A couple of weeks ago, I was told about an opportunity at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI). They were looking for competitive cyclists for a number of studies. If you were accepted, they would pay you $25 an hour to participate. Hmmm... "I am going to workout anyway, but they will pay me for it? How can I lose?"
So, today I went in for my stress test. Their facility is in Barrington right accross from Barrington High School on Lake Cook Road. A 30 minute drive from Bartlett.
So, I went in, got changed into my shorts and filled in some paperwork. After taking my blood pressure, they wired me up for the test. I should mention that if your BP is too high, they won't even conduct the test. Mine was 130/80. I am not sure if this disqualifies you completely or if you can come back, but if you can't complete the stress test due to a high BP, they won't accept you. But I digress...
Once they wired me up, they had me hop up on the treadmill... yes, treadmill. I haven't run for a workout in... I can't remember when. My thing is cycling; that is what I like to do. This made the test pretty darn hard considering I was using muscles I haven't used in a long time. Anyway, they start you out easy. Every 3 minutes, the treadmill speeds up AND the incline gets higher. The speed I could handle, but the incline was killing my calves as they are really tight. By the time the treadmill got to a speed to run, my calves were on fire and it felt like I was running up the Hideaway Hill. For those that aren't familiar, this hill averages about 14%. I am sure the treadmill was closer to 6-8%, but it didn't feel that way. It reminded me why I don't like to run. Anyway, I got through it and had decent results. Most importantly, I was ok'd for participation in their studies. I have one more test. I have blood work that needs to be scheduled since I indicated that my last cholesterol test was a bit high (around 240). That test was taken in March after 6 months of eating bad and sitting on my ass all winter. I will be curious to see what my new test says.
A couple of final thoughts: I think this is a great opportunity for anyone who has the time to participate in the studies. I just got a free stress test which gave me a clean bill of health and I will end up getting a free cholesterol check because of my disclosure of high cholesterol. After all that, they are going to pay me to test their product while working out in their lab. Sounds pretty cool to me. Plus, the Linda who sets everything up, the Linda who helps run the test and the other woman (sorry, can't remember her name) who takes your blood pressure are all extremely nice. I really had an enjoyable experience; at least as enjoyable an experience as you can getting your butt kicked during a stress test.
If you are a competitive cyclist and are interested in participating in the GSSI studies, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can put you in touch with Linda from GSSI.