As you read this blog post, many of you will also be thinking about your children’s GCSE or A Level results. Well, I recently had the same feeling going back to get my fitness test results!
You may remember my blog post from a couple weeks ago, where I told you about how I swapped my adventurous skiing for a couple hours on the slopes, followed by very long (and delicious) lunches.
As a consequence, I got less fit and had a hard time keeping up with my kids. I was knackered after half a day on my skis. But I decided I’d had enough of it. I needed to get fit again, so I could spend quality time on the slopes with my children—and even future grandkids.
Six weeks later…
I returned to Isokinetic to have my second threshold test after six weeks of exercise. Well, attempted exercise, at least.
Six weeks earlier, it felt like getting my GCSE results—and discovering I’d failed the lot! I’d fallen into the Isokinetic red category and was being labelled “a sedentary individual not used to intense physical activity”.
This didn’t sound like me at all. But who was I kidding? The test doesn’t lie. A really shocking result and a wake-up call to boot!
And so the headmaster (in the photo below) said: “Get on your bike” (that was his version of caning me!) To be fair, his regime of a 25-minute cycle ride three times a week wasn’t that big an ask within my day-to-day life and routine.
London to Brighton Cycle Ride
Oddly enough, two months ago I was also invited to take part in the London to Brighton Cycle Ride.
I jumped at the opportunity as I used to be a student in Brighton. Although I was concerned about enduring the 54-mile ride, it felt like a good target—so off I went!
Not only did I enjoy the ride – and survive the seven hours in the saddle, including three hills (I managed two-thirds of the notorious Ditchling Beacon) – but I was also very proud of my achievement.
And strangely enough, I didn’t feel the pain too much the next day.
Back in Isokinetic
So I was back in Isokinetic with Dr. Stride, and back on the wattbike. I started pedalling, with blood taken regularly to measure my lactic acid.
Just to refresh your memory: on May 17, my aerobic threshold was 70 watts. This time it was 101 watts.
I was no longer in the red but in the orange, now labelled a “non-sports person with good tolerance to fatigue”. Hooray!
It was the most pain-free and enjoyable way to reach a target.
And do I feel the difference? YES. I used to feel tired after a 45-minute tennis lesson. Ok, I admit, it was cardio tennis—but nevertheless I would be looking at my watch trying to survive the last 20 minutes, and go home with aching muscles.
All of that has disappeared and I can spend the same afternoon running around playing football with my five-year old son without any moans to my wife later!
So what next?
My target is to get to 150 watts and move from orange to yellow, which is “amateur sports-person in good shape”. I particularly like the last bit: “in good shape!”.
And how do I achieve that?
Again, it’s easy. No more extra time required from my day-to-day routine. Stick to three times a week for 25 minutes but this time instead of keeping a heart rate of 108 bpm, keep the heartbeat to 125 bpm.
I will be retested in early October.
Whilst I was at Isokinetic, I also had a strength test done on both legs measuring power generated from both quads and hamstrings.
This is mainly for those who might have had a previous injury but in my case it showed that both legs were in good shape. However what became very apparent that my left leg was 20% weaker than my right leg which clearly explains why I turn better on one side skiing. A little work on my left leg, and that should sort out the weaker turn.
I hope by the time December comes not only I will be in tip-top shape for the ski season, but I am hoping with the extra power in my legs I can shave a couple of seconds off my race time at the City Ski Championships, enjoy the endurance the Inferno downhill in Murren with less thigh burn or breathlessness in the uphill sections, and spend my next seven-day ski holiday on the slopes every day for six-to-seven hours a day with my tireless kids without any fatigue.
And lastly for your amusement:
5 Things you didn’t know about Harley Street
- There’s no Harley Davidson shop on Harley Street
- The entire street is owned by Howard de Walden
- It was named after Thomas Harley who was the Lord Mayor of London in 1767
- Florence Nightingale was Superintendent of the Establishment for Gentlewomen at No. 1 Harley Street
- An estimated 15,000 medical practitioners work in Harley Street, plus an additional 3000 medical workers.
5 Things you didn’t know about Isokinetic
- They originate from Bologna in the Emilia Romagna Region–the heart of Italy. Not only is my daughter called Emilia and was I born there, but all the best of Italy comes from there. Bolognaise of course, but also Ferrari, Ducati, Parma ham, mortadella, tortellini, balsamic vinegar, parmesan, Lamborghini, Maserati. The list is endless…
- They are a FIFA appointed medical centre of excellence (and Momentum Ski approved, of course)
- Dr Phil Batty was Man City’s Chief Medical Officer
- I think I’ve already mentioned it; Alberto Tomba was on their client list
- And the last famous patient was our own Poppy Jamieson (below). Having been told by 5 different doctors that she needed knee surgery after tearing her ACL’s, she visited Isokinetic and is making excellent progress and ready to work for us this December by simply doing their physiotherapy.