Body Composition/Fitness test results

I went to the Appalachian State North Carolina Human Performance lab this morning to have several studies done and participate in their research.  The first test they performed was the body composition and resting metabolic rate (RMR) test in a bod pod.  This is a really simple and straightforward test.  After a few simple calibrations, I got in and they ran two tests that were about 45 seconds each.  All I had to do was sit there.  Like I said, pretty easy.

The next test they performed was the leg and lower back strength test.  It’s basically just an all out force measurement.  Again, a pretty simple test.  This testing thing is fun.

However, I quickly learned just how tough it could be.  The next test was the VO2 max and lactate threshold test on the bike.  They set the bike up with my pedals and we manipulated the seat and bars until I was comfortable.  Then I did an 8-10 minute warmup on my own.  The bike had a digital power input so that they could adjust the power to any level that they would like.  The test method is as follows: they put a breathing mask on me and as long as I pedal above 65RPM, the test continues.  Once I drop below 65RPM for any amount of time, they call the test as done.  I would start at 150W and I would pedal for 2 minutes.  At this point, they would prick my finger and take a small sample of blood.  Since it takes some time to get that sample, the intervals are 3 minutes each (so that measurements can be made during the interval).  So, we ran 3minute intervals in steps of 25W until exhaustion (well, technically until my cadence dropped below 65 RPM, but I was pretty exhausted at that point).  They monitored my heart rate (HR), my respiration, and took blood samples at every interval.  You can see the setup in the picture at the top or here.  That’s not me, but it’s the same setup they used for me (hopefully it was a different mask though?? ha)

The test started out smoothly.  150W wasn’t bad at all.  It was tougher than my warmup, but that was to be expected.  I kept a nice low HR and I was looking forward to seeing how far up the scale I could go.  Then came 175W.  Not much of a problem.  A bit tougher, but still relatively problem free.  The only problem was that I don’t have great circulation in my fingers (I warned them of this), so they had a very tough time getting me to give enough blood on my left hand.  At 200W, the test started to become a challenge.  I started to sweat.  I could tell I was working, but I think I could still ride at that effort level for quite some time.  I did notice that my HR was starting to go up quite a bit more at this point though.  He also switched to my right hand this time and I was much less stingy with the blood on that side which made the whole process a bit smoother b/c they were messing with my hand for as long each successive iteration.

Next came 225W, then 250W… I started to feel problems at this point.  My HR was really moving up (it was into the 160s at this point).  I started to sweat a lot more and having that mask on was starting to bother me b/c I was having to breathe pretty heavily.  Holding that for 3 minutes was quite tough and I really dreaded going up to the next level for 3 minutes.  When I hit 275, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do this any more.  It really turned into hard labor here.  It was no longer cycling as much as it was a leg power workout.  My breathing was very rapid and I started to actually sweat inside the mask which made it harder to breathe at times.  I never felt like I was drowning, but I really didn’t want to aspirate my own sweat.

300W was the end and I knew it.  I pushed and pushed and pushed.  I kept waiting for them to take the measurement so that I could stop.  My HR was over 180 at this point.  I’ve seen that in running before, but I dont’ believe I’ve ever seen that on the bike.  I hit 183 or 184 near the end and I was pushing, but I barely reached the 2 minute point before my cadence dropped so low that they called the test.  He took the last blood sample and then he removed the mask and I could breathe again.  Whew… I made it.

That was a tough test.  Now for the good stuff.  The results:

Height: 5′ 9.5″

Weight: 159.680 lb

  • This seems high to me as I typically weigh between 150-155, but who am I to argue with their calibrated lab equipment?

Body Fat: 10.3%

  • I was told endurance athletes need to be between 9-11, but preferably not in the single digits, so I was right where they thought I should be

RMR: 1706 calories per day

  • In my post session counsel, they gave me estimated calories for different activity levels.  This showed during training I needed 3600-4000 cal/day to maintain weight.

Strength ratio (kg lifted/kg weighed): 5.48

  • I felt like this test was a little off b/c they essentially ask you to do a deadlift.  The assessment is supposed to be a measurement of leg/back strength, but it’s really a measurement of the weakest link in the system which happened to be my grip.  I asked for straps b/c my grip was giving, but they didn’t have any.  I’m certain I can raise that quite a bit higher if my grip were stronger.

VO2 Max: 62.07 ml/kg/min

  • I was happy with this.  For one, it validates my estimations which I’ve been keeping for quite some time in my training log (my current estimation is 61.3, so it’s very close).  Since I’m just starting the build phase of this year, I’m just now starting to work on VO2 max.  Hopefully that means there are good things to come this year since I have this as a base to build upon.

I don’t yet have my lactate reading as those are supposed to be coming to me in an email later this weekend.  I’ll update this post as I get that information.

UPDATE: The LT data is here.


Posted on March 29, 2013, in Nutrition, Planning, Triathlon Training and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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  1. Pingback: Bike Lactate Threshold info | A Triathlete's Life

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