Loading
Previous Topic Previous slide Next slide Next Topic
New course

This Course has been revised!

For a more enjoyable learning experience, we recommend that you study the mobile-friendly republished version of this course.

Take me to revised course.

- or -

Continue studying this course

How is VO2 max. measured?

  • Study Notes
  • Discuss This Topic
    Phomolo P.
    BW
    Phomolo P.

    Fitness can be measured by the volume of oxygen you can consume while exercising at your maximum capacity. VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen in millilitres, one can use in one minute per kilogram of body weight. Those who are fit have higher VO2 max values and can exercise more intensely than those who are not as well conditioned. Numerous studies show that you can increase your VO2 max by working out at an intensity that raises your heart rate to between 65 and 85% of its maximum for at least 20 minutes three to five times a week . A mean value of VO2 max for male athletes is about 3.5 litres/minute and for female athletes it is about 2.7 litres/minute. Results vary depending on fitness level, sex, age and genetics. The older you are the lower your VO2 Max is estimated to be. An average score for a twenty-something male would be 40 ml/kg/min with an excellent score being 52 ml/kg/min. An average score for a female of the same age would be 30 ml/kg/min and an excellent score would be 41 ml/kg/min. Some prefoessional sports people (involved in endurance activities) have scores in the 80's!

    Zachary B.
    US
    Zachary B.

    How is VO2 Max. measured?

    Rk S.
    IN
    Rk S.

    VO2 max values The value you are given by the test administrator will be in one of two forms. The first is called your absolute VO2 max. This value will be in litres/minute and will probably be between 3.0 and 6.0 litres/minute for a man and between 2.5 and 4.5 litres/minute for a woman. This absolute value does not take into account differences in body size, so a second way of expressing VO2 max. is common. This is called your relative VO2 max. It will be expressed in millilitres per minute per kilogram body weight (ml/min/kg). So if your absolute VO2 max. was 4.0 litres/minute and you weighed 75 kg, then your relative VO2 max. would be 4000 divided by 75, or 53.3 ml/min/kg. In general, absolute VO2 max. favours the large endurance athlete, while relative VO2 tends to be higher in smaller athletes. For comparison, the average maximal oxygen consumption of an untrained male in his mid 30s is about 40-45 ml/min/kg, and decreases with age. The same person who undergoes a regular endurance exercise program might increase to 50-55 ml/min/kg. A champion male Masters runner aged 50 will probably have a value of over 60 ml/min/kg. An Olympic champion 10,000 metre runner will probably have a value approaching over 80 ml/min/kg! What about females? It is important to realise that training alone did not make the Olympic champion so different. His VO2 max. without any training at all would probably be about 65 to 70 ml/min/kg. Clearly, training is important, but favourable genetics are critical! One more thing: before you get too impressed with that runner shown on the television, remember that humans pale in comparison to a lot of "animal athletes". The VO2 of a thoroughbred horse is about 600 litres/min or 150 ml/min/kg!

    Muhammad S.
    PK
    Muhammad S.

    How is VO2 max measured?

  • Text Version
Notification

You have received a new notification

Click here to view them all