When Equinox invited me in for a TIERÂ 4 [T4] FITNESSÂ ASSESSMENTÂ a few weeks ago, I jumped at the chance. I’m always game for anything fitness & health related, & while it seems I’veÂ tried every workout imaginable, I was interested to see the science & numbers behind what I can [ & can’t! ] do.
So, what’s a tier? AtÂ Equinox, this is how the trainers are classified,Â Â 1 – 4, based on experience & education. Tier 4 trainers are the most scientifically advanced experts in their field, but you can bet you’re going to get a fabulous trainer at every tier; whether you want to build a foundation, kick up your training or improve your coordination, Equinox offers something for everyone at everyÂ level.
I took myÂ assessment with Tier 4 Coach, Dave Cary. After sending him a questionnaire regarding health habits & a weekly nutrition/workout log, I met up with him at the gym for a six point assessment as outlined below:
-HEALTHÂ QUESTIONS: standard-issue questionnaire regarding health & medical history as well as nutrition & exercise habits
-RESTINGÂ METABOLICÂ RATE [ RMR ] TEST: your RMR [ also known as Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR ] is the minimum number of calories expended while completely at rest. To get accurate results, you lie on a table while breathing into a tube for about 20 minutes – not as relaxing as a facial but also not as bad as you would think! This part of the assessment essentially can tellÂ you how many caloriesÂ to eat if you want to maintain, lose or gain weight.
-POSTUREÂ ANALYSIS:Â helps to understand alignment & any limitations you may have
-BODYÂ COMPOSITIONÂ ANALYSIS: includes body fat percentage & how hydrated your body is intracellularly & extracellularly
-FUNCTIONALÂ MOVEMENTÂ SCREEN: to assess mobility, flexibility & likelihood of injury
-VO2 TEST: measures the volume of oxygen your body consumes at various levels of intensity; VO2 Max is the maximum rate of oxygen uptake or the maximum amount of oxygen your body can consume per minute; a higher max = a higher ability to intensely exercise
To get my results, I waited about a week & then returned to see Dave where he talkedÂ me through my results, gave me a guide for training & walked me a through a few exercises.
My biggest surprise? My fitness level [ V02 Max ] is much higher than I thought [ take that middle school dreaded 1-milers ]. At 40. 6, I am considered highly ranked among my peers. Also, I need to start carrying my hold-everything-aka-Mary-Poppins purse on my other shoulder as I’m slightly lopsided [ thanks posture analysis ]. Oops.
My biggest not-such-a-surprise? I’m not suuuuper flexible & my trunk stability [ core strength ] sucks, but if I would have taken this test a year ago, it would be have been worse, so hey, movin’ on up?
Coolest part? I really liked learning about my RMR – kind of crazy how many calories your body burns completely at rest. If you really want to get scientific about weight loss/gain/etc, Equinox has that covered, as my results told me exactly how much I would need to eat & exercise to achieve various goals.
Biggest takeaway? I need to do more strength training. I’ve got the whole cardio thing pretty much on lock, but to really see some changes in my body, I need to strength train 3 times a week with cardio intervals/cardio spaced between.
All in all, this was a fantastic experience & is an essential component for those looking for an individualized and results-oriented program or if you want to know more about what your body can do & why. I’m even more driven than I was before to continually test my fitness & yes, if you were wondering, strength training is now part of my routine!