Tuesday, August 13, 2013

VO2max Test Protocol : Follow Up

Two weeks after the last VO2max protocol, I went back for a follow up with Doc Pui San. With a 54.11mg/min/liter reading as benchmark and the notion that the previous test were terminated because of sweat, I was actually anxious if I will be able to do my very best to obtain a representative number.
The whole purpose of this test conducted by UMMC under Doc Pui San is a study corelating the cycling Astrand submaximal against the running Bruce Protocol for VO2Max. As the fitness level of general population are vast, some people could not run or do a brisk walk without passing out and thus, unable to return a favourable number to assess their general fitness.
The study hope to conclude that the Astrand submaximal can be used as a more general (and safer, as you won't fall off the bike seat) indication of fitness.
With the previous glitch of not being able to go higher than 900w on the cycling machine (it was set to female), Doc Pui San set me up on the bike to the exact seating height per last test - this is to ensure consistency of the experiment. A seasoned cyclist will tell you that the ride height set is important as it determine the maximal bottom of pedal/force generated.
Almost Aero position?
For the Submaximal test, the focus was easy - keep pedalling at 60-65rpm and the resistance will be added as the doctor sees fit. I had the number churned up pretty fast due to the "lighter" resistance at start. From the photo below, you can see the staggered resistance that was unleashed on me (blue line) and it sort of maxed out at 1350kpm/min or about 35Nm torque (wow, i generate twice the torque my bike can provide!)
The next 2mins and 16 seconds will be tough!
The Astrand submaximal saw my heart rate climbing from 139bpm at the first "tough" load and ended at 149bpm at the end. Whole test took 6:35 as Doc Pui San noted my HR was not very regular as it seems to fluctuate (fast recovery perhaps) even at the end of the high load.  The result of the Astrand Submaximal returned a VO2Max reading of an awesome 61.47ml/min/kg. That was a wow for me.
61.47? Hell yeah!
Then, I had to take a breather and prepare for the next test. While waiting for the heart rate to go back to pre-workout of 62bpm, i took out the camera and started taking photo of the UMMC Sports Department facilities. This is how Doc Pui San's office looked like. I say this is awesome. I can live with this everyday (and start accumulating VO2max data of myself alternate days!)
Expensive machines all hooked up to PC for specific fitness test.
The next test was the Spirometry test where I will have my lung capacity measured. This is essential as it will corelate back to the VO2max results (I believe)
Preparing for my Spirometry test
The test is simple as per my last entry on Vo2max, We will breathe normally for three-cycle and then take in maximum and exhale fully for three-cycle as well. As It was noted that I was an-ex smoker, my predicted reading were noticeably lower than my actual (potential) results. So, those of you still smoking and exercising, don't think you are as fit as fiddle. Quit smoking now!
Ice Cream
 This is my spirometry graph. The darker upper line is my predicted limit. Phew!
Somehow does looked like some island...Tioman?
 Immediately after that, Doc Pui San got me ready for the VO2max test using Bruce Protocol.
Adjusting the strap on the head
Second time around, I was a bit more used to run with something over my face. It can be daunting to some as if the air exchange is restricted. Perhaps it is to an extend. Armed with a towel (pink as you can see above), I was ready to roll, literally.
Stage 1 easy walk and I am already at 52%? Oh my...
The test will be in stages of 3-minutes each with elevation starting from 10%, increasing 2% each stage. Speed starts from 2.7mph and move upwards as the test gets more demanding. This is a machine of torture. It aim to squeeze every single cell in your body to work.
And I am doing it so willingly.
Semua OK! Faster can?
 I was told that a friend walked Stage 4 with ease - a testament on how fit he was. The logic dawned to me as it is one way to conserve energy and be more efficient. I tried walking Stage 4 for about 90seconds and it became unbearable to do so and I started to run. By then, sweat already oozes out from all pores and I was happy that I remembered (actually, I forgot, but my motorbike box has a towel) to bring a towel.
What happened after Stage 4 was a daze. I remembered Doc Pui San signalling to me to remember to (show) cut off if it was too much to take. I remembered listening to the conversation happening in the clinic by the doctors and then as I approached end of Stage 5 and going into Stage 6 there were an eerie silence as if everyone stopped talking and wonder if I will be able to break Stage 6 that day (or it could be they are preparing for me to fall, get sucked into the treadmill and they can come do what doctors does - asking me why I am doing this to myself!)
Alas, as i ran out of breathe literally, and halfway (or what seemed like) into Stage 6, I know it is time to quit. Wait, maybe 3 more seconds...damn it, why is 3 seconds THAT long?
Stopped. Stopped. Stopped.
It was like adrenaline rushing with endorphin mixing in the bloodstream. It was Runner's High.
Almost passed out. Scale 20 on the fatigue list - Can die!
Thumbs down!
It was an all out effort from me and I somehow felt I could had done better (don't we all). But as it is, I've done what I can at my 100% push.
The Machine of Pain
I cooled down and waited for my results. The print-out calculated my effort to be a high 58.81 - which I must say I am pretty proud of. Only way onwards is to constantly improve. And I will.
VO2max peaked at 58.81ml/min/kg. Nice!
Thank you Doc Pui San. It has been a great experience for me. More so to know my own capabilities and how I can improve from here onwards. :) See you in 3 months again at your clinic?


  1. She didn't say we have to do it again in 3 months time?

    1. Kam - the 3-months is my own personal initiative lah;-)


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