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  • Benefits of VO2 Max Testing

    If you have been involved in the endurance world you may have heard of VO2 Max. VO2 max stands for “volume of consumed oxygen” so to keep it simple, V02 max measures your body’s ability consume and use oxygen. This is often the standard as to which endurance athletes are compared and is something that many look to improve. Your VO2 max can be affected by many things and can vary from each individual.

    The most typical VO2 max testing is done on the treadmill. You are hooked up to a mask which you breathe through while undergoing different tests usually increased in intensity, on the treadmill. It can also be done on a bike depending on the type of athlete. Your body will need to get to the point where your heart is almost at its max in order to be able to calculate.

    Now that we know the basics of how VO2 max is calculated, what are the true benefits of getting something like this done?

    There are several different things that VO2 max can help tell an athlete. One of them is the ability of their body to utilize fat instead of carbohydrates during their training. If you have an increase in oxygen consumption it allows an athlete to limit the amount of carbohydrates used during lower intensity exercise. Fat requires more oxygen to be able to convert into energy, so if you have a higher VO2 max then your body can convert fat more easily to use as energy during your training.

    VO2 max is also able to help an athlete determine their personal aerobic limit. It can help coaches to plan out better training plans for you by knowing your current levels and where you strive to be. While part of our VO2 max is genetic it can also be increased through fitness and can be improved in most individuals.

    Knowing your VO2 max can ensure that an athlete is working hard enough to get what your body needs out of your workouts. Monitoring you are heart rate during your workout can help to make sure you are in the appropriate zone to be getting the benefits from the workout.

    VO2 max testing cannot be done anywhere, but most cities will have somewhere set up to measure. It isn’t always cheap, but for endurance athletes it can not only help you to ensure you are training at the right levels but it can help your coaches and others working with you to make sure they are putting together your training in the best way for our goals.
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