News & Updates

When Brodie discontinued with its Test of Metal in 1994, Squamish Off-Road Cycling Association (SORCA) founder and president Cliff Miller and Squamish mountain biking and rock climbing guidebook author and publisher Kevin McLane met in a pub one night and drew out a proposed new Test of Metal race course on the back of a coaster.

Peak Centre for Human Performance

Peak Centre for Human Performance

Tobin McCallum is a seasoned cross country mountain biker having raced for many years prior to his arrival at the Peak Centre  in December 2015 seeking more from his training.

‘‘For me, as training is taking more and more time I wanted to make sure I was maximizing the efficiency of it all. I want to ensure I am getting the most for my efforts.’’

He has competed in six back-to-back Test of Metal (TOM) races and numerous others in BC and across Canada.  Having finished top 10 in his category last year he hopes to secure podium finishes in this year’s series with the TOM race as the major focus.  After achieving a 3:10 finish last year he hopes to go sub 3 hr in his TOM performance for 2016.

‘‘As my son moves into racing as well, with so much success I wanted to go that extra mile to keep up with his progress.  One morning I asked myself if I could be doing more to compete for the same!’’

Tobin had his first assessment with us in December 2015, with encouraging results, but there were definitely areas in his profile that we could focus on for improvements.  His lactate tolerance suggested that his ability to push at the higher end of the intensity spectrum was acting as a limiting factor to his sustained power.  Furthermore, his training log and physiological profile suggested that he was spending too much time training in his Zone 2, the dreaded junk miles zone!  A training program based on Zone 1, Zone 3 and Zone 5 was going to benefit Tobin the most for his profile and for the requirements of his events.  This would improve his muscle’s ability to remove lactate, thereby delaying the onset of fatigue until high power outputs were reached.  It would also improve his mental and physical tolerance to lactate accumulation when grinding out the slog up those mountains!  There’s a fair bit of that happening during the TOM races.  From this information the Peak Centre was able to create a training program focused on his individual needs to ensure he got the most out of the training time he was putting in.

In his reassessment just 10 weeks later the focused training at the most specific individual intensities had really paid off!  In less than 3 months Tobin had improved his aerobic threshold power by 40 Watts (215 to 255 Watts – 19% increase in the power he can generate all day), his lactate threshold power by 15 Watts (280 to 295 Watts – 5% increase) and his power at VO2max by 30 Watts (305 to 335 Watts – 10% increase)!  Additionally, his maximal lactate tolerance had also improved by a huge 57% – now that’s impressive!

Peak Centre for Human Performance


Training scientifically for 10 weeks has produced better improvements than he could have ever imagined in such a short time.  The saying ‘Train Smarter, Not Harder’ really does hold true for Tobin.

‘‘The program has really guided me as to make sure my training intensities are in the right areas which is significantly harder when training indoors.  Additionally it has helped me ensure the other key areas are considered such as nutrition and rest in order to get the most out of my training.’’

It just goes to show the potential that can be harnessed by training to the correct intensities for the individual and avoiding those physiological junk zones.  And with 4 months still to go until his ‘A’ race things are looking good for a really great racing season!

Peak Centre for Human Performance