The Cooper test is a test of physical fitness that was designed by Kenneth H. Cooper in 1968 for use by the US military. Its execution is very simple. You have to run (or walk) for 12 minutes, attempting to cover the largest possible distance. Before trying this, it would be a good idea for you to consult a doctor, since it is an exhausting test when executed correctly. Also, remember to do a decent warm-up. For the optimal calculation you will want to do the test on a 400-meter running track (0.25 miles). Record holder is Kenenisa Bekele, who ran a distance of 3 miles (4750 meters) in 12 minutes.

We use the term VO2Max to refer to the maximal amount of oxygen that the body can consume during strenuous exercise, which determines the highest boundary at which an endurance exercise can be performed. Essentially, the Maximal Oxygen Consumption refers to the maximal cardiorespiratory function and it can largely predict the maximal aerobic capacity and endurance. For a precise calculation of the VO2Max, you should go to an exercise physiology lab. However, there is also an amateur technique to calculate it based on your Cooper test results:
(The distance you ran in meters – 504.9) / 44.73
For example, at this test I ran 3200 meters.
3200 – 504.9 = 2695.1
2695.1 / 44.73 = 60.25 mls/kg/min
No matter how much of an amateur technique this is, I would like to point out that for the last 5-6 years I have been going to an exercise physiology lab twice a year to calculate my VO2Max and it always ranges between 57-61 mls/kg/min, depending on the training period.

Cooper test results evaluation

Age group Sex Very good Good Average Bad Very bad
13-14 year Male >2700 m 2400 – 2700 m 2200 – 2400 m 2100 – 2200 m <2100 m
Female >2000 m 1900 – 2000 m 1600 – 1900 m 1500 – 1600 m <1500 m
15-16 year Male >2800 m 2500 – 2800 m 2300 – 2500 m 2200 – 2300 m <2200 m
Female >2100 m 2000 – 2100 m 1700 – 2000 m 1600 – 1700 m <1600 m
17-20 year Male >3000 m 2700 – 3000 m 2500 – 2700 m 2300 – 2500 m <2300 m
Female >2300 m 2100 – 2300 m 1800 – 2100 m 1700 – 1800 m <1700 m
20-29 year Male >2800 m 2400 – 2800 m 2200 – 2400 m 1600 – 2200 m <1600 m
Female >2700 m 2200 – 2700 m 1800 – 2200 m 1500 – 1800 m <1500 m
30-39 year Male >2700 m 2300 – 2700 m 1900 – 2300 m 1500 – 1900 m <1500 m
Female >2500 m 2000 – 2500 m 1700 – 2000 m 1400 – 1700 m <1400 m
40-49 year Male >2500 m 2100 – 2500 m 1700 – 2100 m 1400 – 1700 m <1400 m
Female >2300 m 1900 – 2300 m 1500 – 1900 m 1200 – 1500 m <1200 m
>50 year Male >2400 m 2000 – 2400 m 1600 – 2000 m 1300 – 1600 m <1300 m
Female >2200 m 1700 – 2200 m 1400 – 1700 m 1100 – 1400 m <1100 m

For experienced athletes

Sex Very good Good Average Bad Very bad
Male >3700 m 3400 – 3700 m 3100 – 3400 m 2800 – 3100 m <2800 m
Female >3000 m 2700 – 3000 m 2400 – 2700 m 2100 – 2400 m <2100  m

This article is a chapter of the book I have written: Triathlon: Loving it is easy.

Women could be great Navy SEALs, says head of Special Ops

From Yahoo news

The head of Special Operations Forces (SOF) says he supports the integration of women into the elite force.

“It’s time to do this,” says the organization’s top officer, Adm. William McRaven.

“We’ve had women supporting direct Special Operations for quite some time,” he added in remarks Tuesday morning at the Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict conference in Washington.

The necessity, he said, is ensuring that all special operators are in peak physical condition. “The one thing we want to make sure [we do is] we maintain our standards,” McRaven said.

It’s a sentiment echoed among current and former special operators.

Retired Lt. Col. Gary Sargent, a former SOF officer, says he supports integrating women into SOF, as long as they meet the physical requirements.

As a special operator in Haiti in the 1990s, for example, he recalls lugging 140 pounds of gear. His radio operator carried considerably more, says Mr. Sargent, who is now director of business development for Asymmetric Technologies.

The physical requirements of Ranger School, or even infantry basic training, are considerable, and only a limited number of women are likely to qualify, current SOF operators warn.

The question, Sargent says, is whether lawmakers – alarmed that more women don’t meet rigorous physical standards to be infantry or special operators, for instance – become tempted to lower them.

Col. Ingrid Gjerde, an officer in the Norwegian infantry for 25 years and commander of Norwegian forces in Afghanistan in 2012, says the physical standards are something that female troops in Norway have fought to uphold.

“I have to be very clear: You have to meet the physical standards, because the job is still the same,” she says. “It works very well as long as women hold the standards.”

Because the physical standards are clear, she says, the “few women” who are attracted to serve in the infantry and cavalry “do a great job in the Norwegian Army.” She adds, “We would like to have more, but we have trouble attracting them.”

For this reason, Gjerde says, some Norwegian politicians have pushed for specific shares or percentages of women within the ranks. She says that she and other female troops have pushed back. “We have to be careful with that,” she says.

Currently, women make up less than 5 percent of the troops in her infantry units. The fact that women are serving has not discouraged men from joining the ranks of these same elite units, she adds.

McRaven said that he has been reading recent Pentagon guidance about establishing “gender-neutral standards.”

Currently, he said, “we have no gender standards,” since it is only males who have been going through Ranger and Navy SEAL training, for example.

It’s important that there is not a two-tiered standard of physical requirements going forward, he adds.

That said, McRaven says he has no doubt that some women will flourish in the elite SOF community. “I guarantee you” that there will be females who come to the basic underwater demolition (BUD/S), the Navy SEAL course, “and do a phenomenal job.”

10 Amazing Special Forces Operations

Tips for Triathlon-Ironman Success From a Navy SEAL

image of SEALs emerging from the ocean

Image via Wikipedia

Commander Keith Davids is a Commanding Officer SEAL Team ONE and 2008 Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon finisher.

Training for an Ironman event while holding down a full-time job like his, is definitely very challenging.

How did he did it?

Here some tips that are similar, either preparing for Navy Seals training  or for an Ironman, as Keith Davis recently said to an interview he gave to Gale Bernhardt:

1.Eliminate self-limiting thoughts. More often than not, people have preconceived notions about what is possible for them to achieve. They sell themselves short. Abolish thoughts that hold you back from achieving your true potential.

2. Optimize your skills. Everyone begins at a different place and each of us are dealt a different set of genetic cards. Use that to your advantage and optimize your assets.

3. Be willing to spend the effort and energy to be successful. Anyone can succeed if they are willing to work at it. Too many people want to reap rewards without the sacrifice that is necessary to achieve any goal.

4. Enjoy the journey. If you can enjoy the pursuit of excellence, you’ve got it made. Aiming to enjoy only the end result makes it impossible to endure the necessary sacrifices to achieve any goal really worth having.

5. Be a student. The more you understand about what it is you’re trying to do and how to do it, the easier it is to be successful. Be a student of your passion.

6.Persevere. There are many things that can get in the way of successfully achieving any goal. You have to be willing to figure out how to get over, under, around or through those obstacles. Keep trying.

7.Develop mental toughness. It is not the physical challenges that keep men from successfully surviving the SEAL training, it is mentally giving up. You need to start believing that you can do it, you can be successful. Others have been successful before you, you can do it too.

8. Be prepared to suffer. When you are training for an event as large as a 140.6-mile triathlon, it is a long haul. There is going to be bad weather, aching body parts and times when you are just plain tired. Know that some stress, followed by rest, will make you stronger physically and mentally.

9. Take strength from others. This tip is particularly valuable for race day. Right when you are thinking things are really bad for you, look around. You’ll see that others are suffering too. Knowing you’re not the only one and that other people will suffer generates energy, if you’re willing to accept it.

10. You must want success. Doing something that is difficult requires that you want to be successful with every fiber of your core. The intense desire to succeed helps you overcome obstacles that crush other people.

11. Avoid over-training. It is easy for highly motivated people to over-train. Achievers are often rewarded for doing more and working harder. While you must work hard and do the prescribed work, you must also rest in order to reap the benefits.

You may not be capable of becoming a Navy SEAL, but I’m willing to bet you are capable of successfully becoming a triathlete. Some of you are capable of being quite competitive in the sport; perhaps one of the top in your area, the state, the nation or perhaps the world.

Be inspired, inspire others.

“The only easy day was yesterday.” – Displayed at the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado


Australian SAS Documentary: The Search For Warriors

They have been concealed from our gaze for decades, known to the public largely for what we don’t know about them.

Now for the first time in 25 years, , a film crew has been given access to the highly secretive selection course for the Australian SAS.

One hundred and thirty candidates from the cream of the Australian military will attempt the brutal 21-day course. It is battle for survival where only the fittest survive. Most who start will never finish.
This is a search for warriors.

The SAS work in foreign territories, including Afghanistan, Iraq and East Timor. Working in counter terrorism, surveillance, peacekeeping, tactical assault and reconnaissance it is essential they remain unidentified in order to be able to work in life-threatening situations. They are the real deal.

The men face crushing physical exercises, extreme psychological tasks, unforgiving hours and conditions, all-weather and terrain challenges, sleep deprivation and 20km marathons (carrying weights) that must be completed in harsh time limits.

Filmed at Campbell Barracks in Swanbourne, Western Australia, this is a rare insight into the early training stages of becoming an Australian SAS trooper. Watch this video, is really worth it!

Crazy Chinese Special Forces Training

Are they crazy or what?