Sunday, April 10, 2011

Increasing VO2 Max

One of the biggest problems I've seen with competitors during the American Ninja Warrior tryouts is that they are all very winded by the time they get to the Warped Wall, or beyond in the 2nd run. My current goal now (since apparently the trials will be sometime in May!) is to really work up my lung capacity. VO2 max is your body's maximum level of consuming oxygen while performing strenuous physical activity (otherwise known as aerobic capacity). I feel like all my years running track have helped developed this in me, but now I'm really trying to apply it to the upper body as well. Going from running, to swinging, to lifting, to jumping, to climbing is a pretty big challenge.
So rather than just lifting weights or running in separate workouts, I'm been combining them. This is an example of a typical intense training block I go through, but it ends up being a little different every time.

(Do these with little to no rest in between each thing, and at your highest intensity possible)
-Run 5 suicides
-Do 40 pushups
-Do 60 seconds of weight ball ab exercises
-Run into the weight room, do 20 pull ups, alternating grips throughout
-Drop down and do 15 squats at 185lbs
-Hop onto a treadmill, run a half mile at 10.5mph pace
-Go back out to common area, do 30 more push ups
-Do as many 42" box jumps as possible in 1 minute
-As many leg lifts as possible in 1 minute
-Max set of dips
-Max set of pull ups

And then I collapse from exhaustion, haha. This really takes it out of you, it doesn't take more than 15 minutes, but you are just going non stop. By the end your arms are burning, your back is sore, you sweat up a storm, and you're breathing heavier than ever. After doing a whole block, I'll rest for about 20 minutes then do it again, and end up doing it a total of 3 times. It feels like you're going to explode, but it's a really good re-creation of the exhaustion I'll probably feel at the end of a run through, and I hope to power through it with the fastest time of all the entrants! (Assuming G4 picks me)
I've done a few of the online VO2 tests, and during the last week I've done the running VO2 test, the biking VO2 test, and a rested vs. accelerated heartbeat VO2 test. My scores all came back anywhere between 71 and 76. Below are the national averages or highest numbers.

General population, male & female in their 20's: 35-51
Average college student: 44
US college track male: 57
Highest recorded female: 74
Highest recorded male: 94
Steve Prefontaine (runner): 84
Greg LeMonde (professional cyclist): 92
Frank Shorter (US marathon winner): 71

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