Who is that masked (wo)man?

lr_silv8If you’ve ever been to your fitness club and have seen someone on the treadmill wearing a goofy mask – you’ve probably witnessed a fitness assessment test.

Today I had the pleasure(?) of having that test done myself. It is done to help find your heart rate ‘zone’ which will help maximize results from your workouts.

At LifeTime Fitness it is called the CardioPoint assessment, which is one of the best ways to begin shaping your fitness program whether your goal is performance enhancement or fat loss.  The assessment itself is one of the best known methods of assessing your body’s response to a variety of workout intensities.

You begin by putting on the mask and walking at a brisk pace for about 10 minutes as the trainer elevates both speed and ramp elevation on the treadmill. This burns off any excess carbohydrates you may be storing – you will not eat prior to this test.  You do all while being connected, via tubes and heart monitor, to the computer. After a five minute break you will be tested as the intensity is greatly increased in increments.  As you move into the testing, you will continue to rate your comfort/discomfort on a scale of 1-10, 10 being call an ambulance.

I reached a peak of about 9 while running, well above my usual pace, and then continuing for about 2 minutes – it was tough but I learned a lot about my fitness levels.  I learned that my heart is pretty strong and in good shape.  Going from my peak heart rate of 177 bpm to about 100 bpm only took a short time.  All good.  Tomorrow we will go into the results in more detail and outline the best ways I should work out.

It’s worth the extra cost (around $100 for me since I had a trainer) and I get to keep the stylish mask to use in future tests (saves about $30 for the next test).

This tool will help me learn how to burn maximum calories efficiently, will save me time in my workouts and make them more productive, and will help to know more about how my body is performing.  All good things.

I was told that many people workout at maniacal paces thinking that they have to do so in order to burn maximum calories.  However, it’s actually quite the opposite.  Your body will not perform well and you will most likely be outside the fat burning parameters – not good.

So check into it at your workout facility of choice – I know the YMCA also offers it – and give it a go.  The more we know about how our bodies perform and what they need – the more we can care for them and improve them.

Hi-Yo Silver!  Away!



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