Monday, January 2, 2012

Baseline Data

I’m an applied physiologist ( Anesthesiologist ), I need some baseline data to work from. I love science and scientific method. Currently I'm in horrible shape and feel lousy. If folks just knew what it felt like to be really fit the obesity problem wouldn’t be a problem. Or maybe it still would.....I don’t know. I was lazy and let myself go. What’s another glass of Baileys or another Bud gonna hurt?

So I have a Tanita scale that measures all kinds of useless parameters. Having numbers like this at your disposal can make you sound like a geek with an eating disorder when you recite your latest visceral body fat measurement over dinner with your next date. (don’t do this) The scale uses Bioelectrical Impedance then multiple regression analysis. Sounds complicated, but for a fat and out of shape guy like me it gives me some baseline numbers to go from. I like numbers.


My current weight 174.2 lbs (79 kg) Ugh!.. This close to a record high for me. I think I got up to 180 lbs when my diet consisted of Nestle’s cookies and cream chocolate bars and Burger King from the hospital cafeteria during residency. This time...Uhhh.. maybe too much Baileys and Frangelico.

My body fat is 20.1%. It is on the border of being healthy and overfat for my age.

My BMI ( Body Mass Index) is 26.5 . This number places me in the overweight category. At least I caught it before I became obese.

Some other data gathered include:

Total Body Water 57.2%

Visceral Fat 9%

Muscle mass 132.4 lbs

Metabolic Age 38

Basal Metabolic Rate(BMR) 3827 cal

Stepping on the scale was the easiest part of the day. I just crawled out of bed and stood there. For the rest, I had to work for it.


For the bike, I got on the Computrainer and turned on the coaching software. A group of numbers and squiggly lines run across the screen showing my speed, cadence, heart rate, and wattage. I used my SRM for backup. To the average observer, it looks like some sort of science lab......Wait until I pull out my portable lactate analyzer and start testing blood;-).... Later

Computrainer settings: calibration number 2.33, Tire pressure 100psi

After a 20 min warm up, I tested 20 min at what I thought was FTP ( Functional Threshold Power) My goal was also to keep the cadence over 90 rpm. Normally, you should do two of these. I have an excuse.... Fat and out of shape.... I only did one.


Average Watts 206, cadence 93, Average HR147 ( monitor not functioning well it was 160’s at the end of the test.) 2.6 Watts/kg. Slightly better than untrained and falling in the Cat 5 cyclist category. I felt I got some good numbers to work from here.


For my run test I wanted to do a sub-maximal effort. I wanted to keep my Heart rate under 150 bpm and see what speed I could maintain at a 1% grade on the treadmill for 2 miles. This gives me a baseline speed and HR to work from. My speed should improve at a set heart rate. Right now I just want to concentrate on getting the miles in my legs and strengthening connective tissue to avoid injury. Later, after I become fitter and stronger, I will take my testing to the track and do test sets there.


HR 150 ( HR monitor didn’t work. Had to use one on the treadmill)

I maintained an 8:30 pace at this heart rate and it felt good.


My last test of the day was swimming. This is my forte and I still can maintain a good stroke despite my poor shape. After a 500 warm up I did a test set of

5 x 100 yards on the 1:45


  1. 1:10
  2. 1:12
  3. 1:14
  4. 1:12
  5. 1:12

After an easy 100 I did a 500 yard time trial. The time on that was 6:38. I felt that one!

So there it is. The baseline numbers of a 50 year old out of shape triathlete on the comeback trail. I will try to test periodically to measure my progress as well as change the intensity of my workouts. I also plan on changing my diet and laying off the alcohol. I’m too lazy to write about it. I’m just going to do it... Enough said. Some cool things are going to happen next week so stay tuned;-)

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