RPT Workout Challenge

How Fit are YOU?  
  • How do you Know? 
  • What do you Base your Cardio Fitness on?
  • What is your Reference Point?
  • How do you Use the info to Pinpoint Time Spent Training?
Fitness Quantification Comes down To Use of Max Vo2
RPT Challenge: Find Out!
Reference Point Training (RPT) or Fractionalization as Dr. Vigil calls it, is the most accurate way to pinpoint training, to make the highest, and best use of your workout time . Take the Reference Point Training Challenge and see how fit you are. 

All fitness has a baseline! Regardless of where you may be, Couch Potato  or Olympic Bronze Medalist!  How Fit are YOU Today?  Let's find out:

Dr. Vigil says the best cardio test is your fastest Mile Run.  Not all of us are runners so I will present a test for Cyclist (most can ride a bike) and I will present a test for Paddlers/Rowers.

The Test:
You have all heard of the Standard of Excellence the 4-Minute Mile represents. For over a century it was considered "Impossible".  It was said "Your Heart will Explode", it was popular opinion that running 1-mile (4-laps of a 440yd track) under 4-minutes, would kill you!  

I cannot find a better base fitness standard over the last 100-years can you? 
  • In 1912 the World Mile Record was 4:15.4! (14.1mph avg)!  
  • 2012 The Mile Run Record is 3:43.12! (16.1 mph avg)!
  • 100 years to run 2-miles per hour faster on avg for a mile!
  • In 1954 Sir Rodger Bannister of the UK was the first recorded Sub- Four Minute Miler running 3:59.4!  
  • What do you run the mile in, TODAY?  
  • What is the best mile Pace you can average for 4-Minutes? 
Put on your GPS and go to a Track, or mount a Treadmill and Find Out!  What a great reference point to base your run training (RPT) on (Fractionalization). See Dr. Vigil Video Click Here

Not a Runner?  How about using Indoor Treadmill, Bike, Rowing Machine, or Paddling Machine?

Let us put this into a language we can all speak: Speed, Pace or Power.  I ran the 1,500 meter in 3:46 back in 1983 which is 14.84 miles per hour (MPH)  or the equal of a 4:02 mile.  How fast can you average in mph for 4-minutes?  How much Average Power- Riding, Rowing or paddling 4-minutes?

Here are some mph/pace Reference Points for your Run Training:
  • 4:00 = 15.0 mph average speed for 1-mile
  • 5:00 = 12.0 mph
  • 5:30 = 10.9 mph
  • 6:00 = 10.0 mph
  • 6:30 =  9.2 mph
  • 7:00 =  8.5 mph
  • 7:30 =  8.0 mph
  • 8:00 =  7.5 mph
  • 8:30 =  7.0 mph
  • 9:00 =  6.6 mph
  • 9:30 =  6.3 mph
Do a 4- Minute Time Trial (All OUT MAX 4-Minute effort!)

On a Treadmill, Bike, Rowing Machine or Paddling Machine (Device must have avg: Speed, Pace, or Power).  Regardless of Fitness Camp, the Olympic Team, the YMCA, CrossFit, or Therafit.  You most likely use- Running- Biking- or Rowing as Cardio.

How Fit Are YOU?
  • What was your 4-Minute Average Pace or Speed running?
  • What was your 4-Minute Average Power  or Speed Cycling?
  • What was your 4-Minute Average Power/Kilo pace- output Rowing/Paddling?
This is your MAX Cardio Effort, if you truly gave it your max, we can assume that you reached your Vo2 max, at your current best- NMF Neuro Muscular Facilitation (Current best Skill Level).  

How fit you are comes down to how efficient you are at Sub-Max or how you Fractionalize your Max Effort (current ability).  After all we can't all be 4:00min milers, nor is it the absolute standard of fitness.  Even 4-min milers have to quantify Health & Fitness. A great example I used with my general fitness clients the last 10 years is: "How Rich Are You"? 

Lets Define Success:
Is a Millionaire Rich?  Not if he/she makes 1 Million  a Year and spends 1.2 Million a year.  They are Broke!  How well do you Spend your Energy, what does the day to day effort of life COST you?

The #1 Objective of any good Performance Based Fitness Program must be to Reduce the Metabolic Cost of Movement!  
If your current program does not share this opinion, run for your life, get the hell out of there now, while you can, before you waste anymore time, squandering your effort, time and money.

Max Effort = Max Output, by discipline, easy enough- but what does: 
  • 65% of your max speed cost you?  
  • 80% of your max speed cost you?
  • What does your Lifestyle Cost YOU?  
This is what needs to be talked about, at School, in the Gym, & on Oprah!

This is True Fitness!  
"Reduce your Metabolic Cost of Living" 
Increase your output at all 5-Metabolic Levels.


  • Your Health- Fitness & Performance comes down to how well YOU utilize your Max Capacity! 
  • How efficient & effective are your Cardio Respiratory and Metabolic Systems?  
  • What is the point of your training program?  
Based on health facts in the USA, we are NOT doing a very good job.  In my humble opinion, our failure is due to a lack of Systematic Reference Point Training.  Want Proof?

Ask any person who works-out all the time: "Are You Fit"?  "How Fit are YOU"?  and listen to the mumbo-jumbo you will hear.  If they give you a half way decent answer, ask them: "How do you know? What do you base that on?" 

How well your body responds & adapts to stress at 5-different Metabolic Level, or Thresholds is what we need to assess and train.  

If you want to get better at your discipline, passion, sport or just improve your standard of health and wellness, you must improve your Relative -Speed, Pace or Power at each  of 5-Metabolic Levels. 

The Result of this Test/Time Trial is your Reference Point for RPT.
Here is how you use it to train, it will not lie to you.  It is absolutely the BEST workout Methodology you can Possibly adopt.  Want to get fit and stay fit?  You must have a Consistent Methodology!  Methodology Must be Reference Based.  It is that Simple, Try It:

Now we know your MAX CARDIO RESPIRATORY OUTPUT or Reference Point we can design workouts and test your Sub- Max ability.  This is Reference Point Training (RPT)

Look at the Graphic Below, it is an actual Test/Workout we did today based on a RP we got in a 4-Minute Time Trial last week. Expand it and you will see actual workout/test for sub max ability running on a treadmill with three of my clients age 40-50yrs 2- Nurses Practitioners and a Professor of English.  How fit are they?


They are All Very Fit and Very Healthy, not the fastest runners in the world, but actually healthier than many great runners I have known over the last 30 years.  How do I know that?  Their use of max! The % of Reference Point Speed they are able to Utilize at each metabolic level.



The greater the Fractionalization or % of Max Speed or Power you can produce and maintain at each of the 5-Metabolic Levels the fitter you are!  The less the speed cost you to produce the longer you can maintain it! The fitter you are.

Olympic Example:
If a 5,000 meter race cost  2-runners an average of 93% of Max Vo2 or Max Heart rate, the winner will be the one who can execute the fastest average mile pace at 93%, YES?

All things equal, the one who is most efficient wins.  What does efficient mean?  Who can maintain the greatest speed/power/pace at the same % of metabolic cost!

What is your Speed at various Metabolic Levels?
Factors: 
  • Test are only as good as the accuracy in which they are performed.  
  • Use a good GPS and Equipment like iQniter Cardio Training System to find your Vvo2 or Reference Point Max.  
  • Run 4- Minutes as fast as you can on a good smooth track under good weather. 
  • You can also do it on a Treadmill, or test Power/Pace on a Bike, Rowing or Paddling Machine to achieve Reference Point at all disciplines. 
With your Max, you can now do the workout/test.  

Do this workout once a week for the next 4-weeks and see how you progress?

RPT Workout/Fitness Test:
  1. Warm-up for 5- minutes at 65% of Max Heart Rate
  2. Run-Ride- or Row/paddle as fast as you can at average of 70% for 4- minutes
  3. Rest (walk around) for 2- minutes
  4. Run-Ride- or Row/paddle as fast as you can at average of 75% for 4- minutes
  5. Rest (walk around) for 2- minutes
  6. Run-Ride- or Row/paddle as fast as you can at average of 80% for 4- minutes
  7. Rest (walk around) for 2- minutes
  8. Run-Ride- or Row/paddle as fast as you can at average of 85% for 4- minutes 
  9. Rest (walk around) for 2- minutes
  10. Run-Ride- or Row/paddle as fast as you can at average of 88% for 4- minutes
  11. Rest (walk around) for 2- minutes
  12. Run-Ride- or Row/paddle as fast as you can at average of 90% for 4- minutes
  13. Warm Down
It is important that you FOCUS on Heart Rate.  You should derive your Max Heart Rate from your VvO2 Time Trial.  If you truly produced your MAX 4-Minute Effort then you hit your Max Heart Rate.  At Each Level of the workout focus on Running as Fast as you can without exceeding the given % of Max.  Example: at 80% get there as fast as you can, sprint up to it, level off, just like you would in a race and stay as close to 80% as possible whilst running as fast as you can!

Do this at every level and write down your Pace/ Power or Speed at each Level. Compare it to the Same Level % of Speed Goal.  Divide Actual/Goal to receive Fitness Score for that Metabolic Level.  Take the Average of all 6 for your total Score.

Our Sample Example Above
  • Erin averaged 8-mph for her 4-minute RP Test.
  • At 80% MHR she should be able to produce 80% Speed.  80% of 8-mph (8x.8=6.4mph)
  • She was only able to run an average of 5.4-mph at this Meta Level. She is 84% Efficient at this Meta Level.  When You look at ALL 6 Levels we Ran in this Workout, you simple average the one levels you perform for total Fitness Score: 
  1. Erin  got a B+ (86%) overall
  2. Shawn got an A+ (96.2%)
  3. Lisa got an A (92%)
What will you Get?

Do the Test, do it right, do it again, do the workout, do it again: over a short period of time, 8-12 weeks you will have your Max Speed Dialed up and very accurate, as well as your
Max Heart Rate and workout protocol.  Your Goal as you train is to gradually start running your previous Max Speed at 90% then 88%  then 85%, as it does this your speed goes up and your cost go down.  YOU GET FITTER!

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