Skip to main content

Human Performance Lab

The Human Performance Laboratory at UCC was established in 1990 to provide a centre for fitness testing and health screening of all levels of participants from the recreational to the elite athlete and player. The laboratory has been extensively involved with the screening of and advising to UCC staff and students, UCC Scholarship athletes, Sport Ireland supported athletes, as well as local and provincial athletes and players. The laboratory offers two broad categories of testing - Physical Fitness Assessment and Lifecheck Helath Screen.

Physical Fitness Testing

Allows an individual to establish their current level of fitness and identifies strengths and weaknesses. Common sports specific tests include those for cycling, running, rowing and all field sports. The exact battery of tests conducted is tailor-made to the individuals’ requirements. Undergoing a fitness assess can establish a baseline of current fitness levels. Repeated testing (e.g. 2-3 times per year) is beneficial as it enables the charting of progress over a period of time and thus indicates the effectiveness of a training program. Fitness testing can be beneficial to anyone, both competitive or non-competitive, elite or non-elite, young or old who has a desire to improve their current level of physical condition. Depending on the number of tests, an assessment takes 1.0-2.5 hours. A debrief of test results is included, and how data can be applied to a training/exercise program. A full report of results is received along with training recommendations. The basic fitness test package typically includes:

  • Body Composition (height, weight, % body fat based on the ISAK 7 skin-fold method)
  • Blood Pressure, and Lung Function (pre and post exercise)
  • Strength testing to include measures of leg power and/or core strength
  • Aerobic Capacity/VO2max (maximal or sub-maximal testing)
  • Flexibility

For the competitive endurance athlete/cyclist/rower the following additional tests are available (using h/p Cosmos treadmill, SRM cycle erg or Concept 2 row erg)

  • Blood lactate profile to identify thresholds, and in turn to prescribe training speeds/heart rates/wattages for various intensities/zones of training
  • Economy of motion (submaximal VO2)

Additional tests available include:

  • Lipid profile (total cholesterol, HDL/LDL, triglycerides)
  • Biodex isokinetic strength assessment (eg. quadriceps/hamstrings; hip flexor/extensor; shoulder internal/external rotation, ankle plantar/dorsiflexion)
  • Anaerobic capacity – BT ATS cycling test, Cunningham & Faulkner treadmill sprint test)
  • Sprint tests such as 10m-20m-30m acceleration sprints and 8 x 40m multi-sprint endurance test using Brower timing gates

Team fitness assessments are also offered whereby an entire team/panel can be tested at one time across a range of tests. Each player receives a comprehensive report detailing their individual scores in relation to the positional averages. Below is an outline of the typical tests, although these can be amended to suit the sport:

  • Body Composition – body weight, height and % body fat based on skin-fold measurements
  • Leg power and core strength – vertical jump, SB jump and abdominal strength test
  • Speed / Acceleration – 10-20-30 metre sprint times
  • Agility – Illinois agility test
  • Anaerobic Endurance/MSE – 8 repeats of 40 metre sprints
  • Aerobic Endurance – Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test

Lifecheck Health Screening

The LifeCheck Program is particularly suited to those individuals who don’t partake in regular physical exercise and want to gauge their current state of health and fitness. The main tests conducted examine those elements which are important to good health. The average screening session takes 90-120 min and includes:

  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Composition (height, weight, waist/hip ratio, % body fat)
  • Total Cholesterol
  • Lung Function (pre and post exercise)
  • Abdominal strength endurance
  • Aerobic Capacity (sub-maximal)

Additional optional tests include:

  • Full Cholesterol Profile (Total Cholesterol, Fasting Triglycerides, HDL/LDL)

Testing Costs

All tests are followed up with a comprehensive report detailing results and recommendations regarding an exercise/training regime and diet. The cost of the above services are listed below. Discount prices are available for UCC staff and students, please contact the lab for details.



LifeCheck Health Screen


QuickCheck (B/P, % fat and cholesterol)


Fitness Assessment


Fitness Assessment with VO2 max & lactate profile


Lactate/HR Profile (treadmill, bike or row erg)


Body Composition (skin-fold analysis)


Cholesterol or Haemoglobin and B/P


Full Lipid Profile (chol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides) and B/P


Biodex Isokinetic Strength Assessment


VO2 max test only (treadmill, bike or row erg)


Team Fitness Test (field-based)


20 Metre Shuttle Run


Department of Sport & Physical Activity

Spórt UCC

Ferry Lodge, Mardyke Walk, T12 P282