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Old 01-02-2010, 12:21 PM   #1
Nathan Kulas
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C2 VO2 max calculations

So I did the two 5K rows when they came up. I was hoping I might get under 20:00 - so on my first attempt I hit a 2:00/500 pace right out of the gate.

I maintained this until about 2750 meters when I hit a point where I really just couldn't keep rowing at that pace. I literally came to a point where I stopped rowing for about 3-5 seconds. I had hit my lactate threshold. I then kicked back in at about a 2:20 pace and finally settled back in at like 2:10-2:15. Final time was 20:35.

Two days later - certainly more fatigued, muscle wise and with no appreciable gains that can be expected for VO2 max, etc. I decided to try a more attainable pace of 2:05 - which I did, mostly around 2:03. I kept this pace until I had 1500m to go and then kicked it up to a 2:00 pace. At the 1000m and 500m I still had more energy to kick it up - finishing my last 500m with a 1:48. I managed to decrease my time to 20:17 by going slower.

So it was obvious on the second try I maintained a pace below my lactate threshold, which meant I was capable of sustaining it for the entire time. So I was wondering if I could use my VO2 max to calculate what my optimal pace for the rower is. SO I looked for a VO2 max calculator for the C2 - I found this one on their website: http://www.concept2.com/us/interacti...ors/vo2max.asp (WFS) - but I was wondering if anyone knew of anyone for calculating based on the 5K, as my current 2000m isn't up to date (which is the distance this calculates based on).

Anyone know of one?
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Old 01-02-2010, 02:31 PM   #2
Andrew H. Meador
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Re: C2 VO2 max calculations

It's an estimate anyway - they shouldn't be giving numbers down to the first decimal point - that implies much greater accuracy than is realistic to predict. Just estimate your 2k time honestly and it will give you an approximation. Don't know why you feel the need to know your rowing V02max.
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Old 01-02-2010, 02:52 PM   #3
Josh Wright
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Re: C2 VO2 max calculations

You might be better served by conducting a Conconi Test, as it seems like you're more interested in determining your anaerobic threshhold than VO2 max. I read your post to mean you want to determine how fast you can row for a prolonged period of time, without going into an anaerobic pathway which will make the pace unsustainable. If thats the case, it's anaerobic threshold you're after rather than vo2 max.
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Old 01-02-2010, 03:25 PM   #4
Nathan Kulas
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Re: C2 VO2 max calculations

Thanks for the explanation Josh, you are quite right and I agree. I plan on getting a HR monitor so I can do more sophisticated measurements during WODs, rowing, running, etc. to find optimal heart rates, etc. VO2 max is easily calculable from a max out effort in a mid distance event though - anaerobic threshold is simply a percentage of the VO2 max at which lactate builds up faster than the blood can remove it. I can worry about that at a later time.

Mr. Meador - you're opinion is all well and good - but its your opinion. Yes, I do realise the the CF philosophy is to determine improvements through performance. However, there are many factors that affect performance. One way to increase the accuracy of your measurements is to ensure that other factors remain fixed. So, if my VO2 max becomes known, I can then determine my HR at VO2 max. I can then determine what optimal heart rate is needed for a 5K, a 2K, or Fran, etc. to finish in the least amount of time and utilise these known factors to establish more accurate test results and therefore a better gauge for performance improvement.

I have a known 2K, but its old. However, in the 5K I did 2 paces that were very close together and one was certainly optimal. I don't want to over-do the rowing in the near future just to use a good 2K measurement - and would probably need to do 2-3 attempts to find an optimal pace. Instead, I would like to use a recent, known measurement.

I don't know why you feel the need to know your 1RM for back squats.

Yeah... kind of a ridiculous statement, isn't it? Keep it to yourself, thanks.
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Last edited by Nathan Kulas; 01-02-2010 at 03:29 PM..
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Old 01-02-2010, 03:59 PM   #5
Andrew H. Meador
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Re: C2 VO2 max calculations

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Originally Posted by Nathan Kulas View Post
So, if my VO2 max becomes known, I can then determine my HR at VO2 max. I can then determine what optimal heart rate is needed for a 5K, a 2K, or Fran, etc. to finish in the least amount of time and utilise these known factors to establish more accurate test results and therefore a better gauge for performance improvement.
...
I don't know why you feel the need to know your 1RM for back squats.
...
Yeah... kind of a ridiculous statement, isn't it? Keep it to yourself, thanks.
Mr. Kulas, it is my learned opinion as a former rower that form and general strength matter more in rowing than VO2max. Furthermore, your VO2max differs based on activity, and is not universal - your HR and VO2max for the same level of exertion will be different during a Fran, or a Helen, or running, or rowing. I don't particularly feel the need to know my 1RM for back squats - you're presuming something that had nothing to do with what I said. I'm trying to steer you in the right direction and you're ignoring my suggestion merely because it doesn't fit the parameters of the kind of response that you expected to receive.
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Old 01-02-2010, 04:40 PM   #6
Nathan Kulas
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Re: C2 VO2 max calculations

I'm just saying "Why would you want to know your 1RM" is not a question you would generally hear here. Why would you hear the same for VO2max? Doesn't make sense to me.

Either way, I realize VO2 max varies based on muscle utilization for a particular modal domain. However, if GPP is maximally effective, it should be developed across all modal domains (in which it is used) simultaneously and equally effectively. Therefore in a genuine GPP program, my VO2 max should be about the same for rowing, running, biking and Fran. This will depend on my history in each and my current training in each... but CF should even things out if it is maximally effective.

Either way - I realize you can't improve rowing without increasing power output; and that form (including breathing) is incredibly important. However, without adequate aerobic conditioning, you can't sustain these output loads for long durations - e.g. 5K; and therefore strength is most effective in shorter distances, if not complemented with a higher VO2 max and lactate threshold.

And the problem with your post is that it is exactly what I expect to see.. CrossFitters seem to hate the scientific approach to exercise physiology and performance measurement, which is one of the major downfalls I see. I see no harm in looking at both VO2 max and 1RM for DL - and add your Fran, Angie and Linda times in there. CrossFitters have become almost as tunnel visioned as the gym rats in the corner doing biceps curls.
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Old 01-03-2010, 03:54 AM   #7
Josh Wright
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Re: C2 VO2 max calculations

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Originally Posted by Andrew H. Meador View Post
Mr. Kulas, it is my learned opinion as a former rower that form and general strength matter more in rowing than VO2max. .
In my similarly learned opinion as a former rower and erg sprints winner I'll agree with the first part of your statement. Form matters more in rowing than vo2 max. That said rowing on a machine (erging) is not rowing. I disagree that form outweighs vo2 max on the erg. Does form make one faster? Sure. It is not, however, the defining factor. I've seen some horrendous erging form pull some very big/fast erg times.

As to general strength-I dont know what you mean by that so I can't comment.



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Old 01-03-2010, 12:49 PM   #8
Alex Europa
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Re: C2 VO2 max calculations

Nathan,

My issue isn't so much about the science (although I do have some reservations about basing your training on an estimated calculation which is based on a singular effort...but this is neither here nor there). My issue is that your initial post tells me that you have a deficiency in the fitness component of Accuracy. CrossFit defines accuracy as the ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity. Often the best athletes demonstrate the greatest ability to stay just below their redline, whereas other, less successful athletes, are constantly fluctuating over and under their limit.

The trick to improving this isn't following some hypothetical number, but learning to listen to your body by pushing it to the limit consistantly. Judging by your high school (IIRC?) running numbers, you had this ability when it came to running at one point. The problem is that now we're talking about having this ability through countless modal and time domains...which greatly increases the difficulty.

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Old 01-03-2010, 07:52 PM   #9
Nathan Kulas
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Re: C2 VO2 max calculations

I wouldn't say its a problem with accuracy at all in that respect. I typically go all out on a workout - but you come to realise that there are strategies that can be taken.

For instance, take Angie. My first Angie time was in 27:36 on September 26, 2009. I did 23 pull-ups coming out of the starting gate, which promptly fell to 10 on my next set. So I completed the first 33 in under a minute. It took me 13 more minutes to complete the rest of the pull-ups. Obviously the all-out approach didn't work so well for me.

So my next Angie (November 20) I decided to use a little strategy so as to prevent going to muscle failure. I did sets of 10 pull-ups. Making this change, I finished in 7:10 - about half the time for the pull-ups. I finished Angie in 22:50.

Now, strategy didn't work so well on the push-ups.. I went from about 3 minutes for 100 in my first attempt to about 4:30 in my second attempt. My sit-ups also slowed down to 8 minutes from 7; but my squats were improved by 30 second from 3:30 to 3:00. I attribute the last 3 events to less emphasis on push-ups and sit-ups than before I started CrossFit - and the squats to more emphasis.. but the pull-ups were purely strategic.

Likewise, I am unfamiliar with rowing still. This isn't because of a lack of "accuracy" as you would suggest, but instead a lack of familiarization. My first 5K was about 23-24 minutes.. I forget which - but I didn't know what pace would be doable for the whole thing, so I took it too easy. The second 5K I had a goal in mind - 20 minutes, so I specifically went for a 2:00 pace. It turns out the pace was too fast - but again, not a lack of accuracy, so much as a lack of familiarization of what a good pace should feel like for an unfamiliar event.

In track in HS, I could guess my split times in the mile - or gauge how far I had run based on my pace and how long I had been running. I was very familiar with running and various paces.. I wasn't an "accurate" runner, so much as familiar with running. I did lots of pace training.

If you define "accuracy" as someone's ability to accurately gauge an intensity that is optimal for a particular exercise for a specified (but largely untested) duration across every modal domain - well, then I think you will find that no one in the world is accurate.
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:48 AM   #10
Alex Europa
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Re: C2 VO2 max calculations

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Originally Posted by Nathan Kulas View Post
Likewise, I am unfamiliar with rowing still. This isn't because of a lack of "accuracy" as you would suggest, but instead a lack of familiarization. My first 5K was about 23-24 minutes.. I forget which - but I didn't know what pace would be doable for the whole thing, so I took it too easy. The second 5K I had a goal in mind - 20 minutes, so I specifically went for a 2:00 pace. It turns out the pace was too fast - but again, not a lack of accuracy, so much as a lack of familiarization of what a good pace should feel like for an unfamiliar event.
Accuracy comes from familiarization...not only with a particular implement, but with the insight that one gains from months and years of pushing their entire body to it's limits. That's my point. The erg is a great example of this because there is constant feedback of your pace. Let's say that your best time at 5K is precisely 20:00, or 2:00 per 500. But the next time you end up doing a 5K is in the 3rd day of a CF cycle, following "Eva" and "Linda"...do you think that you'll be able to go 2:00/500m again? Or what if you simply didn't sleep well the night before? In both of these situations, if you simply base your pacing off of preconceived splits, then you'll most likely fall apart at the end...even though it was a performance that you had previously met. This is where accuracy comes into play: when an athlete just knows how fast they can go on any given day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Kulas View Post
In track in HS, I could guess my split times in the mile - or gauge how far I had run based on my pace and how long I had been running. I was very familiar with running and various paces.. I wasn't an "accurate" runner, so much as familiar with running. I did lots of pace training.
Actually, this is a great example of accuracy: you were able to maintain a given intensity to match your intended goal. If the intensity varied, then the splits would also vary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Kulas View Post
If you define "accuracy" as someone's ability to accurately gauge an intensity that is optimal for a particular exercise for a specified (but largely untested) duration across every modal domain - well, then I think you will find that no one in the world is accurate.
To be clear...I didn't define it this way...Jim Crawley and Bruce Evans did (and Greg Glassman obviously agrees with this definition as he used it in What Is Fitness). But I don't understand the point you're trying to make. Going at an "optimal intensity" isn't what makes an athlete accurate, all that is required to be accurate is maintaining a desired intensity. However, the closer an athlete can push to optimal (which is typically their redline for a given time/modal domain on a given day), the more accurate they are.

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Last edited by Alex Europa; 01-04-2010 at 01:51 AM..
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