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Old 11-14-2012, 12:24 PM   #21
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Are you fitter than the average guy?

I'm not a guy, but I have thrown a fit or two in my life... Does that count?
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:33 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Since you're criticizing the author, by chance do you have a better study, or better data of your own...that might be worthwhile here?
First, I can rightly criticize them for not being clear about "run as fast and as far as you can for 12 minutes ". Others thought that was not clear.

I don't have any specific data, because I think it might be hard to find data with that definition - who measures how far someone can run in 12 minutes? It's an odd measure. Races are variable time for fixed distance, not variable distance in fixed time.

Regardless, I was just questioning this - I even said "maybe I'm missing something", thinking someone else might fill me in.

Just like W2R's quote below - I just find it hard to believe there would not be a bigger difference between the bottom 1% and the top 1%. Look at my 10/1000 comment. Some of those wouldn't make it through a 5 minute warm up. If I think about the lowest 1% (just to state the obvious, and to picture this - the very worst guy out of 100 individuals) in the 70-79 age range, I picture a pretty sorry looking guy, barely hobbling around. I'm having trouble imagining that the average of those lowest 1% of those guys could warm up and then move over .8 mile in 12 minutes.

I could be wrong of course, but right now it's like cognitive dissonance to picture that. Anyone have the source data for this story - maybe that will tell us something?


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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Also, in any age group, think of all the morbidly obese folks - - some are over 400-500 pounds, and they aren't that rare any more .... I seriously doubt that someone who is carrying that much extra weight is going to be able to run for 12 minutes. ...
I picture an obese person being told to run as fast as they can for 12 minutes - if they start out as fast as they can, pretty soon they are going to be totally winded, and probably have to drop to a slow walk just to finish.

-ERD50
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:36 PM   #23
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The test is supposed to measure cardiovascular fitness...
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:37 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by bbbamI View Post
Are you fitter than the average guy?

I'm not a guy, but I have thrown a fit or two in my life... Does that count?
Only if it's a hissy fit...
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:40 PM   #25
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Yes, clearly you need to read the entire statement and not just "run as fast as you can". Really all they needed to say is "run as far as you can in 12 minutes".
Actually, the article states -"run as fast and as far as you can".

Some of us are not sure what that means. "Run as far as you can" might mean pacing yourself to maximize distance over 12 minutes. Sprinting at the start might be counter-productive?

That would take experience to know about pacing, and I assume they want to test people w/o prior experience with this test. It seems to me, that the clearest directions would be, "keep running as fast as you can, and keep that up for 12 minutes, and we will see how far you go". Right, you just keep pushing yourself to go as fast as you can, start out sprinting and you will naturally slow down as you tire out.

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Old 11-14-2012, 12:51 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
the article states -"run as fast and as far as you can" [during a 12-minute period. At the end of the time, calculate your overall distance using the track].

It seems to me, that the clearest directions would be, "keep running as fast as you can, and keep that up for 12 minutes, and we will see how far you go".
That clears it up...
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:01 PM   #27
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Got curious enough to google cooper test, and it wasn't clear just what the population was in the studies I saw, but there sure were a lot of references to using this in the military.

Bottom line for me is, I really question if the author threw this off with the comment "how do you compare with other guys your age". I suspect that this was not an overall cross-section of the population in each age group, but some sub-set.

Oh well, it was just an observation anyway - back to my 'honey-do' list.


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Old 11-14-2012, 01:08 PM   #28
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It has not only been seen in studies but anyone who has lived in this world any amount of time has observed that "fitness" as indicated by "exercise output" does not equal "health".

Dr Henry Solomon: The exercise myth | ENCOGNITIVE.COM

His book is The Exercise Myth. He has enormous cred. I believe this is the guy who at one time, set a record for fastest mile for a man over 50. As they used to say back in the 70s when jogging was already being debunked "Exercise won't add years to your life but it can add life to your years." If it makes you feel better do it but don't think you're acquiring some sort of invulnerability or "Mortality Brownie Points". And not exercising is not a sign or cause of future bad health. Eat, drink, do some push-ups, and be merry
Ther does not seem to be a date on this interview. Yet it states that "ten years ago Dr Solomon shocked the world with his study of exercise". I suppose that they mean his popular 1984 book, The Exercise Myth. That puts this interview in 1994, almost 20 years ago. A lot has been studied since that, so I am not sure it is best to base one's attitude toward exercise on an interview almost 20 years out of date.

This may be one more area where moderation has its rewards. Interesting too that Dr Solomon does not advocate caouch sitting or a sedentary life. He says merely that a brisk walk is sufficient. And for health as oposed to athletic fitness, it may be all you need. But it may also require more walking than is commonly accepted
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Ha
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:09 PM   #29
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Actually, the article states -"run as fast and as far as you can".

Some of us are not sure what that means. "Run as far as you can" might mean pacing yourself to maximize distance over 12 minutes. Sprinting at the start might be counter-productive?

That would take experience to know about pacing, and I assume they want to test people w/o prior experience with this test. It seems to me, that the clearest directions would be, "keep running as fast as you can, and keep that up for 12 minutes, and we will see how far you go". Right, you just keep pushing yourself to go as fast as you can, start out sprinting and you will naturally slow down as you tire out.

-ERD50
No, that's not the clearest direction, because running as fast as you can from the start won't give you the farthest distance you can run. If you tell people to run as fast as they can for 30 seconds, then 12 minutes, then for one hour, nobody in their right mind is going to start off at the same pace all 3 times. I doubt anyone could hit the 99%ile for 12 minutes starting off in a dead sprint.

Ah hell, forget it. It's not worth it. Like I said, there's not a whole lot of point to the test. And if you do it, hopefully you'll give the directions more than 10 seconds of thought.

And as for overexercising, there's some anecdotal evidence but not a lot of real research to prove it causes harm. This month's Outside magazine covers both sides of the issue. Keith George, head of the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences at Liverpool John Moore's University says otherwise, and as part of it published a study of 165 finishers of the Western States 100 mile run (which requires a qualifying race, so everyone who runs it has run at least one, and probably many, ultramarathons). He found their hearts were perfectly normal for athletes. If Jim Fixx hadn't been a runner, for all we know he'd have died 10 years earlier shoveling snow.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:16 PM   #30
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I quit running the day of discharge from the Army reserves where I spent 11 years beyond active duty.

Is there an alternative method?

I am positive I am more fit than the average 64.999 year old. Figure skate 3x per week for 2hrs each, workut 2x per week an hour or more, + play Ju-jutsu 2x per week for 1 to 2hrs each.

Really, I just don't care to measure. And really don't care what the average fitness levels are. I do the stuff 'cause I like it.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:16 PM   #31
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I googled the Cooper 12 minute run test and it is a test of aerobic fitness, not overall fitness as the article claims.
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Seems to me this is a limited definition of one's fitness, as how fit your are is not just a function of how far you can run over a 12 minute period.
Not sure where you guys got the idea that the article ever claimed the test as anything other than a test of aerobic fitness.

From the OP article:
Quote:
The Cooper 12-minute Run Test is a reliable measure of your cardiovascular fitness. All you need is a stopwatch and a track.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:22 PM   #32
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I do the stuff 'cause I like it.
+1

CooperAerobics - 8 Healthy Steps

Quote:
Exercise most days of the week. This health guideline is how Cooper got started. It’s our claim to fame. Drum roll, please… Participate in moderate physical activity a collective 30 minutes a day, five days a week. That’s it. Now let’s break it down:

“Moderate physical activity” – Moderate intensity should get your heart rate elevated to where you can talk but you’re winded. There are many types of cardiovascular exercise: take a brisk walk or go jogging, kick the soccer ball with the kids, play a game of touch football, swim some laps, jump rope, hop on an elliptical machine. Whatever you choose, just get moving!
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:25 PM   #33
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Not sure where you guys got the idea that the article ever claimed the test as anything other than a test of aerobic fitness.

From the OP article:
My mistake, I missed the one place where they said it was cardiovascular. The title, chart, and everything else just said "fitness".
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:43 PM   #34
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I don't get a sense from the responses that many of us are going to rush out and try this test, but just in case you are tempted, remember that if you are not accustomed to anything like this, then you need to take care as you could harm yourself.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:44 PM   #35
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They have the average 50-55 year old doing 9:00 min/mile. LOL. Sad truth is there is a huge percentage of the population that couldn't even run for 12 minutes. This is a case of too few data point and extrapolating data beyond it's limits.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:01 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Got curious enough to google cooper test, and it wasn't clear just what the population was in the studies I saw, but there sure were a lot of references to using this in the military.

Bottom line for me is, I really question if the author threw this off with the comment "how do you compare with other guys your age". I suspect that this was not an overall cross-section of the population in each age group, but some sub-set.

Oh well, it was just an observation anyway - back to my 'honey-do' list.
-ERD50
The answer to your question was in my post above.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:14 PM   #37
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Not sure where you guys got the idea that the article ever claimed the test as anything other than a test of aerobic fitness.
From the article headline:
Are You Fitter Than the Average Guy?


Even if you delve into the text, I am not sure a 12 minute run is the best measure of heart health or aerobic fitness by itself.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:38 PM   #38
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I also do not agree that a 12 minute running test is a good measure of cardio fitness. The last time I ran at a fast(for me) pace, it was 7:12 a mile for 5k. I probably cannot do much faster than that for 12 minutes. To me, a better cardio test is hiking uphill, or better yet pushing a loaded wheelbarrow up a hill.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:30 PM   #39
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I started running nearly 5 years ago, after 5 years of not much of any exercise, preceded by years and years of 30-40 min per day walking. I couldn't have gone much more than 100 meters without a break when I started running, let alone a kilometer or a mile. I run 3-5 times a week now, and was hoping to do a half marathon or sprint triathlon before I ran into a blood pressure spike about 3 months ago, and backed off the heaviest of the training. Additionally, my son wanted to be a cop, so I was encouraging him to do his running and trying to meet the same standards, which differ by state, but where he is, you have to do 1.5 miles in 12:37 or so. I tested myself in the summer and did it in a few seconds less than that, @ age 50, and with a BMI just a little above 31 (i.e., I'm obese...low end of obese, but obese nonetheless).

I don't remember the exact seconds on my test but do recall passing the test...my son, at age 25, came in at about 19 minutes...:-( He will not be a police officer.

According to the chart, I would be right about the high-end of GOOD, or low-end of EXCELLENT. All of that said, you can be really fit without being a runner...and if you are not a runner, very fit, and try to run for 12 minutes at your aerobic fitness level, you WILL hurt yourself, and will probably have trouble walking for a few days after that. You will probably feel fine after the run...just try getting out of bed the next morning.

FWIW.

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Old 11-14-2012, 08:21 PM   #40
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They have the average 50-55 year old doing 9:00 min/mile. LOL. Sad truth is there is a huge percentage of the population that couldn't even run for 12 minutes. This is a case of too few data point and extrapolating data beyond it's limits.
^^^

I run number of local races (inc 2 marathons this yr) & agree 100% that ave 50-55yr old US man is NOT 9min/mi runner. That pace is just a bit below ave for local mid-distance RACES in that age group, and racers are a rather selected group in prob top 1% of overall fitness.
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