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Old 05-11-2007, 12:36 PM   #1
Chris Tracy
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I have an opportunity to have some metabolic testing done next week for $50. The test is supposed to tell you what your resting metabolic rate is to determine your caloric needs. From what I understand they can also prvide activity-adjusted figures. The test interprets the gases that are exhaled into a machine for a period of 20 minutes. Has anyone done this? How accurate is the testing? Any idea what kind of adjustment would be needed for a metcom WOD?
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Old 05-14-2007, 07:20 AM   #2
Mike Ryan
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I did this type of test several years ago. The machine was called BodyGem. I think there are others out there that use the same technology.

http://www.microlifeusa.com/products_weightmanage.asp (W/F Safe)

As for the test, it told me that my BMR (basal metabolic rate) was ~2400 kcal/day. There are two good equations for calculating daliy caloric needs, Katch-McArdell (based on %BF) and Harris Bennedict (based on height, weight and age). The equations are as follows:

Harris - Benedict

Men: BMR = 66 + (13.7 X wt in kg) + (5 X ht in cm) - (6.8 X age in years)
Women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 X wt in kg) + (1.8 X ht in cm) - (4.7 X age in years)

Katch - McArdell

BMR (men and women) = 370 + (21.6 X lean mass in kg)

This is the BMR. You need to multiply this by an activity factor to get the TDEE (total daily energy expenditure). The activity factors are:

If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : TDEE = BMR x 1.2
If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : TDEE = BMR x 1.375
If you are moderatetely active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : TDEE = BMR x 1.55
If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : TDEE = BMR x 1.725
If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : TDEE = BMR x 1.9

From there, +/- 15-20% for weight gain or weight loss. It is generally recommended to avoid greater than 20% variation from the TDEE to avoid slowing your metabolism. There is a ton of information on the web about these equaitons. Google will help.

For me, both equations predict within 100 kcals of the BodyGem test. I am definitely much larger than the average Crossfitter and the equations gave me the same results as the $50 test, so IMHO, save the $50 and try calculating your BMR first. The trick with the equations is figuring the activity multiplier correctly.

Regards,

Mike


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Old 05-14-2007, 08:52 AM   #3
Mike Ryan
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Sorry, the second formula is Katch - McArdle, not McArdell.

Mike.
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Old 05-15-2007, 06:06 PM   #4
Brandon Oto
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What activity multiplier would you say is implied by CFing -- doing only the WoDs on the regular schedule? Maybe with some walking and an occasional sport, but not much more outside that... this describes me and probably many of us. The highest multiplier seems a little excessive for less than an hour's exercise a day, no matter how intense.
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Old 05-16-2007, 07:13 AM   #5
Jill Genschoreck
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RMR & VO2 Max testing is actually something I'm trained to "administer", if you will.

Brandon's right - if you're doing CF daily, the multiplier would be similar to sprinting/doing interval training daily or doing long distance runs on a daily basis. But I would say there's no "additional" multiplier for the WOD workouts.

One thing to note & for you to take into account - RMR typically only factors in lifestyle... as in what you do for a living. Not your workout style. So, if you have a desk job, you have a desk job. If you workout daily, you work out daily. You can't factor in "I have a desk job BUT my WOD's are harder than normal peoples workouts". Trust me... I tried. :wink:

RMR will also change over time. RMR changes with age - unfortunately for most of us it decreases as we age. But if you're new into fitness, gaining muscle, losing fat, increasing your fitness level will slightly increase your RMR. In my opinion, whoever is administering the test for you should provide you with a follow-up test in 6 months or so to see if your RMR has changed (that is if your fitness level has also changed).

Shockingly, RMR is a great indicator of calories. For me, Benedict & McArdle calculations were WAY off... as in 500 calories too low. Which is why I was constantly fatigued. So in my case, getting my RMR tested was an eye opener that I wasn't eating enough instead of eating too much.

Oh... and you should be able to keep your mask. They run about $20 retail, so if you get retested, make sure it's not at the $50 again (if you keep your mask). :happy:

Good luck. Feel free to email me with Q's.
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Old 05-16-2007, 12:39 PM   #6
Chris Tracy
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Just completed the testing. My resting energy expenditures were much higher than I expected at 2117. The caloric maintenance range is 2117 - 2750, caloric weight loss range is 1695 - 2117. The interesting thing is that I eat a 17 block diet that's roughly 1700 -1800 calories/day. The equations that Mike provided gave me #'s were very close to the average calories I would consume IF I ate a strict 17 block diet. I'm glad I did the testing, however, it just confirmed what I already knew- I need to tighten up the diet to get the body fat down to where I want it, drink less (should be easier now that the sharks and warriors are out of the playoffs) and I need to get back on the starting strength program to boost my muscle mass.
I appreciate everyones input- thanks!
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Old 05-16-2007, 01:11 PM   #7
Brandon Oto
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I don't understand, Jill. Do you mean that the multiplier is only meant to reflect on your "general" level of activity, and not include bouts of exercise? I'm sure that I expend most of my calories throughout the day... but I don't think my expenditures during the workout are insignificant.
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:08 AM   #8
Jill Genschoreck
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Brandon, this is correct. RMR only factors how many calories your body requires to maintain daily functions - brain activity, heart & lung function, other internal organ functions & tissue growth & repair. By definition, it doesn't factor in exercise.

RMR stands for "Resting Metabolic Rate". It's supposed to give you the number of caloies you can eat per day, without exercising, to not gain or lose any weight. So, simply put... how many calories your body needs to stay alive. Not how many it needs to do other stuff such as exercise.

Applying exercise to your metabolic rate gives you an EMR or "Exercise Metabolic Rate" which factors in how many calories you burn while exercising.

So let's say my RMR is a minimum of 1500 and I burn 300 calories while exercising, my EMR would be 1800 calories, which is what I'd need to eat during a typical day to maintain daily functions and to have enough energy to workout... providing I don't want to gain or lose any weight.
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Old 05-17-2007, 02:43 PM   #9
Brandon Oto
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Ah, interesting.

Who the heck gets the higher multipliers for RMR, then? Do you have to jog everywhere you go? :-)
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Old 05-17-2007, 03:23 PM   #10
Chris Tracy
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"Who the heck gets the higher multipliers for RMR?" We do!! The more lean muscle mass you carry the more your metabolism engine is crankin'= more calories you burn just sitting around. An interesting thing happened, 2 of my coworkers that did test with me are endurance athletes, both a couple of inches taller than me and they weigh a little more than I do, yet, my RMR was about 500 calories higher/day than either of them. They also put in about 5 more hours of exercise/week than I do. Kinda cool to see some scientific evidence for changes that I already knew were taking place.
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