Know Your Endurance Capacity
VO2 Max, or maximal oxygen consumption, is the maximum amount of oxygen that a person can use during intense or maximal (all-out) exercise. This test is considered the gold-standard for measuring cardiovascular fitness and aerobic endurance.
The more oxygen that a person can use during high level exercise then the more energy a person can produce.
This test will tell you your endurance capacity during prolonged exercise.
In sports where endurance is a major component to performance, the top athletes usually have a high VO2 Max. These sports include cycling, rowing, swimming, running and cross-country skiing.
Here are a few examples of VO2 Max scores:
- Average Untrained Healthy Male: 35-40 mL/kg/min
- Average Untrained Healthy Female: 27-31 mL/kg/min
- Elite Male Runners: 85 mL/kg/min
- Elite Female Runners: 77 mL/kg/min
How is it measured?
The metabolic cart used is ParvoMedics True One 2400, which is the most accurate and verifiable metabolic cart (i.e., the gold standard). Parvo is the preferred metabolic cart of research settings, universities, hospitals and the U.S. Olympic Training Center for athletic testing (e.g., VO2 Max).
During the graded exercise test on either the treadmill or the bike, the cart measures the person’s volume and gas concentrations of inspired and expired air. After a short warm-up, the person exercises at an intensity that increases every minute until exhaustion. The goal is to reach maximal effort.
VO2 Max is expressed as mL/kg/minute. This is used to compare the performance of endurance sport athletes.
Fitness Level: knowing your fitness level and how it compares to other endurance athletes.
Training Zones: acquiring your maximal heart rate and resting heart rate from the test that is used to create a more precise heart rate range that can be used for training purposes.