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Test Results

2009 November 25
by Jim M.

On Monday I did tests for Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) and Max VO2. Also a pretty full panel of blood work. The tests for RMR were right down my alley. I’ve been practicing for this for a couple of decades. The Max V02 test is exactly what I haven’t been training for over the same decades. So as I rested in a comfortable position wearing a mask my air intake and CO2 levels were read and then analyzed. The VO2 test had me pulling out my vintage Serotta (yes I’ve had it that long and when the doctor is checking it out and commenting on the collectability…) and warming up for about 25 minutes. Then I put on another mask, again hooked to the analyzer, and went through a calibration set to get all the machines working. With this done the test began. Its a progressive resistance test where my job was to maintain a regular cadence until I was told to stop. The were tracking power output, the air I was breathing in and out, and heart rate.

What the tests confirmed is that I’ve got some work to do. Now I knew that but putting some metrics on yourself is a bit more eye opening. On the Doc’s scale I weigh in at 181 lbs. That’s effectively the same as when I started. I’m not training (following a pre-specified program) and I’ve made not other changes to nutrition or lifestyle. And frankly I haven’t been riding much either. Certainly not durations that are going to be taking pounds off. So going forward consistency in my getting on the bike, doing my rides against a plan, and putting my nutrition inline with my goals and needs are what’s required. And this can be a lot of fun too!

Here are the basic metrics:

— Weight 181 lbs.
— RMR is 1270. What I burn sitting on a couch all day.
— Vo2 Max is 31.3 ml/kg/min. That’s on the border of Below and Well Below average. Moving oxygen has never been my strong suit. Mostly this rumored to be mostly genetic but some improvement might happen with training. I can only hope!
— Aerobic Base (AB) was measured at a heart rate of 154 BPM. With a of 7.1 Cal /Min total with 3.6 KCal. The is the maximum heart rate where I burn fat as the dominate fuel. Improving my AB is a primary goal over the next several months. Along with improving by AB is the side benefit that I be spending a lot of time training where I will also burning a higher ration of fat to carbs.
— Anaerobic Threshold (AT) was measured at 170 BPM with a total of 9.2 KCal/Min with only 0.4 KCal/Min being burned.
— BMI (Body Mass Index) is 31. BMI isn’t the final say on body fat but it still puts me in the obese range. Having someone tell you that you are obese and having that supported by the image in the mirror provides confirmation that some work is really required. Yes these pointed discussions can be motivating.

So, Moderate exercise will burn about 750 calories. With moderate exercise and an intake of of 500 calories less each day than I burn and I’ll lose about a pound a week.
This program with Optibike runs another 32 weeks, so 32 weeks for me to reach my 1 year goal of 158 lbs. Piece of Cake. Right? Well there’s the challenge. I need to get my diet on track with my goals. And my diet needs to provide the nutrients to support my training (load and recovery). And I need to perform against the plan. And I need to not take off too much too fast, overtrain, undereat, or get injured.

So I have to be motivated, stay motivated, and track against my plan. Below is the basic plan for this week. I’ll update it with more specifics as this goes along.

Monday I did the tests, started tracking my food, then attended a Yoga class in the evening.
Tuesday I recovered, payed attention to my food, and stretched.
Wednesday, today, I visited the Doc to discuss my blood work (more on this later), then I got cold weather cycling clothes, lunch with friends, then did a 20.5 mile ride in about 54 minutes which felt great.
Thursday the plan is to go out for about 2 hours then visit family and friends for the holiday.
Friday I’ll use as a recovery day with a walk.
Saturday I’ll again go out for a couple of hours.
Sunday an hour or so.

This will be refined a bit and I’ll report in again this Monday with the results.

Happy Holidays

One Response
  1. Eric R permalink*
    December 8, 2009

    Jim – how do you get that testing done? Do you just ask for a complete 45,000 mile checkup at your family doctor or is there a secret password to get that done and have it covered by insurance?


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