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‘Fittest Execs’ returns for its annual workout


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It’s not only springtime, it’s fitness time. The fourth annual “Fittest Execs” competition is under way with 100 registrants – and there’s still time to sign up.

The Business Record co-sponsors the program along with the YMCA of Greater Des Moines, Mercy Medical Center and The Other Health Plan.

Fittest Execs has two parts. Forty-eight people were tested in the first week of March as part of the “Most Improved” competition. They’ll be tested again in the middle of May to see how their numbers have changed.

The rest of the group, competing to see who’s the absolute best in several age and gender categories, also will be tested in May. The tests are scheduled for May 14 at the Riverfront YMCA from 6 to 9 a.m. and May 15 at the Waukee Family YMCA from 6 to 9 a.m.

The very thorough testing protocol includes:

Body composition and blood chemistry profile. No food, alcohol or caffeine is allowed for 12 hours before the test, and no exercise for eight hours.

Bio-electrical impedance. Electrodes are attached to the body to measure its resistance to the flow of electricity. The results are used to calculate body composition.

Push-up test. Men use the standard push-up position with only hands and toes in contact with the floor. Women may use the modified push-up position with hands and knees in contact with the floor. Each participant does as many push-ups as possible, with rest allowed in the up position only.

Half sit-up test. Participants lie supine on a mat with their feet flat on the floor and arms at their sides. They raise their shoulder blades off the mat and return to the start position to do a half sit-up; the goal is to do as many as possible in one minute.

Flexibility. Seated on the floor with legs extended, each participant reaches as far forward as possible. The longest measurement of three will be the one recorded.

Three-minute step test. Performed at a rate of 96 beats per minute, the up and down stepping continues for three minutes. Afterward, each person’s heart rate will be recorded for a full minute.

All of those results will be tabulated to determine the winners among men and women, under the age of 50 and over. The awards will be presented at the Business Record Power Breakfast on June 16 at the Des Moines Club, 666 Grand Ave.

Last year’s winners in the “fittest” categories were Scot Dickerson in the men’s under-50 group; Randy Beavers, men’s over-50; and Kimberly Baeth, women’s under-50.

In the most-improved competition, the winners were Barry Jones in the men’s under-50 category; Mark Lyons, men’s over-50; Kelly Kalvelage, women’s under-50; and Sharon Crees, women’s over-50.

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