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The Motivation: If not now, then when? Life is too short to stay inactive.
The Challenge: If you are not willing to suffer, then you shouldn't be racing
The Dream: Staying fit and feeling younger day by day!

15 July 2010

Accurately estimate your VO2max using an indoor rower at a local gym

Between other useful parameters, a very important figure that mainly concerns endurance athletes is the knowledge of VO2max. The procedure to obtain this figure requires the presence of a properly equipped sports laboratory and even if you can find such a place, an expensive charge will apply to you to go through the calculation procedure and the use of the facilities! There is however an alternative, but still quite accurace, method to measure your VO2max number. And this can be acheived by following a simple and scientifically valid process: Use an indoor rower!

Details of this method can be found for free at the official site of the company that manufactures world class indoor rowers (Concept 2):

Row as hard as you can a 2000m session (reference distance for pro-rowers and general training) and note down the time it has taken to complete it. Submit your age, weight, height into the website and there you are!

Check your fitness level in relation to VO2max estimated before in the 2000 m test by reading the table below:

Cardiovascular Fitness Calculations
Based on VO2max (mL*kg-1*min-1)
Gender Age Poor Fair Average Good Excellent
Men <=29 <=24.9 25-33.9 34-43.9 44-52.9 >=53
30-39 <=22.9 23-30.9 31-41.9 42-49.9 >=50
40-49 <=19.9 20-26.9 27-38.9 39-44.9 >=45
50-59 <=17.9 18-24.9 25-37.9 38-42.9 >=43
60-69 <=15.9 16-22.9 23-35.9 36-40.9 >=41
Women <=29 <=23.9 24-30.9 31-38.9 39-48.9 >=49
30-39 <=19.9 20-27.9 28-36.9 37-44.9 >=45
40-49 <=16.9 17-24.9 25-34.9 35-41.9 >=42
50-59 <=14.9 15-21.9 22-33.9 34-39.9 >=40
60-69 <=12.9 13-20.9 21-32.9 33-36.9 >=37

I am into rowing for about a year now and I am confident to advice you that this machine, although hard to exercise with, provides very powerful benefits in your physical (and mental) condition. When I first started using it, my VO2max, based on the calculation described before was around 29, that corresponds to a fair level of fitness (I am 98kg, 1.93m tall, 32YO male). I have now a VO2max of around 45, good level, (after a very systematic training for around 10+ months on the indoor rower both for shor t(3-7 min) and long rowing (20-30 min) sessions).

I wish I could afford this indoor rower - it costs around 2000 euro (new and the latest model). I may get it one day - just to let you know that one full stroke is using 85% of your muscles and provides both strength and amazing CV benefits to your body - and in addition: It tests your mental strength to cope with the prolonged pressure that it imposes on you!
I feel really lucky to know that my local gym has (only one though) indoor rower and also...noone is using it! It's all mine! ;)

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