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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!

Showing posts with label heart rate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label heart rate. Show all posts

06 April 2014

My bike fitness test exposed!

Measuring method based on information provided on the well established book by Joe Friel 'The Triathlete's Training Bible' (3rd edition, 2009).

With the help of a friend, the exerted watts on an indoor biker were monitored and the heart beats per minute (bpm) were recorded using my trustful Polar RS300X watch. At the end of the test, I took the data from the paper and I inputted it on an excel spreadsheet to draw the graph that is shown below. The test was performed 2 Feb. 2014.

The threshold is the point where a 'break in the knee" is observed (shown with the red lines on the graph).
This is roughly the point where your body shifts from an aerobic into an anaerobic state.

For your info, my resting heart rate is around 51bpm, while my maximum (running) pulses are 183bmp.
Hence it can be observed that the the maximum HR on the bike is less than the maximum HR on the run (this is to be expected as less muscles are activated during cycling) - this comes in agreement with the findings provided on many textbooks in the subject of sport's science (although I would expect that the bike HRmax should be about 10bmp or so less than the HRmax achieved of the run, perhaps this was influenced from the fact that I had completed some endurance training sessions the days towards the fitness test).

Bike fitness test

It is recommended to repeat such tests every 4-5 weeks or so to assess progress and overlay the results on the same XY graph to compare them with the previous tests. An improvement on the performance is noticed when the most recent line is shifted on the right compared to the previous test. You won't necessarily observe a significant change on the position of the threshold point, otherwise the other data points should shift. For a given effort (watts) a lower bpm is recorded when your fitness has improved.

Execute a fitness test at your own responsibility! Always seek a medical advice before putting yourself under an excessive effort.

20 December 2012

Sports Watch Review: Polar RS300X Heart Rate Monitor

(an update was added to this post 12th Oct. 2014 - scroll at the bottom of this article)

Despite my full time job as a computer engineer, I am a keen sport's person and I am involved into rowing, cycling, triathlon, windsurfing for years. I realised that to get a basic feedback of your body conditioning DURING training requires a nice sports watch. There are currently hundreds of models on the market and it's a complete headache trying to pick up the one that best fits your needs.

I don't want to tire you with an exhaustive review about this watch (Polar RS300X), but I will try to outline its most important technical features. I assume that you are a serious sports person otherwise you don't need all the features of this watch. These combined features made me pick up this quality watch out of other branded sports watches or Polar models around an affordable price range (90-100 euro inc.VAT). Some of the features that I quote below are NOT mentioned (or better perhaps: are not clearly indicated) on the Polar official manual, despite being there for the user to enjoy! (you can download and read Polar RS300X user manual )  I have been using this watch during training/racing since 2009 and I never had any technical problems or issues with this model.

I've chosen Polar RS300X between other models after extensive market research, for the following reasons:

17 December 2012

Indoor Rowing energy expenditure: How many calories can you burn while on indoor rower?

An excellent calorie calculator, which estimates the amount of calories burned based on your body weight and activity is provided here:
You will be amazed on how many calories can an indoor rower burn!

This is also an excellent way to find out how much training you need to complete to get rid of unnecessary weight!

Notice that indoor rower is a great calorie-burner! Below I quote the results for my body characteristics inputting 3 indoor rowing sessions (note, that I normally execute separately each of those training sessions, but for illustration purposes I've added them together on a single day to outline their calorie expenditure).

Example - Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator(s) for a 105kg active person

The BMR for a 105 kg Male, 30-59 years old, is 2080.5 kcal.

Your energy expenditure for the day (excluding exercise) is your BMR (2080.5) multipled by your activity level (2.0)2080.5 x 2.0 = 4,161.0

Your hourly metabolic rate (HMR) is 2080.5 divided by 24.HMR = 2080.5/24 = 86.7

The training cost in activity of each exercise is calculated as your HMR multiplied by the Physical Activity Ratio of the exercise multiplied by their time in hours. See the Energy Costs page for a table of the different PARs for each pace.

Session 1 = 86.7 x 14.2 x (45/60) = 923 kcals (45min at 2:00/500m)
Session 1 = 86.7 x 21 x (8/60) = 243 kcals (8min at 1:45/500m)
Session 1 = 86.7 x 33.6 x (6/60) = 291 kcals (6min at 1:30/500m)

The total energy cost of your day is, therefore 5,618 (that is to say, your overall BMR plus all your exercise sessions).


Food Groups

The process outline here is a guide to your energy output and is a good place to start if you are interested in weight management. The other aspect is knowing the calorie balance. Energy is provided by three food groups, carbohydrates, protein and fats. The relative balance between these groups is 60% carbohydrates, 17% protein and 23% fats. Carbohydrates and protein provide 4.3 calories per gram and fat provides 9 calories.

The dietary requirements for a daily output of 5,618 kcals is therefore:
Carbohydrates = 5618.427 multiplied by (60/100) divided by 4.3 = 784.0 grams
Proteins = 5618.427 multiplied by (17/100) divided by 4.3 = 222.1 grams
Fats = 5618.427 multiplied by (23/100) divided by 9 = 143.6 grams

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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