Saturday, October 25, 2008

Body Comp and Fitness Analysis

Participated in the Body Comp and Aerobic Fitness Analysis at the Human Performance Lab at Humboldt State University. Wanted to know what my ratio of fat was in my body, as well as get the whole VO2max info for better heart rate training.

Two components were not up and running - the dunk tank and the nutritional analysis. The dunk tank and Bod Pod essentially do the same thing, and I've been invited back after the first of the year to complete the nutritional analysis at no cost. Nice!

The Bod Pod: Kind of glad I didn't know I needed a bathing suit, 'cause the only one I have is a backyard only 2 piece, and it would have been very uncomfortable hanging out with the two young men who did this test. So instead I was given this very stylish (not!) one piece thing that looks like a one-piece bathing suit with the leg parts coming a little less than halfway down the thighs, plus I put on a plastic shower cap (like you get in hotels) then an even tighter black cap (think swimming) on top of that. Yes, I was looking like quite the hot ticket. Oh, baby!! I had to hold those boys back! One thing about the suit - very unforgiving with rolls and such, so it makes you want to stand up straight and keep things sucked in.

The Bod Pod looks like an oversized egg with a window. Your height and weight gets entered into the computer, then you sit in the Pod and it's filled with air. To explain as best as I understand - Air is pumped in (somehow) and the displacement of that air tells the system what your fat/lean ratio is when combined with your height/weight. There were problems with the calibration of the system, so this took awhile to fix, and the guy running the program (Peter, who was a cutie) had to come in and get it to work right. So I get to stand around in all my tight suit/headdress glory in front of two good looking young men and one "my age" good looking man. Nothin' you can do but joke around at that point. I am happy to say, though, that my scale at home is right on the dot with weight. The results:

Fat Weight: 38.5 lbs.
Lean Weight: 103.7 lbs.
Total Weight: 142.3 lbs.
Height: 68 in
Percent Fat: 27.1%
Percent Lean: 72.9%
Moderately Lean Category - Fat level acceptable for good health. With activity level, should be consuming approximately 2235 calories a day.

Metabolic Test: Wore shorts, running shoes, and sports bra. Had a shirt on, but had to take it off. 6-8 pads are stuck to you at various points to which electrodes will be hooked up. This is done in a separate room as the actual test. I then walk into the main room where the treadmill, etc., is, and there are probably 8 people (students and Peter) all looking at me. Great! I get to do this in front of an audience! Blood pressure is taken, questions are asked: “How do you warm up, how long?” “Brisk walk, 5 min.” “What’s your average pace when running?” “About 10:00/10:08:” “Can I use my inhaler?” “Yes.” and back and forth. For the initial blood pressure before the test starts, they have you hyperventilate for about 20 seconds. Well, my friends, I have never done this before, and let me tell you - boy howdy!! Talk about a “high!” Dang.

When I finally got myself under control, we did the warm up. Then we came to more beautification. Not only do I have a blood pressure cuff taped to me, but I have all these electrodes stuck to me then held in place with an ace bandage. Then came the head gear. It’s like the bands inside a hard hat. Attached to that is this “appendage” with a mouthpiece like you would find on diving gear or a snorkel and this hard plastic piece extends beyond that. You put the mouthpiece in your mouth as you put the band part over your head then tighten it down. They then hook a tube up to the side of the hard plastic extension and this is where your in-and-out air passes through. Then they put a clamp on your nose so that you’re only breathing through your mouth. Comfy? Um, yeah. I made the mistake of swallowing after the nose clamp was put in place and my ears plugged up.

They taped to the window in front of me a chart that basically goes from 6 to 20 and at various points says “Like sitting on the couch (6).” “Light(7).” “Fairly difficult.” “Very difficult,” etc., up to something like “I feel like I’m dying (20).” They start the treadmill and very quickly you’re at your regular running pace. Wait 2 minutes, take blood pressure (yes, while running), raise the incline. Wait 2 minutes, take blood pressure, raise the incline, over and over. In the meantime, a student is standing there and every 2 minutes asking you where you are on the aforementioned chart. You give hand signals. This scenario continues until you give them the “I’m done” signal (slash across the neck). I ended up with snot coming out of my pinched nose, and because I couldn’t swallow well, drool rolling down my chin. Wiped off a big old loogy at one point. Felt like a St. Bernard.

In the end, I ran for 8:48 before I was done, but forgot to ask what the incline grade was at the end. Peter (the instructor) was impressed with how fast my heart rate went down, and within a few minutes, I felt like I could go again. My heart rate went from a low of 109 (hyperventilation) to a high of 179. I gave all the printed out info to my coach, and he’s helping me figure everything else out, but he was impressed with the rate at which my HR went up during the test. Again, says it shows I'm in good condition. He sent me some other info, but I can't open it with my program at home, so will have to check it out tomorrow at work.

All in all, a fun experience, and I will probably do the treadmill test again in another 3-6 months to see how things change.

'Nother thing - within the last 5 (?) months, my resting heart rate has gone from 48 to 42.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Hey Leslie
Great results on all your tests. Maybe I'll start calling you "Wonder Woman"! I can relate to your Pod experience. I did the test in my late forties as a participant in a research project. When tester gave me a speedo to wear I was a little embarrassed. SHE was a very attractive woman in her twenties!