How to Use DMAX Method for Lactate Threshold in Excel

This guide will explain how to use the DMAX method for calculating the lactate threshold in Excel.

The lactate threshold is an important measure in sports physiology. It determines the intensity level at which an individual’s lactate accumulates in the blood faster than it can be cleared.

A higher lactate threshold serves as an indicator of a person’s endurance and capacity for intense levels of exercise. To calculate the lactate threshold, you will typically need data on the observed lactate concentration at different exercise intensities.

In this guide, we will provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to use the DMAX function in Excel to calculate the lactate threshold given a sample dataset.

The Anatomy of the DMAX Function

The syntax of the DMAX function is as follows:

=DMAX(database, field, criteria)

Let’s look at each argument to understand how to use the DMAX function.

  • The equal sign (=) is how we start any function in Excel.
  • DMAX() refers to our DMAX function. This function returns the largest number in a given field or records that matches a specific condition.
  • database refers to the range of cells that make up our list or database. The first row of this range must contain labels for each column.
  • field refers to the column to use for the DMAX function. The user can provide the column label as a string or as a number that represents the position of the column within the range. 
  • criteria refers to the range of cells containing the conditions to check when returning the largest value in the selected field. The range must include at least one column label and a condition for that column.

A Real Example of Using DMAX to Find the Lactate Threshold

Let’s explore a simple example of finding the lactate threshold by using the DMAX function on sample data.

The table above contains sample data from a specific patient. The first column measures the exercise intensity in watts. The second column measures the observed lactate concentration of the patient for each tested exercise intensity.

To calculate the lactate threshold effectively, we’ll need to find the change in lactate concentration after increasing the exercise intensity.

calculate delta

In the example above, we’ll use the ABS function to return the absolute value of the delta or change in lactate concentration from the previous exercise intensity to the current intensity.

We want to find the highest values where the delta in lactate concentration is less than 1.3.

set up the criteria range and field for the DMAX function

We can create our criteria range by specifying the field (Delta) and the condition below it (“<1.3”).

Once we have our criteria, we can use the following DMAX function:

=DMAX(A1:C11,”Lactate Concentration(mg/dL)”,A13:A14)

We can replace our second argument with “Exercise Intensity (W)” to return the corresponding intensity.

use DMAX Method for Lactate Threshold

Using the DMAX function, we’ve determined that the lactate threshold of the individual is 4.6 mg/dL at an exercise intensity of 260 W.

Click on the link below to create your own copy of our examples.

Head to the next section to read our step-by-step tutorial on how to use the DMAX function to find the lactate threshold.

How to Use DMAX Method for Lactate Threshold in Excel

  1. To find the lactate threshold, we’ll need to fill out the change in lactate concentration for different exercise intensities. We’ll create a new column labeled Delta and set the lowest observed exercise intensity to have a value of 0.
    fill out first delta as 0
  2. Next, we’ll calculate the delta value of the next observation. To do this, we’ll subtract the lactate concentration of both values and find the absolute value.
    calculate delta value by finding the absolute differenceIn the example above, we used the formula =ABS(B3-B2).
  3. Use the Fill Handle feature to copy the ABS formula down until the entire column is filled.
    to use DMAX Method for Lactate Threshold, we'll fill out the delta
  4. Next, type the criteria range. The range must have a column name with the criteria to consider in the cell below it.
    type delta field and the conditionIn our example, we want to find the highest values where the delta is less than 1.3.
  5. We’ll use the DMAX function to find the highest lactate threshold given our constraint.
    DMAX Method for Lactate Threshold
  6. We’ll then use a similar formula to find the corresponding exercise intensity.
    DMAX Method for Lactate Threshold

These are all the steps you need to know to use the DMAX method for finding the lactate threshold in Excel.

To learn more about using Excel for finding optimal values, you can read our post on how to calculate the economic order quantity to minimize inventory costs.

That’s all for this guide! Be sure to check out our library of spreadsheet resources, tips, and tricks! 

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