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Author: joelxwil Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 1653  
Subject: Machine Metrics Date: 3/22/2003 4:43 PM
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Up until I was around 63, I was in excellent shape. I swam, rode a bicycle, and worked out on the weight machines.

However, I have had many back problems (to the point where I am now limping slightly because of nerve damage) and also problems with my knees. Now at 67 I am working out at the gym. I alternate upper body on the wieght machines one day and "running" on the orbital machines the next. The orbital machines do not hurt my back and knees.

When I am on the Life Fitness orbital machine, I do the random program at level 10 for 30 minutes. I have a few questions:

(1) The heart rate monitor says that after about 20 minutes my heart rate is around 155, and by the end of the workout it may get to 170. This is way over the supposed maximum for my age, but I feel fine, and it is a good workout. I doubt that there is any problem, and my blood pressure is generally below 120/80 when I check it afterwards (unless I start to think about the perfidious French). Is there likely to be a problem with getting my heart rate so high?

(2) Does anybody have any idea how accurate the calorie and distance readings are on those things? Do the calories vary with the rate at which you "run"? They do vary with the level of difficulty. I generally keep it as 60-65 RPM. It would seem that since the stride is fixed, 30 minutes at that rate should be just about the same "distance" on any of the machines. But it varies between 4 miles in 30 minutes and 2.7. I guess the distance part is up for grabs.

(3) At this point I am doing Random Level 10 for 30 minutes. Should I increase the time of the level of difficulty. Go to Random 11 for 30 minutes or stay at Random 10 and go for 35 minutes? My first inclination is to increase the time and work up to a full hour.

I am sure I should be asking a doctor such questions but I have had really bad experiences with doctors. I went to a "sports medicine" guy after a long bike ride because I had weakness in my right hand. It was from a badly adjusted bike - I was putting too much weight on my hands. The guy at the bike shop fixed things up, but all the doctor could say is, "Why would anybody want to ride 35 miles on a bike?", and tell me to stop. In another few months I was doing 2 50-mile rides a week-end without any problem, no thanks to the doctor. There are a few other stories I could tell, but the fact is that so far I have never found a doctor who shared my goal of being able to work out vigorously, or who looked like he had ever done that himself. The sports medicine guy, for instance, was at least 50 pounds overweight.

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Author: joebedford Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 777 of 1653
Subject: Re: Machine Metrics Date: 3/22/2003 6:55 PM
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Recced because you are my new hero. I am vowing right now to take the steps necessary to have the stamina you have at your age. :-)

Thanks!
Joe
Nice to know that growing old really ISN'T for sissies

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Author: joelxwil Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 778 of 1653
Subject: Re: Machine Metrics Date: 3/22/2003 7:03 PM
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Well thanks, Joe, but growing old is really not any fun.

Still, it beats the alternative.

And things could be worse. I have terrible back pain on occasion, and the knees are really trashed. Chronic degenerative arthritus. Still, I just talked to my neighbor, and he has had leukemia, testicular cancer, and now colon cancer. The first 2 cured, and the last operated recently. The prognosis is good, but genetically he is just plain cancer prone. And he is about 20 years younger.


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Author: Parkway Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 779 of 1653
Subject: Re: Machine Metrics Date: 3/22/2003 9:13 PM
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I'm not an expert on any of this, but I'll offer my thoughts...

This is way over the supposed maximum for my age

The theoretical maximum heart rates are not very good guidelines - I think I rembember reading that they were developed based on a not-very-diverse group of test subjects, but even if that's not true, there's a huge amount of individual variance. If you feel good at that heart rate (breathing is okay, etc), I don't think there's a problem. When I have some time, I'll try to dig up the article on this.

Also, my understanding is that you don't want to stop cold when your heart rate is up that high - keep moving, even if it's just to walk around the room or something, for a minute or two. I like to see my heart rate drop by 30 beats before I stop, this usually takes me a little over a minute. Of course, a good cool-down should be part of every workout anyway.

Does anybody have any idea how accurate the calorie and distance readings are on those things?

Just speculating here, but distance should be pretty accurate, but the calorie level is probably not. Accuracy is probably better on the machines where you put in your weight. I don't use the elliptical machine (is that what the "orbital trainer" is?), so I don't know if you enter your weight or not.

Should I increase the time or the level of difficulty.

Time if you're working on cardiovascular fitness, level of difficulty if you're looking for strength gains. But really, I would say whichever appeals to you more.

- Parkway

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Author: jjbklb Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 780 of 1653
Subject: Re: Machine Metrics Date: 3/23/2003 7:24 PM
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<<snip>>

(2) Does anybody have any idea how accurate the calorie and distance readings are on those things? Do the calories vary with the rate at which you "run"? They do vary with the level of difficulty. I generally keep it as 60-65 RPM. It would seem that since the stride is fixed, 30 minutes at that rate should be just about the same "distance" on any of the machines. But it varies between 4 miles in 30 minutes and 2.7. I guess the distance part is up for grabs. <<snip>>
I understand that a very fit person doing 30 minutes at a given intensity will burn up less calories then an out of shape person doing the same thing.The fit person will be more efficient doing the excersice then the unfit person.


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Author: sjfans Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 781 of 1653
Subject: Re: Machine Metrics Date: 3/24/2003 4:31 PM
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(2) Does anybody have any idea how accurate the calorie and distance readings are on those things? Do the calories vary with the rate at which you "run"? They do vary with the level of difficulty.

I have no idea how accurate the calorie or distance mesaurements are - I tend to think they are not very accurate at all.

I have an elliptical machine at home that measures those things too. I don't take any of the measurements it gives me as accurate. I do however use it to track progress.

For example, say I get on it today and do 30 minutes and it says I went 1 mile and burned 170 calories. The next time I get on it I'll try to do at least that much or maybe I'll try to get in 1.05 miles and 180 calories in the same amount of time. So, even though I have no idea how far I went or how many calories I actually burned, I do have a reference point to relate future workouts to.

Hope that makes sense,
sjfans

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