Sir Matthew Pinsent, a former competitive rower from Great Britain and one of the World’s most decorated athletes, won four consecutive Olympic gold medals in the sport of rowing and 10 World Championships. These achievements are only a few of his accomplishments.

In his prime, Matthew Prinsent had one of the highest recorded peak VO2 values in history. VO₂ max, that is your maximum oxygen uptake refers to how much oxygen your body can absorb. Other representative terms are maximum oxygen consumption and aerobic capacity.

To burn a pound of fat you need a deficit of 3500 kcal. Pinsent utilized roughly 20 kcal/min at 50% of his aerobic capacity. What this means is that if he kept his caloric intake constant, while young and healthy he could burn a pound of fat in less than 200 minutes of moderate exercise and in much less time when training hard.

Burning1200 calories an hour is an enormous amount especially when compared to an average size young healthy man who may burn anywhere from 250 kcal to the upper 400’s or an average size woman 200 kcal to the lower 400’s in an hour of moderate exercise.

An important consideration is that an unfit or an older individual may only expend 4 kcal/min at 50% of their peak VO2. This low level of energy expenditure means it would require 2 hours to burn almost 500 calories and 7 continuous days of this 120 min activity to achieve the 3500 kcals necessary to remove a pound of unwanted tissue.

As you age the use of exercise as a primary weight loss strategy becomes complicated by a diminishing lack of calorie burning effectiveness. This is because in ageing your aerobic capacity continues to diminish over time and reduces caloric expenditure. To reduce dietary fat and retain as much muscle as one proceeds through life four things must be considered.

  1. Exercise is a must, but burning a particular number of kcal/min is no longer the same as when younger.
  2. Consistency in the caloric intake becomes extremely important as increasing activity is a less effective burning tool, yet important for quality of life.
  3. Weight training is a must to preserve lean tissue which aids in function, mobility, health and caloric expenditure. As we go through life with caloric restriction alone, though adipose tissue will be lost, so will muscle tissue without strength training. The loss of lean tissue makes it very difficult to change the percentage of fat ratio.
  4. It is well recognized that the Recommended Daily Allowance of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram each day is not adequate to maintain lean body mass in older individuals. Higher levels such as 1.2–1.5 gm/kg/day in numerous studies have been recommended. Increasing dietary protein during calorie restriction requires smart choices as protein food sources consist of a significant amount of non-protein macronutrients. The caloric content of protein food sources in some instances could have more than 50% non-protein calories making the reduction of calories challenging in order to maintain lean tissue while reducing caloric needs.

Watching what you eat, exercising aerobically, strength training are all important parts of daily living. It is just how you go about them when Getting and staying Strong.

Pendulum 3-Way Row
Pendulum 3-Way Row