Fitness Test Day

Happy weekend!! I hope it’s been happy anyways :)

Once again, thank you for all the recommendations for my skin. I’ll keep you updated on the hydrocortisone. It has worked on my eczema numerous times in the past, but the strange spots on my leg I don’t know…

Anyways, moving on from that embarrassing (for me) topic! I managed to not embarrass myself doing a fitness test at personal training class today. Yay!

I first have to admit that I totally cheated on the sleep challenge last night. I was up late going through the bones and muscles of the human body that I wanted to know for today. I squeaked by with about 6.5 hours. Fail. Especially for a weekend, when I like to catch up on sleep. No worries, I am already in my peejays and ready for Sunday’s 6am alarm!

Today was my first day both eating breakfast and showering at my own apartment since last WednesdaySt. Patrick’s Day! I was at my grandparent’s last weekend, then at the gym every other morning. I’m losing my breakfast skillz, this was all I could come up with…

IMG_5161 IMG_5163

Homemade marshmallow protein bar and two boiled eggs. I’m thinking I may venture out and actually make something hot tomorrow ;)

I had another marshmallow protein bar for my mid-morning snack.

One great thing about making my own protein bars is that I don’t stress about eating them all the time. I’m not scared about what crazy chemicals I’m putting in my body if I eat more than one a day :)

Lunch was a peanut butter protein sandwich.

Plus an orange. For the “protein,” I just dissolve some chocolate protein powder with water and use it as a spread. With the PB, it tastes like nutella!

Afternoon snack attack:

I love how healthy my fellow personal-trainers-to-be eat! Usually I feel like a weirdo opening up my mini cans of tuna in public, but one guy bust out a full-sized one today with a can opener. I am with “my people” ;)

Highlight of today was definitely the fitness test. We did it firstly to learn how to conduct one, but also put ourselves through it to experience it from the client’s point of view. It’s nothing hard or overly strenuous, but intimidating no matter what shape you’re in!

We started with the Rockport Walking Test for VO2 max. VO2 max, put simply, is how much oxygen you can take in during exercise. It’s a pretty good indicator of how fit you are. Athletes for example, will have a high VO2 max, as the ability to take in more oxygen fuels activity better.

For the test, we just walked on a treadmill for a quarter mile as fast as we could. It’s supposed to be one mile, but for time’s sake, we multiplied our time by four. So I did my “mile” in 13:08 (walking at 4.8mph!). The second you stop the treadmill, take your pulse for 15 seconds. Then multiply that number by four, and it will give you your heart rate or beats per minute (bpm). Mine was 128 bpm. Then you plug those numbers into a hugely complicated formula, or you can just fill out this form. I ended up with a VO2 max of 51. So that’s 51 millilitres of oxygen that I take in per kilogram of weight, per minute. According to all the “charts,” it’s above normal for my age, so that’s nice :) Men are always higher, I think there were a few dudes who had theirs in the 60s.

After that we also did a push up test, curl up test and sit and reach test. I only did the first and last ones, both of which I sucked at. Okay, I still did 25 push ups on my knees, which again, is “above normal,” but I really wish I could do that amount on my toes by now!

For the sit and reach test, you sit on the floor with your legs in front of you, then reach for your toes, measuring how far your fingers go past them (or, how far they are from your toes). I managed to get my fingers a half-inch past my toes, which is better than I was expecting. I didn’t think I could even touch my toes!

None of these tests are hugely important. They help a little in program design, but they’re really meant to benchmark your current fitness. Six weeks from now, I will hopefully be able to crank out more push ups, and it will be nice to have quantitative results of fitness improvement rather than just “I guess I feel kinda better…”

We stayed a little late to practice more training sessions. If anything, it’s been a lesson on machines for me, as I’m a dumbbell/barbell girl. Machines just always feel awkward, however they are ideal for the “new exerciser” who hyperventilate at the thought of a squat rack. Gosh! I used to be that person!

Anyways, after the hour+ drive back home, I could feel my tummy eating itself from the inside out. It’s a careless beast sometimes.

Polished off the last of my veggies with my fave salad of all time – maple balsamic spinach salad. With some roasted sweet potato for good measure.


Nothing fancy here. I just wrapped the salmon and sweet potato in tinfoil, doused it in balsamic vinegar, maple extract and sugar-free syrup, and baked till it was done! I can’t believe after a week of going through a package of maple smoked salmon, I came home and made more maple salmon for supper tonight. It’s that good!

I got an excellent question in my last post about buying equipment for strength training at home. I wanted to get to it tonight, but my 8 hours of sleep are more important, so I’ll get into it tomorrow!


Question of the Day: How do you measure your fitness level? I’m a number nerd, and a slave to my heart rate monitor. When I do cardio, I love seeing how quickly it peaks and recovers. I also love hitting those high numbers and sustaining them for longer periods than before. Of course, discovering I could actually complete toe push ups was pretty awesome too ;)

Posted on March 27, 2010, in Workouts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. I’m the same way with machines.. most of them hurt me! I think it’s my height but I’m not sure. I’ll stick with the dumbbells/barbells!

    I measure my fitness by my progress in the gym! I think push-ups are a great way to tell your fitness! When I started out exercising a year or two ago I couldn’t even do 10 real push ups. Now I can do over 50! I think that’s one of my biggest acheivements!

  2. I don’t like the machines as much because I am a shorty. Even when adjusted for that, they still feel awkward to me. Love the free weights and cable machines because they fit me without fuss!

    For me, pushups and chinups are my measure of strength. And I love being on the treadmill and watching how fast my heart rate drops when I stop running. It’s fun, and I don’t care if that makes me a dork LOL!

  3. Congrats on the fitness test! Sounds like you’re ahead of the game ;)

    I love numbers so I’m always looking at my heart rate, pace, etc. Except it changes so much depending on the weather, the wind, what I ate…so I try not to buy too much into it!

  4. I have had a true VO2max test in an exercise testing facility where you have a mask strapped on to you as you run on treadmill or ride a bike through a progressively harder workout. It is intense. The test not only measures V02max but also establishes your various heart rate ranges (recovery, aerobic, lactate threshold, max) and then you spend time training in the different ranges, and re-test in 3 months. Great way to see if you are improving cardiovascularly. For strength it is being able to PR with a new weight.
    I agree machines are good for the brand new exerciser but for most people free weights are so much better.

  5. I wish I had a heart rate monitor to monitor my fitness levels too, but I’ll probably get upset. lol.

    Chocolate protein powder with PB…that’s such a brilliant idea!

  6. i hate machines
    and here i think im gonna do bikini shows…
    i measure my fitness by how i look. can i run 5 miles without cracking a sweat, can i do 50 pushups, can I float in yoga poses effortlessly…if i cant then i’d better pimp up my game a lil bit :)

  7. Um I don’t know how I measure my fitness, haha, So, not well! I do write down my weights/reps but it;s hard for me to tell if I’m really getting stronger. And I stopped wearing my HR monitor because I was too fixated on the calorie burn. I guess I just figure that if I’m trying really hard and pushing myself at least some of the time, I have to be doing something good for me!

  8. I feel a little silly about the fact that i have no ‘scientific’ way of measuring my fitness…I tend to just go by how i feel though..
    Like, if i finish and work out and don’t feel like i’m about to DIE then my level of fitness is getting better..
    The level of ease/calm i feel after a workout is a pretty good indicator of any progress i’m making.. and your eggs Susan! :D Another reason why i adore you..

  9. I love doing fitness tests, we did them in school and they were lots of fun! A little stressful, but fun =D

    Now, I judge my fitness by how long I can run, if I’m getting faster, if I can do more pushups, or if my yoga is getting stronger. I like measuring by how I feel in my own quest for fitness much more than standardized tests!


  10. I use my heart rate monitor and also go by feel. I like to sweat, I feel like the more I sweat, the better I work. I know, not the best detection, but it works for me. My VO2 max is 48 (well, 1.5 years ago that’s what it was), I should get it re-done, I feel like it would be higher now.

  11. I keep looking at heart rate monitors and the BodyBugg and never really come to a conclusion of how I feel about using them. Though I’m still acclimating myself to the world of regular exercise….

  12. I LOVE my smith machine! Well, is that really a machine? I don’t like all the other razmataz equipment at gyms that’s why I work out at home. That and I like to be naked ;)

    I used to wear my HRM all the time but the battery went dead and it is the Polar F6, the one you have to send out for $75, screw that. Now I just monitor by whether I feel like i’m going to throw up or not.

    I am proud to say I can do pushups on my toes! I still can’t believe it. I used to not even be able to do one. I love to work my chest and it shows!!

  13. OMGosh those Marshmellow Pro Bars look SOOOO good! Once I get some whey protein powder I WILL be making those and I’ll leave another comment about how much I liked them… because I already know I will :)

  14. I’ve never been one to care about my heart rate. It just changes so much depending on the time of day, the exercise I did the day before, how much sleep I got etc. I just go by how fast I can run or how much weight I can lift.

    Your fitness test sounds like the test we used to do in grade school. I’m crazy flexible. I’ve always been that way..I don’t really stretch a lot or anything. But anyway, I used to hold the sit and reach record at my grade school. Haha. That made up for the zero seconds I could hold the flexed arm hang, I guess.

  15. “These are my people” LOL. I thought the same exact thing this morning- the gym opens at 8am, but we changed the clocks last night so it was like 7am on a Sunday morning. Given the sterotype that Scots go on raging drinking binges every weekend (a stereotype that stems from truth, I might add) it was so nice to be around people working out at that time.

    I am a number junkie too for measuring fitness, though I think my results are kind of skewed- ie, my low pulse and blood pressure is not from being fit/healthy like my trainer is assuming. Kind of thinking I need to tell him the full story regarding my health status. My fitness assessment was nowhere near that comprehensive- an oxygen test (same one they use for asthma), pulse, bp, weight, body fat, and a strength grip test. I think that’s what they use for everyone, but they may have modified it since I am not supposed to bend at angles too much.

    I figured out the glute machine BTW :D

  16. Congratulations on being so fit! I don’t measure my fitness scientifically, just by how far/fast I’m able to go. And by being able to do more strength training little by little.

  17. hahaha i love that people bring can openers! now thats commitment. homemade treats alwaaaaaaays make me feel less guilty! even if it is a guilty treat haha atleast i can say “welp i made it”

    hope you got your hot bfast in! mmm mmm

  18. I dread to think what my fitness levels are now I am really out of shape since hurting my back in january but I am slowly getting fitter amd stronger thank god!

  19. Marshmallow protein bar?
    Have a great week, girl!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,

  20. good question! i am not sure exactly how i measure my fitness level – i guess it is all in how i feel. if i feel like i am making progress, seeing the toning, feeling the benefits…then i am happy!

    i love when you are around people who act the same as you – a refreshing reminder there are SO MANY people in the world just waiting for you to be friends with :)

  21. i like making my own bars for that same reason yet i havent made any in ages. i need to! the fitness test sounds like it went well and i actually love that whole formula to figure out how much oxygen you take in. the one thing i would NOT want to do is the sit and reach. i can’t touch my toes!

  22. “it’s a careless beast” re your stomach. Oh, the evil twin to mine I suppose! :-)

    Sounds like you did well on your test. I had my VO2 measured- can’t remember what it was as my results are at home and I’m out of town. I’ll have to check it out. I then got my LT measured. I also wear a HRM. But the real test is stairs. If I can’t go up two flights with no huffing or puffing, I know I need to hit them more.

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