This article covers everything you need to know about the INSCYD testing protocols, test results, testing cost and many more. Let’s start by addressing a common misunderstanding.

INSCYD test. Partner: Triathlon Training Academy
Image: INSCYD partner Triathlon Training Academy

Before we can dive into the INSCYD test, we have to understand what INSCYD is. INSCYD is a software tool that allows you to analyze a performance test by creating a full metabolic performance profile of an athlete. Read more about how INSCYD does metabolic profiling and the INSCYD metrics in this blog: What is INSCYD.

Table of Contents

INSCYD testing protocol

Although there are multiple INSCYD test protocols that we can recommend, there is no one singular INSCYD test protocol. This is actually a unique proposition of INSCYD: whether you prefer a lab test with spirometry, a field test with lactate samples, a remote test based on power (cycling) or GPS (running) only, a self-made test or a combination of these tests, INSCYD can do it!

That said, let’s look at some commonly used metabolic testing protocols for metabolic profiling.

"The INSCYD test opened my mind to an entirely new world of training and racing."
Lionel Sanders
Lionel Sanders
Professional IRONMAN triathlete

INSCYD power performance decoder (PPD)

The INSYCD Power Performance Decoder test (also known as the INSCYD PPD test or INSCYD decoder) is a test that uses power (in cycling) or GPS (in running) only. It therefore enables cycling and running coaches to perform remote performance testing.

  • The athlete performs the test wherever they are
  • He/she than sends the power or GPS file to the coach
  • The coach uploads the file to INSCYD
Example workflow for the Running Power Performance Decoder (PPDr)

As a result, you get a full metabolic profile report with lab level accuracy. Read more about the results over here.

To get those results, it is important to stick to a specific Power Performance Decoder test protocol. There are 2 protocols: one for cycling and one for running. Let’s learn more about those protocols.


The PPD Cycling can be performed outdoor (as a fieldtest) or indoor on a trainer. In both cases, it is necessary to use a power meter (note that a smart trainer already has a power meter). To get accurate results, an athlete should do 4 intervals via a strict protocol. Download the PPD cycling protocol here:

Curious how accurate this power-only test is? Exercise Physiologist Tero Joutsen, PhD, did an undercover test: Undercover test: INSCYDs power-performance decoder versus lab gold standard.


The PPD Running should be performed outdoor as a fieldtest. The only piece of equipment you need is a GPS watch. To get accurate results, an athlete should do 4 intervals via a strict protocol. Download the PPD running protocol here:

Curious how accurate this GPS-only test is? Read about the validation study!

Want to know more?

INSCYD lactate test

The INSCYD lactate test is a test that can be used in any sport. It enables coaches to test where it matters: in the field.

Contrary to the Power Performance Decoder, the INSCYD lactate test does not have a strict protocol. You can adjust it to your own needs and sport you are working in. It does have same requirements. It for instance needs a variety of different durations and different intensities of efforts.

Although you can create your own protocol, we also provide you with a lactate test example protocol. This protocol meets all the requirements. Request the lactate test protocol here:

Request lactate test protocol

INSCYD lab test

The best metabolic testing labs (also known as Human Performance labs) use the INSCYD lab test. Why? Because it enables them to massively reduces the time for testing athletes, because the tool only needs a small amount of data to calculate a large number of physiological metrics. With conventional testing one would get only maximum 80% of the results of INSCYD but in 8h testing time. INSCYD does the same in less than 1h.

Similar to lactate testing, labs can create their own protocol. They can use lactate samples and a metabolic cart, although the latter is not necessary per se. Request an example of INSCYD lab test protocol:

INSCYD virtual test

The INSCYD Virtual test – better known as the INSCYD Performance projection – predicts future performances. It shows exactly how much an athlete’s FTP (or any other parameter) changes when they increase their VO2max (or any other parameter) by say 5%. In our experience, that is exactly what motivates athletes to stick to a training program and retest more frequently.

INSCYD Performance Projection - fat and carbohydrate combustion
Performance projection (dashed line): what happens to FatMax when decreasing VLamax

Find out about the performance projection in this blog: INSCYD Performance projection: predict future performances (and boost your business).

INSCYD test results

Metabolic profiling via INSCYD results in a full 360 degree physiological performance profile of an athlete. The report includes all the INSCYD metrics like: body composition, metabolic capacities, load characteristics, metabolic fingerprint, performance development and training zones.

Want to see an INSCYD test report? Coaches, labs and working professionals can schedule a video call in which we can show you and explain to you the INSCYD metabolic report.

Athletes can reach out to any INSCYD coach to get an example of a Metabolic Profile Report.

INSCYD test cost


INSCYD is a software, used by the best coaches, labs, teams and federations. To find out what an INSCYD test costs, reach out to an INSCYD coach or lab. You can find them here:

Coaches, Teams, Federations

For those who want to start using INSCYD themselves and wonder: how much does INSCYD cost? Find out at our pricing page or get in touch with a local partner manager:


Is there a question we did not answer yet? Get in touch with us!