Fat for Fuel

November 1, 2009

I learned a lot about making my workouts more efficient last weekend. This new wisdom came courtesy of a Metabolic test done at Lifetime Fitness in Tempe, Arizona. What is a Metabolic test? It’s measures how your body (uniquely) responds to exercise. Evidently, your metabolism is uniquely yours. Want to burn more fat during your workouts? The key is finding your metabolic base.

My test began with facilitator Amy hooking me up with a heart rate monitor, strapping a VO2 mask on my face, and putting me on a treadmill. With heart rate monitor and VO2 mask hooked up to a laptop running software created by New Leaf, the test began.I started with a walking warm-up. The speed increased to a good jogging pace. At that point the software began to crunch the numbers; the input being presented via the VO2 mask and the heart rate monitor.

Then the fun began. Once my comfortable speed was reached, the incline was increased by 2%. This repeated again and again until my incline reached 10%. At the end of the test I was running for my life up a steep hill and sucking wind. Turns out that’s the point. Simple as that. The data captured showed me my personal metabolic zones and the distribution of fat to carbs I burn in each zone.

I will use this information during my workouts, monitoring my heart rate to keep my body operating in the zone at which it burns the most calories while still using fat for fuel.

In conclusion, I was happy with my results. Turns out my baseline is 163 BPM. That’s a bit higher than I usually work out at so I have some room to make my workouts more intense. Also, and I’ll admit up front that I’m bragging a little, I learned my estimated maximum heart beats per minute is 200. The average is 180. Bottom line, I can’t wait to see the results during the next twelve weeks armed with this intel.

3 Responses to “Fat for Fuel”

  1. Harold Brown said

    Tom Gmitter is located at the Down Town YMCA.

    hb

  2. Hey Owen,

    Thanks so much for sharing your journey. I am consistent with my workouts and love them…it’s my attitude adjustment for sure…

    My diet however is a little less than can be desired. I just dont like healthy foods.

    I’d love to do a test like this. Do you have any idea how much or where I would go here in TN to do that?

    Keep up the hard work! It’s inspiring!

    ~Stacey

    • owenwbrown said

      Stacey – Thank you very much. I appreciate the encouragement. I would start with your local YMCA. They will likely partner with the NewLeaf (www.newleaffitness.com) company. Google says that the Maryland Farms Y in Brentwood offers the test. I believe Tom Gmitter is the head of the personal training there. You might call and ask to speak to him. Tom and I did the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim hike earlier this year. Good guy. The cost will likely range but I would guess in Nashville around $70. There is also the initial cost of the VO2 mask which was around $35. Now go for it. You’re worth every penny!

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