8 July 2015

Former University of Queensland student and global adventurer Aaron Austin-Glen has been likened to “Superman” after returning to UQ to have his fitness checked.

Having cycled for 50 weeks through 20 countries from London to Brisbane, Mr Austin-Glen underwent a VO2 max (maximal oxygen uptake test) at the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences.

UQ researcher Ravin Lal, who supervised the test, said Mr Austin-Glen recorded a physical output comparable to an elite athlete.

“The test measured how much oxygen Aaron’s body used per kilogram of bodyweight in a minute,” Mr Lal said.

“For a 34-year-old man, anything above 44 millilitres per kilo per minute is excellent.

“Aaron’s result was 60.2, which means we had Superman in here.”


Aaron Austin-Glen and Ravin Lal from The University of Queensland on Vimeo available for media use.


Stunned by how well he had performed, Mr Austin-Glen laughed off the comparison and described himself as “just an amateur”.

He also revealed that he had run a half-marathon (21 kilometre) two days before the test and had been out partying for a week after his long-awaited return to Brisbane.

“Maybe I should enter some bike races,” Mr Austin-Glen said.

“It (fitness) is not why I undertook this trip across the world, but it’s nice to know all the same.

“It’s as fit as I’ll be for the foreseeable future.”

Although Mr Austin-Glen’s results were outstanding, Mr Lal said he could still use the collected data to develop a program to further improve the cyclist’s performance.

“I might be able to ride back to London quicker then?” Mr Austin-Glen joked.

Educated at Mitchelton Primary School and Kelvin Grove High School, before studying Human Movement at UQ, Mr Austin-Glen undertook the cycling challenge to meet new people, see the world in more depth and refresh his perspective on life.

He said the hilliest part of his journey was Montenegro, where he conquered a total ascent equal to climbing Mount Everest twice.

In India, the adventurer also triumphed over a 14 kilometre continuous uphill climb, despite sweltering conditions of about 40 degrees Celsius.

Mr Austin-Glen revealed his next challenge will be learning to drive and travelling from Brisbane back to London by car.

Media: Aaron Austin-Glen +61 0435 633 545, aaronaustinglen@gmail.com; UQ Communications Robert Burgin +617 3346 3035, +61 0448 410 364, r.burgin@uq.edu.au