Monday, February 19, 2007

Assessment Shmassessment

Headed to Gym Two yesterday morning for the free fitness assessment that comes with my membership. Waste of time. It began with the height test. Trainer told me that I'm 5'3''. Um, no. It would be nice, but I've been 5' 1.75'' for as long as I can remember (I pretend it's 5' 2''). Then he tells me that my weight is 150 lbs and my body fat % is 27%. I suppose it's possible in whatever alternate universe his scale inhabits, but no other scale I've been on in the past month has been higher than 143lbs. And as for body fat % - the guy actually tells me with a straight face that body fat % and BMI are synonymous. I think I tuned out at this point, but not before we had the following exchange.

He: What are your fitness goals?
Me: Lift more weight.
He: So, muscle strength?
Me: Lift more weight.

Then I did a 12 minute cardio test on a treadmill that ended with him telling me that my cardio was "Fair". I don't mind being told that my cardio level is "Fair", but how can a test that never got more intense than a stroll (seriously!) give a result of "Fair"? So I asked. Trainer says it's not a max test but a "Sub Max" test. Huh? I go for a leisurely stroll on a treadmill and you tell me my cardio is "Fair"?

Then we went out on the gym floor to do strength tests on TechnoGym equipment. I did an online search today and discovered that it's a Dutch line. I wonder why Gym Two chose it as their post-renovations line. I do not like these machines at all; they seem designed to take all the thinking out of working out. Just sit and do whatever the machine tells you to. And no, I don't think that's a good thing.

Trainer tells me I'm at the top of the scale on both the chest press and the leg press. If I can be at the top of the scale after my atrocious training schedule of the past five months, it means the standards they use for women are pretty damn low. Who comes up with these dumbed-down standards for women, anyway? And how can a woman who cannot do a pull up be at the top of a strength scale? Do the people who create these machines and assessments think that my fragile ego will crumble if the assessment identifies me as "average" or "weak"? To give you an idea of the numbers, the best I could manage on the chest press was a calculated 1 rep max of 113lbs, since my chest, shoulders and triceps were utterly fried from Saturday's workout. With legs sore from Thursday, the calculated 1 rep max on the leg press was 320lbs.

Annoyed by this so-called assessment and its six page printout, I headed to Gym One for an actual workout. I did a day II Back session, and added some good mornings for fun at the end. Felt much better after that.

Both the boys' and girls' teams won Saturday night. It was bittersweet to watch because these were the last home games of the season. My schedule over the next couple of weeks is too packed to see the last away games, so this is it for me watching basketball this year.

2 Comments:

At 8:55 PM , Blogger Scott said...

It's been years since I last had a formal fitness assessment at a commercial gym. Now I remember why :)

 
At 9:20 PM , Blogger Mich said...

Well, at least I got some numbers out of it, that I can use as a basis for comparison. But I still can't figure out what that cardio test possibly measures.

 

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