4.2.13

So you think you're fit, huh?!

...have you ever tested your fitness though?! How do you know when you have made progress if you have no way of measuring it? The Cooper 12-minute run test is one way...

It basically predicts your VO2 max which is a measure of cardiovascular fitness (specifically cardiorespiratory endurance). All you need is a treadmill (or track) and a stopwatch. 

The aim of the game is to see what distance you can cover in the 12 minutes at a sustainable pace. SO, there's no up and down in speed throughout; you are permitted to increase or decrease the speed at the 6 minute mark only. Once you have reached 12 minutes, record the distance to the nearest 100 metres (along with age and gender) to calculate an estimate of aerobic capacity (VO2 max). 

p.s make sure you do a short warm up and cool down before you do the full 12 minutes. You can use the warm up to maybe gauge which speed you will work at during the test.

Here is the equation (it's an easy one!)

VO2 max = (distance in metres - 505) / 45 

Now check out the table below to work out where your distance places you...
AgeVery goodGoodAverageBadVery bad
13-14M2700+ m2400 - 2700 m2200 - 2399 m2100 - 2199 m2100- m
F2000+ m1900 - 2000 m1600 - 1899 m1500 - 1599 m1500- m
15-16M2800+ m2500 - 2800 m2300 - 2499 m2200 - 2299 m2200- m
F2100+ m2000 - 2100 m1700 - 1999 m1600 - 1699 m1600- m
17-20M3000+ m2700 - 3000 m2500 - 2699 m2300 - 2499 m2300- m
F2300+ m2100 - 2300 m1800 - 2099 m1700 - 1799 m1700- m
20-29M2800+ m2400 - 2800 m2200 - 2399 m1600 - 2199 m1600- m
F2700+ m2200 - 2700 m1800 - 2199 m1500 - 1799 m1500- m
30-39M2700+ m2300 - 2700 m1900 - 2299 m1500 - 1899 m1500- m
F2500+ m2000 - 2500 m1700 - 1999 m1400 - 1699 m1400- m
40-49M2500+ m2100 - 2500 m1700 - 2099 m1400 - 1699 m1400- m
F2300+ m1900 - 2300 m1500 - 1899 m1200 - 1499 m1200- m
50+M2400+ m2000 - 2400 m1600 - 1999 m1300 - 1599 m1300- m
F2200+ m1700 - 2200 m1400 - 1699 m1100 - 1399 m1100- m
Here is the VO2max chart for the guys:

Age (years)
rating18-2526-3536-4546-5556-6565+
excellent> 60> 56> 51> 45> 41> 37
good52-6049-5643-5139-4536-4133-37
above average47-5143-4839-4236-3832-3529-32
average42-4640-4235-3832-3530-3126-28
below average37-4135-3931-3429-3126-2922-25
poor30-3630-3426-3025-2822-2520-21
very poor< 30< 30< 26< 25< 22< 20

And for the girls:

Age (years)
rating18-2526-3536-4546-5556-6565+
excellent> 56> 52> 45> 40> 37> 32
good47-5645-5238-4534-4032-3728-32
above average42-4639-4434-3731-3328-3125-27
average38-4135-3831-3328-3025-2722-24
below average33-3731-3427-3025-2722-2419-21
poor28-3226-3022-2620-2418-2117-18
very poor< 28< 26< 22< 20< 18< 17

The last time I measured my VO2 max was in May of 2012 using the Rockport Walking Test in which I calculated my VO2 max to be 44.97 (above average according to the table above). So I think it's time to remeasure (using the Cooper test) and see if there has been any improvement! 

So who is gonna give it a go with me?! Let me know your scores in the comments section below...

Elle :) x
P.S Safety always comes first. If you are new to exercise ensure you seek advice from your GP. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, wear appropriate clothing and carry out drills in a suitable space. Technique is paramount, and nothing should hurt. Should you experience pain, discomfort, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath etc, STOP and consult your GP. 

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