Assess your fitness: Accurate information helps motivate

January 2013 Posted in Your Health
Cindy Woodley shows an example of the difference betweeen muscle and fat.

Cindy Woodley shows an example of the difference betweeen muscle and fat.

By Steve Ritchie 

A common New Year’s Resolution is to make a new or strengthen a commitment to become healthier and fitter.

By the time the middle of January rolls around, some people may reach the wall of frustration where they aren’t seeing the results of their fitness plan.

Before throwing in the towel on your 2013 goals, Cindy Woodley of Peak Performance Body Assessment suggests you learn your starting point.

Located in Silverton Fitness but open to anyone, Peak Performance offers three assessment tests: a hydrostatic body composition test; a resting metabolic rate (RMR) test; and a VO2 sub max test.

Woodley says the tests not only provide a valuable baseline for anyone starting or ramping up a fitness program, but also offer several other benefits.

“The assessment helps keep people accountable,” Woodley said. “If someone is going to go the trouble of making a change like beginning an exercise program, that’s a big step and it’s really hard. I feel like these assessments are a reality check. And it’s motivation for them when they do a return assessment.”

Peak Performance
1099 N. First St., Silverton
Cost of initial assessment tests and
individual consultation: $115.

By having an assessment, Woodley said it will save a person a great deal of frustration and wasted time by presenting clear fitness and health goals.

“(After testing) they will know exactly what their body composition is, what their caloric needs are, and what their target heart rates for exercise are . . . unlike the body mass index or heart rate charts, it’s individualized and takes the guesswork out of everything,” Woodley said.

Bill Wright, 39, was one of the first people to be assessed when Peak Performance opened its doors. Confessing he was a “confirmed couch potato at that point in time,” he says the assessment was “an eye-opener.”

“I knew I was overweight, but I didn’t realize how bad my stamina was. Once I started working out, I saw very rapid improvement,” Wright said.

When Wright returned for six-week and 12-week follow-up assessments, he was motivated by his improvement to keep working out.

He also realized that just weighing himself on a scale did not begin to tell the entire story.

“The scale is not the accurate tool everybody thinks it is,” Wright said with a smile. “After working out six days a week for six weeks I had only dropped 15 pounds but the dunk tank (body fat test) showed I had lost 30 pounds of fat and gained 15 pounds of muscle.”

Wright, who now works part-time at Peak Performance, noted, “A lot of people just look at the scale . . .”

Woodley added, “and they get discouraged.”

She told a story about a client who was downcast that she had lost just over one pound despite weeks of training. But the body fat test showed the real picture – she had actually lost eight and a quarter pounds of fat and gained seven pounds of muscle.

Woodley knows from personal experience that what she is advocating is true.

While the svelte 47-year-old says she is in “the best shape of my life,” she struggled with being overweight for most of her life, even though for years she was a dedicated runner.

“Education is the key to becoming fit,” she said.

Woodley sees her role not just as an information resource, but also as a support person and “cheerleader” for the people who come to her.

She said most people coming in for the 90-minute body assessment are nervous and apprehensive, but after testing and consultation their reaction is invariably wishing they would have “done this sooner.”

Woodley also emphasizes that the assessment is “not just for people who want to lose weight, but is helpful for anyone of any age or fitness level.”

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