Monday, January 28, 2008

VO2 Max Test Continued

So I went to the free Wellness Eval at the DAHLC. I was expecting a metabolic test as they said the test evaluates your fitness, tells you your VO2 Max, efficient HR's to train at, etc. It's pretty standard now for a health club to have metabolic testing so I just figured that was what they had. If I chose to do it, I could have done the bod-pod body fat test, but I didn't have a speedo (thank goodness) so I did the regular caliper test. That went fine (12%--higher than I want). I was really looking forward the meta cart test. The guy asks me if I want the submax or the max test and says the max test is more accurate because it is your max--the sub max predicts max. I chose max. He has to check with his supervisor because he hasn't tested someone using the max test yet. He comes back and says they can't do the max test because they don't have the meta cart. I ask: "How are you going to do the sub-max then?" He said the bike (or treadmill if I want to use that) has a test on it that take your heart rates throughout the test then predicts your VO2 Max. Well, guess what....? The testing format assumes your maximum HR based on the good old (good for nothin') 220 - age= Max HR formula. I couldn't believe it. Being that I am 37 it assumes my max HR (yes, the HR I could hit, but not sustain) is 183. I have time trialed at 183, run 5k's at 185. My max is not 183. So anyway, they don't have the test I thought they had. I should've inquired prior to, to get specifiics. A free metabolic test--yeah, right... I I believe you can get a real VO2 and threshold test at the clinic itself, and the Roch Athletic Club has a meta cart (New Leaf equipment) I've tested on. My VO2 about a year ago was 63 ml/kg/min at the RAC. The 65.5 was at the clinic in 2001. They say you go down with age : ) I plan on re-testing at the RAC some time soon to see where I am at.

If you are a member of the DAHLC and have never been thru a test and/or don't compete in sports, the test format they use is a good place to start. And if you re-test, you will have a base line to start from so improvements (or non improvements) will be shown.

I put myself thru the grueling threshold test on the bike trainer with an HRM yesterday. Results: I nearly threw-up. Actually, my AHR was 176. Last year at this time it was 178 when I did it. Those things fluctuate. I'll do it again in a month or two. I did it for the first time on my tri bike so that may have had something to do with it the slightly lower number. I did hit 183 at one point in the test. Hmmm...

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