Monday, April 14, 2014

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"Nobody cares about your excuses. Nobody pities you for procrastinating. Nobody
is going to coddle you because you are lazy.  It's YOUR ASS.  You MOVE IT! "

Measuring Your Fitness

As you progress in your exercising program, your heart becomes more efficient at delivering oxygen and fuel to the muscles.  VO2 and Heart Rate methods are available tor tracking your progress. VO2 max is a measure of the maximum volume of oxygen that a person can use under intense exercise.  VO2 can give you an indication of a persons ability to provide essential fuel (oxygen) to your working muscles. It is also a measure of the efficiency with which the muscles use this fuel to create movement. 

 In other words, it is an accurate measure of the amount of energy you expend, and therefore the number of calories you burn. The higher your VO2 max, the greater your oxygen consumption across all levels of effort. Well conditioned athletes can a have high VO2 max.  An example is Lance Armstrong's measurement of 85 millilitres of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute.  An average untrained person has a VO2 max of 40.  With years of training you can get yours up to 50 or 60.

Physiologists have discovered that the rate of oxygen used by the muscles during exercise is the best measure of aerobic work.  An individual runs on a treadmill while the heart rate and the volume of oxygen that is inhaled and exhaled are sampled and measured.  The difference between the volume of oxygen inhaled and exhaled during the test is what the muscles used to burn fuel (mostly carbohydrates and fat).  The rate of this oxygen consumption, in liters per minute, is called VO2.

Since VO2 requires expensive equipment, and trained personnel, it is usually done as part of a physical examination.  A more practical way the trainee can use VO2 is by measuring ones heart rate.  It has been observed that the relationship between the percentage of VO2max and the percentage of maximum heart rate is very predictable.  There are apps for smart phones that figure out the VO2max and all you have to do is fill in your average heart rate over a period of time to walk a mile as fast as you can go. Press the button and it's all figured out for you.  You can save this answer, along with the date the test was taken.  As you exercise you will have higher and higher VO2 measurements.

So now you can measure your muscles, breathing, heart rate, and VO2 (max) to help to go faster, reach higher, and be stronger.  All this proceeds on to better health, and the quality of your life in a state of health.