Monday, March 26, 2007

High tech fitness tests--are they for you?

...Jeannine Stein, writing in the LA Times, talks about trying to pinpoint your aerobic fat-burning heart rate zone and other exotica.

…HA comes from a family of exercisers, who are now in the joint replacement phase.

…Anyway, by doing these tests, some fitness fanatics find they can notch their workouts down a little, or interval train, and get better results.

…It’s an individual thing.

…One test measures where a person reaches the anaerobic threshold—the point at which the body stops using fat and oxygen for fuel and starts using carbs. When you are working out in this zone, you don’t burn fat, though you may be out of breath.

…Gyms—not medical labs—now offer such tests, though at a price that can go north of $100.

…Some docs pooh-pooh all this—it may be more accurate, but it doesn’t help much, they say.

…Yet, the gym owners and some doctors say people are just flailing away with no knowledge or goals.

….They claim a rule of thumb will work almost as well. If you aren’t breathing hard or sweating, you may not be exercising to an aerobic level.

…Another doctor said, if your pants are getting tighter despite your workouts, you may be eating a little more.

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