Friday, January 27, 2012

Fit Point Assessment

Yesterday I had my fitness assessment at the gym. I was stubborn and refused to have it done until after I was sure I was back in shape from the exercise layoff/ Jack pregnancy. Mostly the results were what I expected.

Cardio/ Max VO2: 42
According to my fitness assessment profile this puts me at the top of the "Good" range and in the 90th percentile. (Here is a chart for reference: ) I admit I was secretly a bit disappointed. With intervals, mid-long pace runs and 40+ miles a week I thought I might be a little above 42. Guess I can keep working at it. Runners typically have higher a V02Max average.

Strength: I was able to lift 51 lbs with my biceps. Considering I haven't gone above 20 lb weights on each arm since Jack was born, that would be about right. That puts me on the higher end of average. So there is something to work for.

Flexibility: DISCLAIMER - I have never had any. This part of the test kept me from getting the presidential fitness award in PE class all though elementary school. So really. Don't laugh. The trainer asked me to sit against the wall and put my feet on the sit and reach. I couldn't even do that. "Really?" she says. "That's terrible! You really need to improve your flexibility or you're going to get injured!" I just look at her. Then I reach as far as I can go. The "Poor" category tops off at 12.6 inches. I make it to 5. I guess that puts me in the "Pitiful" category. "You need to do Yoga" she says. Okay. I did yoga for a few years and my flexibility did not get any better. Let's move on.

Body Composition: This is the real reason I didn't want to do this test soon after Jack was born. I never got back to my pre-Susanna weight before I got pregnant with him and I was bound and determined to get to where I was when I ran the Chicago marathon in 2006. It took 6 months to get the weight off but I'm back in my pre-Susanna clothing. I step on the scale. 127. This is a few pounds more than my Chicago marathon weight. The trainer takes out a strange looking contraption and starts pinching and poking me at my triceps, belly, and thigh. According to this it puts me at 11% body fat which is "ideal for athletes." I really don't think I am 11% body fat. We all carry fat in different places and mine is all in the "love handle" region. I don't have much where she measured but I can feel quite a bit right above my bum. Also I am nursing Jack and have not had any supply issues at all so again I have a hard time believing the 11% number. She said not to drop below 10%. Considering how much I eat (pretty much constantly) this will not be a problem but I do admit I wish that love handle cushion would deplete a bit -- only because I could run a little faster. I shouldn't even put that in writing because people are going to think I have a body image problem. (It isn't body image though. It's speed obsession.)

Final results: Real age 33, Body Age 28. Interesting since the last time I had this test done I WAS 28 -- but I think my body age was 25. That was my pre-baby body and the scores were very similar so all and all I'm pretty happy. The trainer said my attainable body age is 22 and I can get there by improving my strength, flexibility, and VO2. Let's just take flexibility off the table because it isn't happening. I'm going to really work on strength and obviously will continue with the cardio although I'm not sure how much more work I can do with that. I'll test again in a few months and post the results.

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