Beginning just before the first of April, Ryan began a new therapy that actually makes his muscles perform work against resistance. Being two months into it, I thought this might be a great time to fill you in on his progress. I even created and provided a graph (below) to visually represent his performance and improvement. This is for his legs only. I haven’t done the arms yet.
Over these past two months, Ryan has used the equipment 56 times (sessions) for his legs and 54 times for his arms. The arms are less because the intravenous (IV) line prevented me from strapping him in without risking pulling it out of the vein. Fortunately, it was only two days until they relocated the IV higher up the arm and he could get back to work.
The graph shows his session averages per week and depicts three measurements that I feel are the most significant (aside from heart rate and oxygen saturation). You can scroll your cursor over the graph or click on it to enlarge. Here are the measurements:
- Miles (in light blue). This is the average equivalent distance he travels (pedals) in a session, as expressed in miles.
- Kcal (in orange). This is 1/1000 of a calorie, meaning it must be multiplied by 1,000 to get the actual number. For example, in Week 1 he averaged 0.51 Kcal, or 510 calories.
- Resistance (in red). This is the torque-force Ryan is pushing against, measured in Nm (Newton-Metre). For those who must know, the best way to explain it is its inverse is power exerted (measured in watts). I had to look this one up myself, since I only had the vaguest recollection from college. Resistance data is important though, since it’s an indicator of muscle growth.
I’m quite happy with Ryan’s improvements, but I believe he can progress faster. This is a constant negotiation with the remotely-located therapist who has exclusive control over all the settings. For example, Ryan leveled off at roughly 7.15 miles four weeks ago. To me, it’s time to allow him to pedal faster, not that he will necessarily do it, by removing an artificial ceiling (30 rpm). Also, he is currently spending the entire session at (or near) the maximum resistance limit; arbitrarily set. The crazy thing is, these upper-thresholds prevent him from doing what he’s capable. Sure, he might not be as efficient or strong from one day to the next, but why not let him go hard when he is?
I’m not suggesting that we just crank it up and let him loose. There’s no sense risking injury. My position, all along, is to establish a methodical approach to pushing him more. Give him space to show he can. As he hits certain goals and milestones it should trigger change… or at least a review.
Still, I’m delighted. Not only can I see his progress in the real data, but also by looking at him. His muscles are taunt again. I can feel the density and power when I place my hand on them. He is more slender, defined, and fit. It’s impressive, really.
Here’s some other interesting facts (just for the legs, mind you):
- Ryan has spent a total 2 days, 10 hours on the equipment.
- Ryan has traveled a total of 328 miles.
- Ryan has expended 65,530 calories (I personally think this is over-represented).