My gym has an intern from a local college working for two weeks, and as a part of his internship he was offering health assessments. So I contacted him directly and booked a time on his first day. I have done this kind of test, or something similar twice before. Once back in 2013 on a bike to check my VO2Max and try to estimate what my max heart rate was going into my triathlon carrier. The second time was in march 2015 when I wanted to check my levels running after a bad winter training period. That test you can read about here.
For this assessment I was asked to not workout hard before arriving, not eat a large meal before, avoid tobacco and caffeine, which worked out well having my assessment booked at 11:30. I skipped my 06:30 crossfit training, I ate a large breakfast, and limited myself to only two cups of coffee between 07:30-10:00.
I arrive to the gym, get changed and meet with Per. I had warned him in advance that I would most likely be the most well trained fat guy he meets during his two weeks at our gym. For the first 50-60 minutes we talk about my daily routines, at home and work as well as when I workout. I think that for most people being “at home” and working out fall under the same category, if you are not at “work” you are at “home”. But in my case, being at home is not “my” time, but family time. Sure I sit on the soffa and look at my phone while watching tv, avoiding the pile of dishes in the sink, but eventually my “boss” puts a stop to all that laziness. So being my talkative self, we talked about how flexible my wife is with my early morning and late night workouts.
Nothing new came out of the interview. I already know that I have back problems and that I could eat better.
After the interview it was time to check my blood pressure, but the band was not big enough to go around my arm. Oops!
The actual bike test, was a lot easier than I was expecting. But we were not checking for max pulse, so that explains why it was more like a working test. I was told to maintain 60 rpm and that I would pedal for about 4-5 minutes on one level and then have the resistance increased to 150 W. So as I was doing my best to maintain 59-61 rpm, I was asked to give my rating of perceived exertion (RPE) on a scale of 6-20 how I felt.
I could not feel any resistance so I answered that it was about 7. I could have answered 6 if I was going to have to hold back for hours, but at the time I said 7. After about 5 minutes Per adjusted the resistance and I could feel the big jump. But after a few seconds I was able to get back to my 59-61 rpm. Every now and then Per would ask for my exertion levels. At the very moment of the increase it was 13, but since he waited 30 seconds or so to ask me it was only 12. During the entire test I was not to talk, since talking could increase my heart rate. I was only allowed to nod my head and say the number. During the test Per was making notes about my pulse, that I chose not to be able to see. Just as I was expecting a new increase to the resistance I was told I was done. What? wow, ok that was easy. But then again I had mental plans to push my limits to the max. But that was not what we were testing today.
The results of this test are very similar to the ones from 2015 which is a positive for both myself and Per who was doing the test.
Considering in 2015 I had just gone through 3 years of intense training for my Ironman, and over the last three years I have just been going through the motions, it was good to see that I was in the middle of the high level for oxygen intake. Since that number is based on my current body weight, it is easy to see that if I was able to get down to 88kg (194 lbs) that I would be at 50 and border line very high level. I could also add more intervals on the bike or running to help increase my 4.4 liter/min up to 4.5 or 4.6, but in the long run reducing my body weight is more beneficial for me.
If I can get motivated to run this summer I was also given a realistic goal time for running a 3km. Based on the test I did I should be able to run a 3km in 14:30, or 4:50/km. Its been 7 years since I ran a 10km at that pace. So if I have any future in triathlon I will eventually have to start running again….