Friday, June 20, 2014

Getting the Numbers @ VO2 Max Sports Science

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I think I mentioned a while ago that I finally have an opportunity to get my resting metabolic rate (RMR) and Vo2 max (maximum oxygen volume my body can use) tested. This is something I've wanted to do for a while. Knowing your RMR is such basic information for someone that is trying to lose or maintain weight loss or make fitness gains.

I'm super excited to be getting the testing done with Michael Tatum and his team at VO2 Max Sports Science in Berkeley. When I talked to Michael about it he emphasized how important he thinks this testing and resulting data is for all athletes, from novice/beginners to pros. That made me feel welcome despite my relatively non-hard-core athlete status.

So, what is RMR? I'll paste in from their site:
Resting Metabolic Rate, also known as metabolism, is an indirect measure of the number of calories your body uses to maintain normal physiological function. This means that RMR will tell you the amount of calories your body would need at rest to keep your heart, lungs, brain and other organs working properly. Even people with a similar age, gender, and body composition can have very different RMRs. Each person is different so it is important to get data that relates specifically to you. The data from an RMR test will give you the information you need to set and reach realistic goals related to weight management, proper nutrition, and health.
There are three different categories that all energy expenditure can be grouped into: 1. Resting Calories - Calories that are burned while the body is at rest. These calories are needed just to maintain life. The majority of all calories burned (about 70-80%) are burned at the resting level. 2. Activity Calories - Calories that are burned through normal daily activities are "Activity Calories." Normal daily activities such as walking, digesting food, typing, etc. are included in activity calories. 3. Exercise Calories - These calories are burned through exercise.
Science measures RMR with gas analysis through indirect calorimerty. Indirect calorimerty calculates the heat we produce from production of carbon dioxide and nitrogen waste or from oxygen consumption. This process is easy and not invasive; the test itself only takes 10 minutes. The operator puts the participant’s information into the RMR machine and the participant relaxes in a chair and breaths into a tube that is connected to the RMR machine for 10 minutes. After the test, results are discussed with the participant to ensure understanding and clarify any questions.
I am so excited to do this! And then, a couple days later I'm going to do my VO2 Max. What's VO2 Max? Again, from their site:
VO2 max is the maximal oxygen uptake or the maximum volume of oxygen that can be utilized in one minute during maximal or exhaustive exercise. It is measured as milliliters of oxygen used in one minute per kilogram of body weight. VO2 max or maximal oxygen uptake is one factor that can determine an athlete’s capacity to perform sustained exercise and is linked to aerobic endurance. It is generally considered the best indicator of cardiorespiratory endurance and aerobic fitness. Elite endurance athletes typically have a high VO2 max. And some studies indicate that it is largely due to genetics, although training has been shown to increase VO2 max up to 20 percent. A major goal of most endurance training programs is to increase this number.

VO2MAX Tests help show individuals how to utilize their biochemistry structure effectively to help achieve health and wellness.

Tests Can be performed via treadmill, stationary bike, computrainer using the clients personal bike, elliptical machine, or rowing machine.
I think I'll do mine by way of treadmill. Ack, I'm so looking forward to this, I can't wait. But the "maximal or exhaustive exercise" part sounds a bit scary! There also is a bit of other scary news, which is I woke up with a really bad sore throat this morning. I hope I'm not getting sick.

So by the time the end of the workday came around the last thing on earth I wanted to do was exercise. But I dragged myself to the gym on the promise that I could just take a stroll on the treadmill. Which I did, I started with a slow, almost meditative 5 minute walk. Toward the end of that I considered running but I was so not up for it, so I opted to go on the elliptical, which sounded more my speed for today.

I have to admit, I was happy to be sweating a little bit, even though I was taking it easy and still not really lighting up the exercise buzz. After the cardio I went to the weights area and as soon as I started I knew...Nope, not happening. Not today. I don't know if it's because I'm sick or just worn out or what but my body was having no part of lifting weights. And sometimes, I do actually listen to my body.

So instead, I sat down and did a little writing about the evening snacking. Just getting out some of my thoughts and ideas on how to address it. I wish I could tell you that resulted in NO evening snacking tonight but I can't. I'm still figuring it out. All I know is, as long as I don't give up, as long as I keep thinking and working, all is not lost.

1 comment:

  1. My gym sells a heart rate monitor that's connected up to a Tanita scale, that gives me a BMR (I think the same as RMR), plus a lot of other estimates - body fat mass and %, muscle mass and %, body water mass and %, even skeletal mass. They're all just estimates, of course. I don't want to believe the number, since it's lower than I want! Around 1600. I can't wait to hear how your testing goes - it sounds so much more personalized and like it should be accurate.


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