Monday, May 28, 2007

The fittest of them all

Scott DeTore, 41, and Raquel Feder, 36, beat out the competition in Newsday's Superfit LI contest.

Special to Newsday
May 8, 2007

The fittest male and female Raquel Feder, 36, Oceanside

Raquel "Rocky" Feder remembers that when she was a child her mom brought home a Jane Fonda exercise video. Raquel was entranced with it and was soon doing the entire workout every day. Now she's onscreen too, as lead instructor in two nationally distributed exercise videos, "Buff Moms-To-Be" and "Buff Moms." Feder, a mother of three, ages 5, 6 and 13, also teaches 20 classes a week in local health clubs, including several "signature" classes inspired by her nickname, such as "ROCKbody Boot Camp," and "Ripped & ROCKed." She also cycles one to three hours a week and weight-trains two hours a week.

Fittest Man:

Scott DeTore, 41, East Moriches

It was his dedication to fitness that helped DeTore win two Suffolk County wrestling championships at Hauppauge High School and a national title at SUNY Brockport in 1985. "I learned at a very young age that the most skilled did not win as often as the best conditioned," he said. DeTore has kept himself in the best condition possible ever since: He weight-trains and runs five times a week, alternating between slower-paced aerobic workouts and hard, fast track sessions. DeTore also skis and once participated in a 24-hour mountain-bike race. A father of three, DeTore teaches physical education to elementary schoolchildren in the Middle Country Central School District in Centereach-Selden.

Taking Measure

Entrants to Newsday's "Superfit" contest were asked to submit a photo, vital statistics - age, height, weight - a description of their exercise regimen and their proudest fitness achievement.

A total of 81 complete entries were received from Long Islanders ages 21 to 81. These entries were evaluated by a panel of fitness professionals, who selected 16 entrants - eight men, eight women - for the semifinals. Readers were then asked to cast their votes online at for the finalists, narrowing the field down to three men and three women.

A total of 283,741 votes were received.

The six finalists were invited to the Adelphi University Human Performance Laboratory. There, lab director Bob Otto, assisted by seven graduate students in the exercise science program, supervised in-depth fitness testing of the finalists and, based on the results, determined the winners of the contest.

The six finalists were evaluated on five attributes of fitness:

Cardiovascular endurance, as measured by oxygen consumption in a treadmill test. (After a warm-up, the speed of the treadmill was increased every three minutes. Subjects ran until exhaustion.)

Muscular strength, as determined by pull-ups done according to a strict, eight-seconds-per-repetition protocol: Three seconds raise, one second hold at top, three seconds lowering, one second hold at bottom.

Bone density, through the use of a DEXA (low-level X-ray) scan.

Flexibility, measured via a sit-and-reach test: From a seated position, subjects bent at the waist and extended both arms as far as possible, holding for five seconds.

Body composition, gauged through hydrostatic (underwater) weighing.

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