Following my Channel swim I made a decision. It was time to lean down. I needed to get rid of the accumulated insulation that I acquired when working and not working out. After 7 years those fat cells have had their fun and it was time to go. Now I know that cold water swimmers need their insulation and I fully agree with this. However, what I wanted was more control over those fat cells. I wanted to lean down and then add bulk when I really needed it. This way I was in control and I could add the weight in a healthy manner.
So I signed up for some critical tests to get a baseline of where I was. I did a VO2Max test to determine how in shape I really was and how effective I was at using oxygen. (Note: this is the number that they always give out for the cyclists of the Tour de France to tell who is expending the most energy. And yes I realize that I may be the only one that watches the Tour de France every day.) I also did a Hydrostatic weighing and Resting Energy Expenditure (REE) test. Hydrostatic weighing is where you get into a tub of water, drown yourself and then see how much you float. Yes you practically drown yourself as you have to release all your air and then submerge underwater for a few seconds. The REE is how many calories your body burns at rest in a state of wakefulness (to be precise).
The first baseline tests were conducted in October and drumroll please….here are the results:
REE – 2077 calories
- Resting Heartrate = Excellent
- Direct VO2/Gas Exchange = Above Average (Amazing since the test makes you run on a treadmill with this space age contraption strapped onto your head to measure the results. Think mouth guard with hoses attached and a nose plug)
- Sit-ups = Excellent (I crushed this test!)
- Push-ups = Excellent
- Flexibility = Average (Can’t believe I hit average with this as I’m very unflexible)
Hydrostatic Weighing – 27.6% bodyfat
Every 3 months we do a reassessment of the REE and Hydrostatic Weighing, so here are the results for January.
REE – 1971 calories
Hydrostatic Weighing – 26.7% Which means that I’m winning the battle against the fat. Overall my weight remained the same so I put on more muscle while losing fat weight within the 3 months.
FYI – for a woman my age (sometimes I really hate that phrase) the typical bodyfat is between 18-23%. Lynn Cox the famous fabulous fantastic cold water swimmer had a bodyfat composition of 35%. (Charlie – Quite right I used the wrong word to describe the wonderful Lynne Cox. My sincerest apologies.)
So overall a very good result. I’m not adding to much muscle bulk, as that would put too much strain on my shoulders over long distances and I’m slowly saying good-bye to the fat weight. Next results are scheduled for March.Tags: VO2 Max