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VO2 Max Testing: Everything You Need to Know

VO2 max is the highest amount of oxygen a person can utilize while exercising. This test is commonly used before and after training sessions to assess cardiovascular fitness.

VO2 Testing allows a person or an athlete to determine their ability to perform and sustain exercise. It assesses the person's overall cardiovascular fitness. In other words, it gauges how efficiently the heart is working, absorbing oxygen, distributing it throughout the body, and eliminating toxic byproducts.

The test will give you a score for aerobic endurance and cardiovascular fitness. It will help you decide the most effective workouts and training zones to improve your overall fitness.

The test is performed on a treadmill or a bike. The participant has to perform at their maximal limit while connected to a machine that records and analyzes the expired air.

The VO2 is measured by the amount of oxygen (in milliliters) consumed in one minute by the weight of the body (in kg). Measured in ml/kg/min, VO2 is the gold standard for the measurement of endurance.

How Is The VO2 Max Test Performed

During the test, the person breathes into an oxygen consumption analyzer while exercising at their best (running on a treadmill, biking). The test requires following specific protocols, and there is a gradual increase in incline, speed, and intensity.

Throughout the test, the individual wears a mask, which collects all the expired air. This is then analyzed to determine the oxygen concentration.

A linear increase in oxygen consumption with increased exercise intensity is ideal.

How To Prepare For A VO2 test

  • No exercise before the day of the test

  • Normal diet two days before the test. The last two meals before the test should be high in carbohydrates.

  • Consume lots of fluid 12 hours before the test.

  • Avoid caffeine, smoking, alcohol, and supplements that affect aerobic performance 12 hours before the test.

  • You should not have a history of respiratory illness in the preceding 2 weeks.

  • Wear your training shoes

Benefits Of VO2 Max Test

Many people are unaware that their bodies are inefficient at processing oxygen while exercising. This indirectly affects the heart and lungs, which are unable to stay healthy.

Most people do not know the maximum limit of their bodies. They are unaware of the specific intensity, heart rate, and duration that they must train at for best results and to stay healthy.

A VO2 test not only gives the measurement, but also sets guidelines on the duration and intensity of the exercises and training that must be performed. The test also scores the number of calories burned at each level and intensity.

Some other benefits are:

  • Prescribing appropriate training programs and exercise for best results in an ideal duration

  • Measuring current fitness levels

  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the current training program

If you're interested in finding out your VO2 Max on our FDA approved machine, schedule today.

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