Performance Lab

At Sanford POWER we provide access to comprehensive functional, physiological and biomechanical evaluations. These evaluations are for anyone who is looking to improve his/her physical performance, or for musculoskeletal injuries. Our experts work one-on-one with the athlete to develop an individualized program to help achieve his/her specific performance goals. Please note that some services are not yet available at certain POWER locations.


How effective are your workouts? The POWER Performance Evaluation provides a comprehensive assessment measuring blood pressure, resting heart rate, body fat (using a skin caliper) sub-maximal VO2 max, strength, flexibility, muscle endurance, and core strength. Take home your results the same day. Provides an excellent baseline to help gauge your progress.


Hydrostatic Weighing (Underwater Weighing) has become universally regarded by industry experts as the “Gold Standard” in body fat testing. It has been around for over 50 years and is based on Archimedes’ principle, stating that when a body is submerged in water, there is a buoyant counterforce equal to the weight of the water which is displaced. As bone and muscle are denser than water, someone with a larger percentage of lean body mass will weigh more in the water and ultimately have a lower body fat percentage versus someone with less lean muscle mass. A person with more body fat will be lighter in water because body fat floats and lean tissue, muscle, connective tissue and bones sink. This is available only at our Fargo location.

Skinfold testing is a more common, simpler method of measuring percent body fat in the skinfold (pinch) test. Specific sites on the body are measured and the data is put into a formula to determine the percent of body fat. You will leave with your test results and norms for body composition. *This is available in the Sioux Falls location.

To find out more about the services and locations of Body Composition Testing available, Please call: 
Sanford POWER in Fargo at (701) 234-8999  
or in Sioux Falls at (605) 312-7800


Lactate Threshold reflects the exercise intensity where the accumulation of lactic acid, in the blood, increases sharply. It is an accurate predictor of endurance, performance, and in determining an athlete’s appropriate training intensity zones. Tracking changes in Lactate Threshold assists athletes in assessing the effectiveness of their training. Lab testing is the most accurate method for establishing effective training zones.




Lactate Threshold testing reveals your body’s unique response to physical stress at different levels of intensity. It provides information to individualize training variables (intensity, duration, and frequency) to help reduce the risk of overtraining and injury.

Once Lactate Threshold is determined, training intensities are set to improve your fitness level. Lactate Threshold may be measured several times during the race season to assess performance, and monitor/adjust training schedules accordingly.

Before the Test

  • Be well rested and hydrated
  • Eat a normal diet the day of, preferably nothing two hours prior (water only)
  • Estimate current 10K run time

During the Test

The actual test time is 20-30 minutes with a warm-up, followed by a 20-minute results analysis. Wear breathable and comfortable clothing such as running or workout attire.


VO2 max is a fitness measure of the effectiveness of a person’s cardio-respiratory system. The test measures the body’s ability to take in, transport and use oxygen while at maximum capacity. VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen, in milliliters, someone can use in one minute per kilogram of body weight. Someone who is fit has a higher VO2 value and can exercise more intensely than someone who is not well conditioned. A high aerobic capacity is especially important in endurance-type activities (distance running, cycling and swimming).


VO2 max reveals your body’s unique response to physical stress at different levels of intensity. It provides information to tailor exercise and training parameters (intensity, duration and frequency) to help avoid over or under training, and you avoid injury due to training errors.

Before the Test

  • Be well rested and hydrated
  • Eat a normal diet the day of the test, preferably nothing two hours prior (water only)
  • Estimate current 10k run time.

During the Test

The actual test time is 8-12 minutes per individual test with a warm-up, followed by a 20-minute results analysis. Wear breathable and comfortable clothes such as running or workout attire.


Our number one goal of the Sanford POWER Program is to improve athletic performance by stressing the principles of proper functional movement. Our staff believes that a properly designed athletic enhancement program will not only help improve the athlete’s performance, but can also help address biomechanical issues that could lead to injury. Testing performed at the Sanford POWER Center is designed to give our staff a baseline on every individual that trains with us. It not only gives us a measure of the athlete’s abilities, but gives us an idea on what areas both athletically and functionally we will need to work on over the course of the athlete’s program. The POWER Performance Evaluation provides a comprehensive assessment measuring body fat (using a skinfold caliper), power, speed, agility, muscular strength and endurance, and anearobic capacity.


Your Resting Energy Expenditure (REE) is the amount of calories needed for your body to do all its basic functions. Even when you are resting, your body is very busy. Your heart pumps blood, your kidneys filter waste, your lungs take in oxygen, your body temperature is maintained, and your brain coordinates these functions.


Knowing your REE gives you a baseline for estimating total caloric needs. Any activities you do, from sitting or standing to vigorous exercise, will increase from this baseline. Daily activities can increase your needs by a little or a lot. The amount depends on how much you move at your job or at school, during your workouts and in your leisure time. Your dietitian can help you fine tune your energy intake to meet your individual needs to support your fitness and weight-related goals.

Before the Test

  • Arrive 30 minutes prior to ensure a relaxed state (no sleeping)
  • Fast 12 hours prior (water only)
  • No exercise 24 hours prior

During the Test

The test will take approximately 30-45 minutes. Wear comfortable clothes or everyday attire.


The Sanford SCORE Assessment measures athletic readiness through a series of fitness drills that measure power, speed, acceleration, agility and endurance. Take the tests, enter the data online, and discover your Sanford SCORE, a unique number that represents sport-specific athletic fitness. You’ll see how you compare to other athletes and learn techniques to leverage every second of your off-season training.

Sanford SCORE Pro

The Sanford SCORE Pro Assessment combines fitness tests with an athletic movement performance assessment that identifies improper body movements that have been linked to basketball injuries. You’ll learn how to compete safer, play longer and maintain optimal performance. Sanford SCORE Pro is available at a Sanford POWER location or on-site with a visiting Sanford SCORE team.

Sanford SCORE Elite

The most in-depth, comprehensive of Sanford SCORE assessments. Sanford SCORE Elite builds on SCORE and SCORE Pro to include highly technical evaluations tailored to the unique needs of the athlete. SCORE Elite offers a variety of state-of-the-art biomechanical and physiological performance tests and may include measurements of body composition, anaerobic capacity, electrolyte losses, energy expenditure and more. Sanford SCORE Elite’s advanced assessments are offered through the National Institute for Athletic Health & Performance at Sanford Health.

Visit for more information.


This is an individual evaluation of an athlete in a specific environment using a temperature, humidity, and exercise intensity that elicited performance or health problems (for example, premature fatigue, heat exhaustion, or muscle cramps) or to simulate upcoming training or competition conditions. Sweat fluid and electrolyte (sodium, potassium, and chloride) losses will be determined and cardiovascular and thermal strain (heart rate, core body temperature, and physiological strain index) will be evaluated. Individual-specific hydration and dietary strategies are provided, so that each athlete can more optimally prepare for, manage, and recover from sweat fluid and electrolyte losses incurred during training or competition.


Sport-specific nutrition interventions can help an athlete maximize power and endurance, as well as overall health and performance. The intervention includes an assessment of daily eating patterns, optional 3-day dietary analysis, and assessment nutrition tactics used during training and competition, including preparation and recovery.

Through a one-on-one consultation with our sports dietitian, individualized strategies to maximize training and performance are developed. The dietitian also helps the athlete accommodate any specific allergies or chronic health conditions he/she may have. The goal is to help each athlete effectively fuel his/her body for optimal performance and health.

For more information about the Sports Nutrition program, contact a Sanford POWER Center in your area.


There’s a new addition to Sanford POWER that allows athletes of all levels to push their training or physical rehabilitation further than ever before. Our facilities in Fargo and Sioux Falls have the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill®, which utilizes NASA technology to reduce gravity’s impact by allowing athletes to select between 20 percent and 100 percent of their full body weight when using the machine.

The lessened gravitational forces allow people all ages and experience levels to:

  • Train without pain and reduce stress to joints and muscles
  • Rehabilitate lower extremity injuries with less pain and less impact
  • Maintain fitness while rehabilitating from injury or surgery
  • Lose weight safely and exercise more intensively
  • Push training sessions further and longer with less risk of injury
  • Recover effectively and with less pain after training or competition
  • This innovative treadmill is a game changer in both training and physical therapy rehabilitation. It helps a broad spectrum of people – top athletes, orthopedic and neurologic patients, pediatric, geriatric, and those looking to lose weight – to achieve their personal health, wellness, or performance goals.

Kathy Stompro, an athletic trainer with Sanford Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, recently referred a teenage track athlete with tibial stress syndrome to Sanford POWER to train on the treadmill.

“The AlterG provided a more real-life training experience,” says Stompro. “We generally do a pool or bike workout to maintain cardio, but the treadmill allowed the athlete to actually run without pain.”

The treadmill is being used by top sports professionals all over the world including LeBron James, Tom Brady, and closer to home, the Minnesota Twins, Vikings and Timberwolves. Some of the world’s top runners also utilize it for overspeed training to enhance their race times and work on agility, stamina and speed. You will also see an AlterG on the set of The Biggest Loser, where it has become one of the most utilized modalities due to its therapeutic benefits and assistance in weight loss results.

Incorporating the AlterG into your training or sports injury rehab program will enable you to build confidence, prolong your career with less impact on the body, maintain cardiovascular fitness during rehab, and run longer and recover faster with less pain. The professionals at Sanford POWER can give you a training workout for marathons, half marathons and other distances and help you incorporate this into your strength and conditioning regimen.

Talk to your Sanford POWER physical therapist, strength and conditioning coach or athletic trainer about the benefits, or call Sanford POWER in Fargo at (701) 234-8999 or in Sioux Falls at (605) 312-7800 for a consultation.


  • Do you understand your injury?
  • How would you describe it to a team member?
  • Who is on your recovery team and what are their roles?
  • What aspects of your recovery can you control and do you have the necessary skills?
  • What scares you the most about your return to play?

By overcoming challenges with the help of our experts, you can successfully get back in the game.

Online and in-person consultations available. Contact Dr. Gillham at (605) 261-5935 or to learn more.