Don from Austin Texas
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Austin, Texas
Bikes: Schwinn S25 "department store crap" FS MTB, home-made CF 26" hybrid, CF road bike with straight bar, various wierd frankenbikes
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Bicycle boot camp fitness assessment -- bogus measurements??
Yesterday I attended this: http://www.austincyclecamp.com/performance_tests.html
While I did receive a comprehensive computer-generated report and set of recommendations I feel the input they were based on was dubious science, to put it kindly.
To determine VO2 max they had you sit in your car and relax wearing a Polar heart monitor for three minutes. This monitor has a program which allegedly extrapolates a VO2 max value based on the extent your heart beat varies during this period. Huh??? What about lung capacity and all sorts of other variables. To me this seems like a gimmick Polar is promoting with little or no scientific basis.
Body fat % was "measured" based on an electrical measurement between the feet. Is this not well known to be worthless? My understanding is levels of hydration and skin condition can render this test wildly inconsistent.
We wore the heart monitors on a 3 miles time trial and my MHR was determined to be 168 (well over the worthless 220 - your age formula as I am 64 years old). But, in order to attempt the best time on the course, I evidently did not push myself to the same limit as I did when I once observed 173 on a heart monitor topping out a 20% hill. And I doubt that 173 is my MHR -- I suspect it would be even higher if I were fleeing a snarling pit bull!
Based on this 168 MHR I was advised to spend about 40% of my weekly training time in a 101 -118 heart rate zone. I am dubious about this as that doesn't even feel like exercise to me
Before I write these folks a letter I would be interested in feedback. I don't think they set out to rip me off, but I do think they were a little naive and have been bamboozled by Polar. But if you wish to defend their program I will take that under advisement, of course.
Thanks....Don in Austin