Canyon Ranch provided me with complimentary accommodations at their resort as well as a spa credit and Discover Your Fitness Age assessment. The opinions expressed are honest and all my own.
Ok, back to my adventures at Canyon Ranch! So, the reason I was invited to the Lenox resort was to check out the new “Discover Your Fitness Age” program. It sounded like a great way to kick-off the new year (and I loved my time at Canyon Ranch when I first visited), so I was totally on board.
How old you are and how you feel are sometimes two totally different things, right? The “Discover Your Fitness Age” program measures your physiological age relative to your chronological age. Basically, your physiological age is an indication of how well your body is holding up as you grow older. Based on your results (aka once you “discover your fitness age”), you work with an exercise physiologist to develop a plan to help you improve or maintain your fitness age. It sounds pretty cool, huh? (Ooh, IT WAS.)
The program includes two parts and each one lasts 50 minutes. Part I and Part II are usually scheduled on consecutive days, but, if you wish, you can schedule them back-to-back and get your results immediately. The total cost of the program is $370.
During Part I, I worked with an exercise physiologist named Laura (she was the bomb), who did a bunch of tests with me. The first one was body composition via calipers to assess lean muscle mass. I had never had my body fat tested this way, so I was really curious about the results””more on this in a minute!
The next assessment was the “submaximal treadmill test” to determine aerobic capacity. Of all the biomarkers that are used to assess a person’s physical health, your oxygen carrying capacity and utilization is one of the strongest values, so the score on this test is a reflection of your cardiovascular system, respiratory system, and metabolic fitness. Long story short, the treadmill test (aka “death by treadmill”) was a lot harder than I expected it to be.
For this test, you start at a comfortable walking pace and then the speed and incline on the treadmill are increased (by the exercise physiologist) until you can’t run anymore. I’m surprised I didn’t last all that long. Sure, I can run at a decent pace on a treadmill, but when you throw in some steep inclines, I dieeeeeee. Holy cow.
Even still, my predicted aerobic capcity (VOs) was 52.5 mlO2/kg/min, which, according to Laura, was “monstrous” and put me in the 99th percentile for females my age. Excellent.
Then, there was muscle strength + power and agility testing, which included max assisted pull-ups, using 50% of your body weight, as well as vertical and long jumps.
I did 40 assisted pull-ups.
And my vertical jump was 39.10 cm, which gave me a Muscle Fitness Age of 20.
(I felt like such a goober during the jumping tests. I’m soooo not a jumper! Haha!)
My long jump was 198.0 cm, which was 122% of my height. (Laura told me most people jump around 75-85% of their height.) This number gave me an Agility Fitness Age of 20.
The next day, Laura reviewed my test results and designed a personalized fitness plan to help me with my marathon training.
My overall Fitness Age was 21 years old (13 years younger than my chronological age), which I am really happy about. I received the lowest Fitness Age (20) for all of the assessment tests, except Body Composition Fitness Age, where I received a 25. (This is where things got really interesting!)
When Laura weighed me at the beginning of our first session, I was kind of shocked to see the scale at 139 pounds. I didn’t feel heavier and my clothes still fit the same, but I was still pretty surprised to see that my weight had increased.
After Laura tested my body composition, she determined that I had 19% body fat, which is actually considered “performance level” (athlete) for a female (17 – 25%). She further broke down the numbers and determined that I had 112.59 pounds of lean mass and 26.41 pounds of fat tissue. If you compare these numbers with my Lose the Dough stats from a few years ago when I weighed 8 pounds less, I had less lean muscle (104.2 pounds) and more fat tissue (27.7 pounds). Isn’t that interesting?! It definitely made me feel better about my “weight” gain. And just another lesson in why the scale doesn’t tell you the whole story!
After that, Laura and I worked together to come up with a fitness plan to compliment my marathon training. She suggested more running workouts with inclines to further increase my VO2 capacity as well as traditional (heavy) strength training (as opposed to high-intensity strength training, like at CrossFit).
All in all, I absolutely loved this assessment. It was fun and provided me with all sorts of helpful information. (Laura even figured out how many calories I burn per minute during my long runs, so I can properly refuel.) I also really liked picking Laura’s brain about all things related to fitness and training. She was really knowledgeable and, at the same time, totally flexible about what we did and talked about during my assessment. For instance, I was really interested in how to train for a marathon without losing strength, so much of our conversation was based on that. We also spent a decent amount of time discussing a strength training program for me and finding my heavy 3 rep max for a couple of lifts.
The “Discover Your Fitness Age” program was a-mazing. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to improve their current fitness level and/or fine-tune their routine to better fit and achieve their health and wellness goals. Thank you, Canyon Ranch, for such an enlightening experience and wondering weekend!