What Does VO2 Max Mean?

Heart rate pulse

VO2 max is the highest rate of oxygen consumption that you can attain while doing exhaustive or maximal exercise.

When the intensity of your workout increases, so does your consumption of oxygen. However, there comes a point when the intensity of the exercise continues to rise without the rate of oxygen consumption increasing.

Description of VO2 Max

At the point when the consumption of oxygen plateaus, this is called the VO2 max, or the maximal aerobic capacity. VO2 max is believed to be one of the best way to gauge aerobic fitness and cardiorespiratory endurance. In addition, it is also a powerful indicator of an individual’s aerobic potential for success in a variety of endurance events.

Aerobic capacity, maximal oxygen, aerobic power and VO2 max are all interchangeable terms.VO2 max is typically expressed in relevance to bodyweight due to the fact that oxygen and energy requirements are different according to size. VO2 max may also be expressed in relevance to the body surface area.

This may be more accurate if you are comparing the oxygen uptake in children or between genders.VO2 max is typically measured in milliliters of oxygen for every kilogram of bodyweight every minute

VO2 Max Testing

VO2 max testing accurately requires putting a maximum effort, typically on a bicycle or treadmill under strict protocol in a lab. The stern protocol involves certain increases in the intensity and speed of the exercise. The volume and oxygen concentration of exhaled and inhaled air is collected and measured to determine exactly how much oxygen is being used.

The oxygen consumption of an athlete goes up in relation to the intensity of the exercise, up to a certain point. VO2 max is the specific point in an activity when the consumption of oxygen plateaus regardless of any increases in the intensity of the activity. This is a painful point in the VO2 max testing process, when athletes cross over from aerobic metabolism to anaerobic metabolism.

The VO2 max is the point you reach shortly before your muscles become so fatigued you are forced to halt your exercise. The VO2 max testing process generally takes from ten to fifteen minutes to complete and you have to be well rested and ready to take on the pain coming your way long enough to get an accurate reading of your VO2 score.

Famous Athletes with High VO2 Scores

Lance Armstrong has a high VO2 Max score
This is a list of famous athletes from a wide range of sports. Keep in mind that some of these values have not been verified, and accuracy may vary according to the quality and calibration of the equipment used during the VO2 testing process. However, the values on this list will give you an interesting point of reference.

A high VO2 max does not necessarily mean that you are destined for greatness. Although the athletes in this list are successful in their particular sports, many people out there have extraordinary VO2 max scores, but have never been tested.

  • Bjorn Daehlie – Norwegian cross-country skiing – VO2 max score: 96.0
  • Espen Harald Bjerke – Norwegian cross-country skier – VO2 max score: 96.0
  • Greg LeMond – Professional cycling – VO2 max score: 92.5
  • John Ngugi – World XC Champion distance running – VO2 max score: 85.0
  • Steve Prefontaine – Running – VO2 max score: 84.4
  • Lance Armstrong – Professional cycling – VO2 max score: 84.0

Exercise Physiologist Demonstrating VO2 Max Testing

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