What’s VO2 Max?

Print anything with Printful

VO2 max measures the highest amount of oxygen a person can use during exercise. It’s often used as a predictor of athletic performance, but cannot be directly correlated with success. VO2 max can be measured using body surface area and varies between sexes. Tests used to measure VO2 max are generally estimates, and regular aerobic exercise is recommended to increase it.

VO2 max, also known as maximal aerobic power or aerobic capacity, is defined as the measurement of the highest amount of oxygen a human can use when exercising as hard as possible. When the intensity of the exercise increases, but the amount of oxygen used remains the same, VO2 max has been reached. This maximal aerobic capacity is often used as a predictor of athletic performance, but it cannot be directly correlated with success. For example, a marathon runner with a high VO2 max will not necessarily outperform his competitors with lower levels, since the maximum running speed at which each reaches his maximum may be different.

The V in VO2 represents the rate of ventilation. This measurement is expressed in milliliters of oxygen consumed per kilogram of body weight per minute. Also, the term is correctly spelled with an O2 subscripted for oxygen, but most publications just list it as O2 for convenience.

VO2 max can also be measured using body surface area. This may produce a greater difference in results between the general population and trained athletes than when weight is used. Aerobic capacity also varies between the sexes, with men generally using 20 to 25 percent more oxygen at maximum effort than women; However, this gap closes to around 10 percent when comparing elite athletes.

The tests used to measure VO2 max. These are generally estimates, since finding an exact number requires equipment to measure the gas composition of the air that is inhaled and exhaled during an exercise test. A common example of a test used to estimate aerobic power is Cooper’s 12-minute run. The test is a warm-up followed by 12 continuous minutes of running around a track with a known distance. When the 12 minutes are up, the distance traveled is multiplied by 0.0225 for meters or 0.0206 for yards. So, 11.3 is subtracted from that number; The result is an estimated VO2 max.

To increase VO2 max, a regular aerobic exercise regimen is recommended, although results vary significantly for different age groups, as well as for different sexes. Short burst or interval training has been shown to have little or no effect on increasing maximal oxygen uptake. VO2 max can be an excellent predictor of athletic performance and general health, and is often used as a fitness test requirement for law enforcement and other agencies that require a high degree of fitness.

Protect your devices with Threat Protection by NordVPN

Skip to content