TOPS Testing: Taking Three Paddlers through a Competitive Year

For the upcoming 2015 SUP season, the team at Carolina PaddleBoard Co. is voluntarily becoming guinea pigs. TOPS Athletics, a Wilmington based all-you-could-need gym/lab is going to observe paddlers through off season preparations, pre-race training, and competitive seasons while creating specific programing that improves performance.

We’ve already started our off-season strength training, and it is tough. But it is also a lot of fun. When we’re not working out the gym, our workouts consist of cardio activities and yoga. Tis the season to take a break before more intense paddles start up again. Integral parts of this phase are the FMS, RMR, VO2Max, and DEXA. That’s a lot of acronyms that I’m going to explain in time, today we’ll cover the FMS and RMR tests.

The FMS

Functional Movement ScreeningFunctional Movement Screening. This test identifies potential weaknesses in your body, such as imbalances or injuries. Many people jump right into training without identifying existing problems (or maybe they are aware of existing problems and choose to ignore them). This is a recipe for injury. The off-season is the best time to shore up these issues and strengthen weak muscles before starting more intense training.

My FMS went relatively well. Although, I’ve had a bit of shoulder pain, it was something I caught early on and remedied with yoga. Strength output has been pretty symmetrical ever since. Where I am lacking is my glute med. Somewhere in my butt, something doesn’t work as well on my right as it does on my left. Maybe that’s why I’ll never be famous for twerking warm-up videos in my g-string. I digress. My off-season strength training is supplemented with funny exercises that I can do at home like clamshells and other side lying abductions.

DEXA

 

The RMR

Resting Metabolic Rate. This test figures out how many calories your body burns at rest. If you didn’t do any exercise at all, and sat on your couch for a day, this is the number of calories you would use to breathe, metabolize, and be alive. This is, however, influenced by your overall activity level as a person.

I wanted to know my RMR because I need to know how much food to consume to not just support my day-to-day bodily functions, but to also fuel my training including recovery. Muscle uses up more energy than fat, so people with lean bodies need more calories. It’s sometimes hard to eat enough calories in the first place. Other times, you need to not overshoot the calories because you don’t want to be carrying around too much extra weight on race day.

Stay tuned for part 2: VO2Max testing

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