I spent two days at the University of Portsmouth having various body parts dunked in cold water, exercising in a freezer, performing various fitness tests on cycling machines and having nearly every part of my body measured and pinched.

Body Mass Index and body shape

The scientists at the University were saying that the Body Mass Index, based simply on height and weight – www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/bmi-m.htm – is a very poor indicator of obesity. A better way of looking at weight is to calculate your body shape. You can then work out which sports you could be good at with a bit of work.

Get your own results

If you want to compare your results with mine then you can do it as follows.

Height and weight are nice and easy. From these measurements you could compare our body mass index (see weblink above). 

My height: 182.05 cm
My weight: 72.1 kg

You can work out your somatotype on the teachhealth website, by doing Measuring Body Fat and Activity 3D: What’s Somatotype with you?

My Maximum power output whilst cycling: 1029 W achieved after 3 secs

You can find out yours by doing a five-minute warm up on the exercise bike at 60rpm with resistance set at 7.5% of your body weight and then sprinting flat out. Your maximum power output in watts will come very quickly after you start sprinting. 

My VO2 max: 62.1 ml of oxygen/min/kg of body weight. You can work yours out using the Rockport Walking Test.

Rockport Walking Test

Find a flat one-mile course (four times round a school running track works great) and walk it as fast as you can without stopping or breaking into a run. At the finish, record your elapsed time and heart rate. Then fill out the following equation:

VO2 max (ml/kg/min) = 132.853 – 0.1692(weight in kg) – 0.3877(age in years) + 6.315(gender) – 3.2649 (elapsed time in minutes) – 0.1565 (heart rate at the end of the test) • weight in kg = (weight in pounds)/2.2

• Gender = 0 for female, 1 for male

Example: 35-year-old male who weighs 71 kg and walked the mile in 10:30 and finished with a heart rate of 170: 132.853 – 0.1692(71) – 0.3877(35) + 6.315(1) – 3.2649(10.5) – 0.1565(170) =
52.7 ml/kg/min