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Hospital opens sports performance lab

October 9, 2019
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Mary Free Bed SpartanNash YMCA sports performance lab
Todd Buckingham, left, works with an athlete. Courtesy Mary Free Bed

A local hospital has opened its first lab that uses technology to help athletes achieve peak performance.

Housed within the sports rehabilitation clinic at the SpartanNash YMCA in Wyoming, the Mary Free Bed sports performance lab features a variety of technology, including the iDXA body composition scanner and VO2max, which measures the maximum amount of oxygen someone’s body can take in, as well as a sweat composition testing unit.

The lab also offers testing on lactate threshold, resting metabolic rate, metabolic efficiency point testing, running form analysis, anaerobic capacity, components of fitness and pulmonary function.

The performance lab, which opened last month, is inside the 6,000-square-foot Mary Free Bed sports rehab clinic that has been in operation at the YMCA since October 2018.

The lab’s lead exercise physiologist, Todd Buckingham, has experience in science-driven testing and evidence-based results analysis. Buckingham has been an exercise physiology lab coordinator for Michigan State University for the past six years, among other roles.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and exercise science form Saginaw Valley State University, a master’s degree in exercise physiology from Central Michigan University and a Ph.D. in exercise physiology from MSU.

By testing and understanding a body’s ability, Buckingham can develop individualized training plans to help athletes reach their full potential and reduce the risk of injury.

“Building the performance lab has been a dream come true for many local athletes,” said Buckingham, a seven-time national champion and two-time world champion in the triathlon and duathlon. 

“I love helping athletes achieve their goals, whether that’s a Boston Marathon qualifying time or setting a personal best in a sprint triathlon.”

The average cost for sports performance lab services is around $125.

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