VO2 Max is a good benchmark for measuring your aerobic fitness levels because it literally tells you how well your body is using oxygen.
VO2 Max is the maximum (max) rate (V) of oxygen (O2) your body is able to use during exercise.
Oxygen is a critical ingredient in the respiratory process that’s involved in breathing. As you breathe in oxygen, your lungs absorb and turn it into energy called adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
ATP powers your cells and helps release the carbon dioxide (CO2) that’s created during your respiratory process when you exhale.
The benefits are simple: The greater your VO2 max, the more oxygen your body can consume, and the more effectively your body can use that oxygen to generate the maximum amount of ATP energy.
VO2 Max depends on a few key factors:
- fitness level
- elevation, such as at sea level or in the mountains
There’s no one “good” VO2 Max that every single person should shoot for.
Here are some averages based on gender and activity levels that you can use for reference:
|Gender (18 to 45 years of age)||Activity level||Average VO2 Max|
|Male||highly active||<= 85 mL/kg/min|
|Female||highly active||<= 77 mL/kg/min|
Resting heart rate value.
The easiest, fastest and the nicest of all ways. There is no physical activity required. You only need to count your heartbeats per 20 seconds while resting. Then, put this value and your age into the calculator.
V02 Max based on Resting Heart Rate
One-mile walk test
Firstly, you should find an appropriate location to walk precisely 1 mile (1609 meters). You can use a device with a built-in GPS to measure the accurate distance. Secondly, do some basic stretching and warm up before the test. Then set off the stopwatch and begin walking as quickly as you can, but do not run! At the end of 1 mile, stop the stopwatch immediately and count your pulse per 10 seconds. Put in the data into the calculator, and also fill in your age, weight and select your sex.
VO2 Max based on One Mile Walk Test
Three minutes step test
The test bases on stepping up 16.25 inches (0.41 m) from ground level. You will also need a stopwatch and a metronome. As previously, do some basic stretching and warm up before the test. Try to practice stepping up and down, according to the sequence: the left leg up, then the right, then left leg down and the right. Repeat that sequence for 3 minutes during the test. If you are male, set the metronome to 96 beats/minute, if female set it to 88 beats/minute. For each beat of the metronome take one step, e.g., first beat – the left leg up, second – right leg up, third – left leg down, etc. After exactly 3 minutes stop the test, wait for 5 seconds and check your pulse for 15 seconds. Input the pulse into the aerobic capacity calculator and select your sex. Check out your result.
V02 Max based on Three Minute Step Test
1.5 mile walk or run test
The aim of this test is to cover the distance as fast as you can. Both running and walking are allowed. Find a good location for running and measure out the distance of exactly 1.5 miles (2414 m). You will use a stopwatch to measure your time. If your organism isn’t used to that kind of sports activity, a few practice runs before the test day might be essential. The test is demanding, and you should know how to dispose of energy over the distance. That might have a significant influence on your result. Make a few days of rest after the practice runs and take the test afterwards. Don’t forget to do some warm-up and stretching before the runs. After the test, cool down for a few minutes. Put your result time into the calculator and read out your VO2 max value.
Indoor rowing for 2000 m.
The test is based on your best time on 2000 m distance rowing using an indoor rower. If you are not familiar with that kind of machine, do some practice before. Use the damper setting that enables you to get the best 2000 m result. In the calculator, you need to select your sex and fill in your weight and the training level. If you have been rowing regularly for several years, training at least four days per week and doing a variety of workout types, we suggest selecting ‘Highly trained’. Otherwise, if you are more like fitness rower and do exercising and rowing without pushing the limits choose ‘Not highly trained’.