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Instruments + Protocols To Measure Your Vo2 Max

VO2 max is taken into account to be the gold normal measurement of cardiorespiratory health or cardio health. Whereas many individuals know the idea of V02 max, find out how to measure VO2 max in a sensible approach is usually not nicely understood by leisure athletes.

Nevertheless, if you happen to discover a VO2 max measurement you are able to do by yourself, you need to use V02 max to assist inform your coaching.

So, how is VO2 max measured? How does the Apple Watch measure V02 max? What’s the easiest way to measure V02 max exterior an train physiology lab? 

On this information, we’ll talk about among the strategies for find out how to measure VO2 max each when it comes to a lab setting in addition to area checks and Apple Watch VO2 max estimations.

We’ll take a look at: 

  • How Do You Measure VO2 Max?
  • The way to Measure VO2 Max Exterior of a Lab
  • How Does The Apple Watch Measure VO2 Max?

Let’s get began!

A person taking a vo2 max test in a lab.

How Do You Measure VO2 Max?

So, how is VO2 max measured?

The one actual solution to measure VO2 max is in a laboratory setting utilizing a metabolic cart and particular VO2 max protocols which have been developed; in any other case, you possibly can calculate VO2 max primarily based on numerous VO2 max protocols that estimate VO2 max utilizing coronary heart fee.

Graded Train Check

The gold normal for measuring VO2 max is performing a VO2 max take a look at in an train physiology laboratory or some medical setting.

There are completely different VO2 max protocols, however usually, you may be strolling or operating on a treadmill or utilizing a cycle ergometer.

Every of the VO2 max protocols has numerous levels that get more and more tougher as time goes on.

Whilst you carry out the VO2 max take a look at, you put on a specialised face masks that is connected to a metabolic cart.

This metabolic cart analyzes the composition of your expired respiratory gasses and compares the exhaled air to the proportion of gasses within the inhaled atmospheric air.

A person running with a mask on taking a vo2 max test.

This permits for an in depth analysis of how a lot oxygen you’re consuming versus how a lot carbon dioxide you’re exhaling.

The relative proportion of those gasses known as the respiratory alternate ratio, or RER.

Based mostly in your RER, train physiologists can decide the relative share of every gasoline supply you burn: carbohydrates vs fat.

The nearer the RER will get to 1.0, the upper the relative share of carbs you’re burning, which implies that you’re hitting your max effort, whereas an RER nearer to 0.7 signifies that you’re burning primarily fats for gasoline and haven’t reached your VO2 max.

Be aware that at maximum-intensity train, your physique depends virtually solely on blood sugar and saved glycogen to gasoline ATP manufacturing quite than physique fats or circulating triglycerides.

The metabolic cart may calculate the amount of oxygen you’re consuming by how a lot air you’re inhaling.

As a result of VO2 max is a measure of how a lot oxygen you possibly can eat and use per minute per kilogram of physique weight, this can be a key issue within the VO2 max measurement protocol.

Concurrently, your coronary heart fee is recorded and likewise used as an indicator of if you end up doubtless reaching your most cardio capability.

Varied VO2 max take a look at termination standards point out if you happen to’ve reached your true VO2 max.

A lab vo2 max test.

The way to Measure VO2 Max Exterior of a Lab

There are numerous area checks to estimate VO2 max exterior of a lab.

Examples of VO2 max estimation protocols embrace the Rockport Stroll Check, the 1.5-Mile Check, the Cooper VO2 Max Check, the Bruce Treadmill Check, and the YMCA Cycle Ergometer Check, step checks, amongst others.

Let’s take a look at a couple of of those:

#1: VO2 Max Working Check (Subject Check)

There are area checks to measure VO2 max, such because the 1.5 Mile Run.

This particular solution to measure VO2 max is a real max effort take a look at and has solely been validated for college-aged populations.

After operating 1.5 miles on stage floor as quick as potential, the time is transformed right into a decimal after which inserted right into a VO2 max equation for this VO2 max measurement take a look at as follows:

  • Males: VO2max (ml/kg/min) = 88.02 + 3.716 – (0.0753 x physique weight in kilos) – (2.767 x time for 1.5 miles in minutes and fractions of minutes)
  • Females: VO2max (ml/kg/min) = 88.02 + – (0.0753 x physique weight in kilos) – (2.767 x time for 1.5 miles in minutes and fractions of minutes)

Accuracy of Prediction. This take a look at has a R = 0.90 and an SEE = 2.8 ml/kg/min

Treadmill test.

#2: Bruce Treadmill Check

The Bruce protocol treadmill take a look at is certainly one of a number of checks that can be utilized to evaluate cardiovascular well being and health by estimating VO2 max.

It is a submaximal VO2 max take a look at, which implies that your VO2 max will probably be predicted primarily based on the development in your coronary heart fee at numerous workloads at a decrease train depth.

An equation and particular protocol have been created and validated that then use that information to extrapolate your estimated most cardio capability if you happen to have been exercising at max depth for a real VO2 max take a look at.

That is basically how any VO2 max measurement that doesn’t require maximal effort train works:

A protocol and algorithm/equation have been designed with respectable accuracy and reliability for predicting V02 max primarily based on the linear enhance in coronary heart fee at completely different levels of cardio workload.

A person running on a treadmill.

As a result of the proportion of max coronary heart fee is strongly related to the proportion of VO2 max, your coronary heart fee information can, in an incremental train take a look at, be used to estimate your VO2 max.

The Bruce protocol is a progressive treadmill take a look at, which entails strolling on a treadmill for 3 minutes per stage and progressing by way of particular established levels that get progressively more durable.

This VO2 max take a look at protocol is stopped when the person has reached 85% of their age-predicted most coronary heart fee or if the center fee exceeds 115 bpm for 2 levels.

After finishing the take a look at, VO2 max calculations are carried out utilizing a method that takes into consideration your intercourse and the full time that you simply lasted whereas performing the Bruce treadmill take a look at.

Listed below are the formulation for Bruce Protocol VO2 max prediction:

  • Males: VO2 max = 14.8 – (1.379 x T) + (0.451 x T²) – (0.012 x T³)
  • Ladies: VO2 max = 4.38 x T – 3.9 

T represents the full time on the treadmill and is written as a fraction of minutes and seconds. For instance, a complete time of 8 minutes and 45 seconds could be written as T = 8.75.

For instance, if a girl did the Bruce Protocol stress take a look at and lasted 8 minutes and 45 seconds, this is able to outcome within the following VO2 max:

VO2 max = 4.38 x 8.75 – 3.9 = 34.425 ml/kg/min.

A person looking at their running watch.

#3: The Rockport Strolling Check 

The Rockport Strolling Check is among the hottest submaximal VO2 max checks that predicts your most cardio capability primarily based on strolling 1 mile at a good tempo; jogging is not allowed. The take a look at has been validated on topics between the ages of 30 and 69.

The important thing to enhancing accuracy with this VO2 max estimation protocol is taking the center fee instantly after ending the mile with out ready greater than a few seconds at most.

Then, rely the heartbeat for 15 seconds and multiply by 4 to get your coronary heart fee in beats per minute.

Convert your quickest mile strolling time right into a decimal, so 14:30 could be 14.5.

VO2max calculations are then completed through the use of the method:

  • Males: VO2max (ml/kg/min) = 132.853 – (0.0769 x weight in kilos) – (0.3877 x age) + 6.315 –  (3.2649 x mile stroll time) –  (0.1565 x ending coronary heart fee)
  • Females: VO2max (ml/kg/min) = 132.853 – (0.0769 x weight in kilos) – (0.3877 x age) –  (3.2649 x mile stroll time) –  (0.1565 x ending coronary heart fee)

Based mostly on analysis, there’s a correction issue for people between 18-24 years outdated: You subtract 6 ml/kg/min from the worth obtained from the common VO2 max equation above.

 Accuracy of Prediction. This equation has an R= 0.88.

A person riding a bike.

#4: The YMCA Submaximal Bicycle Check

The YMCA Submaximal Bicycle Check is a well-liked submaximal take a look at for VO2 max. You experience a bicycle ergometer following a particular protocol concerning resistance and a cadence of fifty rpm. 

You carry out a few levels of train (3 minutes per stage), to acquire two coronary heart charges between 110 bpm and 150 bpm to estimate VO2 max. A graph is made plotting the center fee on the completely different workloads with a line of finest match inserted. 

Then, this line is extrapolated as much as your age-predicted most coronary heart fee to estimate V02 max.

There are even non-exercise assessments that may predict V02 max primarily based in your solutions to questions concerning your bodily exercise together with different demographics higher than inserted right into a VO2 max equation.

An instance is the Jackson Non-Train VO2 max take a look at.

As may be surmised, any submaximal or predictive solution to measure VO2 max shouldn’t be a real VO2 max measurement and can have a margin of error.

Accuracy of Prediction. This take a look at has R= 0.86, SEE= 10% of the anticipated VO2 max.

A person reading their sports watch.

How Does The Apple Watch Measure VO2 Max?

Because the utility of and curiosity in measuring VO2 max for aggressive and leisure runners, cyclists, triathletes, and on a regular basis athletes has elevated, among the finest health watches and GPS operating watches have began implementing a VO2 max characteristic to be able to estimate VO2 max in your watch.

For instance, the VO2 max Apple Watch characteristic means that you can see an estimate of your VO2 max primarily based in your exercise historical past.

However how does the Apple Watch measure VO2 max, and the way does Garmin measure VO2 max?

Your VO2 max on Apple Watch is calculated by evaluating the connection between your tempo and coronary heart fee

An algorithm is used that appears at how briskly you possibly can run at numerous percentages of your age-predicted max coronary heart fee.

The quicker you possibly can run at a comparatively decrease share of your coronary heart fee, the upper your Apple Watch VO2 max rating will probably be.

A person looking at their watch while sitting on a track.

Nevertheless, the Apple Watch VO2 max is set primarily based on submaximal train intensities, so it’s a prediction of your VO2 max quite than a real measurement.

Along with the Apple Watch VO2 max capabilities, among the premium GPS operating watches additionally supply V02 max estimations, together with:

  • Garmin watches such because the Garmin Forerunner 45, 55, 245, 745, 945, all Garmin Fenix watches, Garmin Vivoactive 4/Venu watches
  • Polar Pacer GPS operating watch

For extra details about one other evaluation of your cardiovascular health, try our article about coronary heart fee restoration right here.

To be taught extra about find out how to enhance your VO2 max, try our article right here.

A person looking at their phone on a track.



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