What is VO2Max Testing?

By Jonathan Davenport, CSCS, TSAC-F, CCC, CPT
Learn more about VO2Max Testing and how it can help you in your fitness endeavors.

A VO2 max test is a maximal effort test that is performed on a treadmill or bike, while connected to a machine that analyzes your expired air. This measures how much oxygen you use during exercise and is considered the “Gold Standard” measurement for endurance. Additionally, your ventilatory threshold, the point where your muscles start to fatigue due to lactic acid buildup, can also be measured from your expired air. This provides further insight into your fitness level and can help design an effective training program. Increasing your ventilatory threshold through training will bring it closer to your VO2 max. Peak heart rate achieved is another useful metric for athletes in training.

Why You Should Consider Taking a VO2 Max Test?

  1. Accurate assessment of fitness level: VO2 max testing provides an accurate measurement of an individual’s fitness level. This information can be used to determine areas where improvement is needed, and help develop a more effective exercise program.
  2. Evaluation of training programs: VO2 max testing can also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of current training programs. This can help individuals determine if their current program is meeting their fitness goals, and if any changes need to be made.
  3. Prediction of performance: VO2 max testing can predict an individual’s maximal steady-state running speed or cycling wattage. This information can be useful for athletes or individuals who are training for specific events, as it can help them determine if they are on track to meet their performance goals.
  4. Identification of potential health risks: VO2 max testing can also help identify potential health risks, such as cardiovascular disease or respiratory problems. This information can be used to develop a personalized exercise program that takes into account any health concerns.