramping hallway. At the end of the ramp, take another right. Continue all the way down the hallway to the last door on the right, room B143.
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For more information, call 277-2658.



The Exercise Physiology Laboratories (EPLs) are located in Johnson Center. The EPLs are a crucial component of the Exercise Science program, serving as teaching, research and clinical facilities.


The EPLs are equipped to test all aspects of physical fitness and performance including cardiovascular endurance, pulmonary function, muscular strength and endurance, body composition, flexibility, and blood hormone, lipid and enzyme profiles.

In addition, the altitude chamber located in Carlisle Gym is an important research facility of the EPLs and, to our knowledge, is one of only a few altitude chambers available for research and educational purposes in the United States.



Many of the Exercise Science courses have a laboratory component in order to give our students on-hands experience with physiological testing and equipment.

Always teaching at UNM


The Exercise Science faculty and graduate students utilize the equipment, facilities and staff of the EPLs for their individual research projects, including theses and dissertations.

We have also obtained research support from other facilities, such as UNM Clinical Research Center, UNM Clinical Nutrition Research Lab, Lovelace Medical Foundation and the Veterans' Administration Hospital.

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The EPLs conducts all physiological assessments for the UNM Employee Health Promotion Program. In addition, physiological assessments are available to UNM students, UNM athletic teams, as well as the general public at large. In the past, we have conducted assessments for the New Mexico State Police, UNM Police and the New Mexico Correctional Officers.

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Community Testing

Community Testing Services

The UNM Exercise Physiology Labs offes a variety of testing services to both the UNM community and the general public

At this time we accept cash or check only. Credit option coming soon.

Assessment/Activity- test times are maximal time it will take to set up, test you and give you the results

UNM Employees UNMH Employees Community Students
Stress Test (1hr- actual test time 8-12 min) $30 $65 $120 $50
Stress Test w/Metabolic Analysis VO2 max (~2 hrs-actual test time 8-12 min)
with Lactate analysis (test time 10-20 min)
Strength Test (1/2 hr) $15 $20 $20 $15
Physiological Assessment, Stress test, Body fat, Strength test, Flexibility (1 1/2- 2 hrs) $35 $85 $150 $75
Quick Physiological Assessment: Submax exercise test,
% Body Fat, Strength, Flexibility, Blood Pressure (45 mins-1 hr)
$15 $20 $20 $20
Resting Metabolic Rate Testing (RMR) (~1 hr) $25 $35 $50 $35
Hydrostatic Weighing, Residual Volume, (1.5 hrs, RV good for 8 yrs) $30-Hydro & RV
$10-Hydro repeat
$10-RV repeat
$35-Hydro & RV
$18-Hydro repeat
$17-RV repeat
$50-Hydro & RV
$30-Hydro repeat
$20-RV repeat
$25-Hydro & RV
$15-Hydro repeat
$10-RV repeat
Skinfold/BIA, 3-4% error (30-45 min)
Inbody BIA
Bod Pod Body Composition System (30-45 min) $25 $35 $50 $20
Lipid Profile (overnight fast)
Fasting Blood Glucose (overnight fast)
Hemoglobin A1C (no fast needed)
Wingate Anaerobic Power Test (~30 min) $20 $20 $20 $20

Detailed information on Tests:

A Total Fitness Assessment Package (Physiological Assessment): 2 hours

Graded exercise stress test, body composition (skinfolds), muscular fitness, flexibility measurement, cholesterol testing (test provided once monthly-fasting required). See below for descriptions of each test.

Pre-test Instructions
  1. Eat a light meal approximately four hours before testing. If you are scheduled early in the morning, eat lightly as early as possible. DO NOT consume any caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea, colas, chocolate) or use tobacco products four hours prior to testing. Drink plenty of water.
  2. If possible do not use any cold/allergy remedies (antihistamines) twelve hours before the test. Take prescribed medications as usual.
  3. Wear exercise clothing: short sleeve shirt, shorts or sweat pants, athletic shoes. No leotards or underwire bras, please schedule testing before exercising.

Information this test provides:
  • Maximal heart rate to monitor exercise intensity during workouts
  • Screens for cardiac problems
  • It allows us to develop a personalized exercise program based on the results of the strength, flexibility, aerobic fitness and body composition assessments and your goals and preferences.
  • Compares the fitness of the individual to others in their age group and gender
  • Gives you a baseline fitness level, and when repeat tests are done it can help you track changes over time

Forms needed for this test:

  • Consent Form
  • Medical History Form

Quick Fitness assessment Package: 45 Minutes to 1 hour

This package is similar to the Physiological Assessment in that it measures body composition, strength, and flexibility.

Aerobic fitness is assessed through a sub-maximal exercise test (without electrocardiogram or blood pressure measurement). Therefore, the resulting aerobic fitness values will be somewhat less accurate than if a maximal exercise stress test was performed.

No blood lipid or dietary assessment is included. The time requirement for this option is only 1/2 hour to 45 minutes, including interpretation of test results, making it especially useful for those on a tight schedule.

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Exercise Stress Test: 1 hour

A graded exercise test is usually performed on either a treadmill or stationary cycle. Other modalities are available upon request, including upper body ergometry.

The difficulty of the test increases gradually until maximal physical effort is achieved. Actual exercise time for the test is only 8 to 15 minutes plus active cool-down. Periodic measurement of blood pressure along with assessment of heart rate and cardiac function by a 12-lead electrocardiograph will be monitored throughout the test.

Testing and interpretation takes ~1 hour.

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VO2: 1.5 hours

For a more accurate and detailed assessment of aerobic fitness, oxygen consumption during a graded exercise test can be measured by collecting expired air during the exercise stress test.

Oxygen consumption measurement is considered the best determinant of aerobic fitness. This requires exercising with a mouthpiece and nose clip to collect and analyze expired air, in addition to the measurement of heart rate. Other measurements such as oxygen saturation, lactate, ventilatory and lactate threshold and electrocardiogram available upon request.

VO2 testing

Testing and interpretation takes ~1.5 hours.

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Pre-test Instructions:

Do not consume any caffeinated beverages or use any tobacco products four hours prior to the test. If possible to do not use any cold/allergy remedies (antihistamines) twelve hours before the test. Take prescribed medications as usual. You may eat lightly and come to the test well hydrated.

Please DO NOT FAST. Don't schedule testing after a hard workout or race.

Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing: short sleeve shirt, shorts or sweat pants, exercise shoes. NO leotard tops or under-wire brassieres since electrodes will be applied directly to the chest. For the cycle, if you ride with Look, Speedplay, or SPD pedals, we have those available. Otherwise, we have standard toe clip pedals or you could bring your own. Call first for information about which pedals will work.

Information these tests provide:
  1. Maximal heart rate to monitor exercise intensity during workouts
  2. Screens for cardiac problems
  3. It allows us to develop a personalized aerobic exercise program
  4. Compares the fitness of the individual to others in their age group and gender
  5. Gives you a baseline fitness level, and when repeat tests are done it can help you track changes in fitness levels over time

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Muscle Fitness: 30 minutes

Muscle fitness tests involve the performance of a maximum effort of muscle exertion against a resistance. This will allow measurement of muscular strength, endurance, and /or power.

Strength testing

We also test muscle strength and endurance with sit-up, push-up, and 1 repetition max (1RM) tests. Results are compared to age/gender norms.

Testing & interpretation takes ~30 minutes.

Flexibility Measurement:

We measure the range of motion surrounding the hip and shoulder joints. Results are compared to age/gender normative tables.

Other joints available upon request, however normative values may not be available.

Flexibility testing
Lipid Profile Testing Glucose, and Hemoglobin A1C Testing

Blood testing: Lipid Panel (cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides) Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) & fasting Glucose testing.

An 8 hour fast is required for the glucose and lipid panel tests. Drink only water before the test. No fast needed for HbA1C. Results are sent directly to you. An appointment with a dietician from Employee Health Promotion (Reed Vawter 277-3371 or is available for those wanting to make dietary changes related to lipids or glucose/A1C results.

In order to provide more efficient service to the staff and community, the lab will be taking individual appointments for blood testing (lipid panel, glucose and hemoglobin A1C). Clients will be able to contact the lab and arrange the testing at their convenience, Monday through Friday. Contact the Exercise Physiology Lab at 277- 2658 to schedule or inquire about the availability and cost of other blood tests.

Blood draw

Dietary Analysis: Dietary analysis can help determine if you are meeting your dietary goals and nutritional requirements. The dietary analysis requires the client keep a detailed 3-day food record. The information is analyzed to calculate the breakdown of calories, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Dieticians are available for this testing through the UNM Employee Wellness program. Call 272-4460 to make an appointment.


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Body Composition Analysis: 30 minutes

Hydrostatic (underwater) weighing - can be considered "a gold standard" for body composition assessment (accuracy +/- 1 - 1.5% error). Hydrostatic weighing involves sitting in a chair suspended from a scale in a tank of warm water. You will be asked to exhale all of the air from your lungs while you are totally immersed underwater, during which time your weight is measured.

This procedure will be repeated 4-8 times. Results include percent body fat and lean mass. To increase the accuracy of hydrostatic weighing, a residual volume (RV) test is also conducted; this provides an accurate measurement of the amount of air trapped in the respiratory system once the client has exhaled as much air as possible.

An RV is good for five years provided that the client has no significant changes in lung function and capacity. Testing takes 1-1.5 hours with an RV measurement and interpretation.

Hydrostatic weighing

Repeat assessments (without RV testing) & interpretation take ~ 30 minutes.

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A three-site skinfold measurement using calipers is used to predict relative body fat and lean mass. Skinfold measurement sites differ between the sexes: chest, abdomen, and thigh for men; triceps, suprailiac, and thigh for women.

This body composition technique is not as accurate as is a hydrostatic weighing, but still estimates body fat with reasonable accuracy (+/- 3.5% error). It is also a good technique to use to monitor changes over time.


Testing & interpretation takes ~30 minutes.

BodPod: The BodPod is a method using air displacement (accuracy +/- 3 - 4% error if tied to measured RV). It is a quick, automated, noninvasive, and safe measurement process, and accommodates most populations including children, obese, elderly, and disabled persons. This technique is not accurate for those with facial and dense body hair.

Requires sitting in small enclosed machine with window for up to 5 minutes. Testing & interpretation takes ~1 hour.


Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA):

This is the quickest and least invasive method of body composition assessment using very low electric currents (not safe for those with pacemakers).

The BIA (accuracy +/- ~4% error) has equations for various populations, including disabled, obese and children.


Testing & interpretation takes ~30 minutes.

Pre-test Instructions:
  1. Do not eat or drink anything but water two to four hours prior to the test. It is not advised to schedule the test during pre-menstrual days due to fluctuations in water retention, and avoid gas producting foods for 24 hrs prior to test.
  2. Do not do your workout or any hard exercise before testing.
  3. For the underwater weighing bring a swimsuit and towel.
  4. For the BodPod, a swimsuit or tight fitting garments such as bike shorts & sports bra (loose clothing will trap air and lead to unreliable results).
  5. For skinfold measurements, wear clothing where we can access the upper arm, hip, and mid-thigh (women), and for men; the chest, abdomen, and mid-thigh, and avoid the use of body lotion prior to test.
  6. For the BIA to give accurate results, avoid things that cause a diuretic effect such as alcohol, caffeinated beverages, quick weight loss diets, fasting, or diuretic medicines. Also, avoid measurement right after a hot shower or sauna. Measurement results will not be stable during pregnancy.

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Wingate Power Test: 30 minutes

The Wingate test is a 30 second all-out effort on a cycle ergometer (stationary bicycle). This test measures anaerobic power. Results include peak power, mean power over the 30 seconds, and rate of fatigue that can be loosely associated with muscle fiber type.

Wingate power test

This test is used for those interested in peak muscle power and local muscle endurance.

Testing & interpretation takes ~30 minutes.

Field Testing

Call 505-277-2658 for more details, questions and prices on our testing services.

Exercise Physiology Lab Contact Information

Directions to the Exercise Physiology lab in Johnson Center on the UNM Campus.

Validation of parking for community members only.

You enter the UNM campus by turning north at the intersection of Stanford and Central. You will encounter a T-intersection quickly. Turn leftt on Campus Blvd., then make an immediate right to enter the parking structure. Stop at the table right at the entrance and tell the attendant that you have an appointment at the Exercise Physiology Lab.

They will hand you paperwork, half which you leave on your dash, and the other you bring to the lab for us to stamp for parking validation.

Johnson Center is located just north of the parking structure. The entrance faces west. After entering, at the turnstile, tell the attendant you have an appointment in the lab and they'll let you through. Go down the stairs to your left. At the bottom of the stairs, take a right up the ramp, and another right at the top of the ramp. You are now at the basketball court level in a hallway paralleling the short end of the court. Keep walking down that hallway, though some blue/gray doors until you pass a water fountain. Turn right into room B143.

To Schecule an appointment or test call the lab at 505 277-2658

or contact Dr Mermier by email:

email: Dr Christine Mermier Ph: 505 277-2658

Lab Director
Christine Mermier, Ph.D.
Exercise Physiology Lab
Johnson Center B143 MSC04 2610
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
Dr Mermier
email: Dr Christine Mermier:

Useful Links

Exercise Sciences at UNM

Research Studies at UNM

Exercise Science at UNM

Exercise Science Undergrad Program

Exercise Science Graduate Program

Exercise Science Journal Club

Health Links

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