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What is the max VO2 test? And why would you need to have one? The cardiovascular system's ability to utilise oxygen can be measured by the volume of oxygen you consume while exercising at your maximum capacity. VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen in milliliters, one can use in one minute per kilogram of body weight. Those who are more 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 per cent of its maximum for at least 20 minutes three to five times a week.
How is VO2 measured?
You can either walk or cycle on a treadmill or bicycle ergometer on a set protocol, which increases in speed and gradient. This process usually lasts around 10 - 15 minutes depending on the individual). You will be provided with a mouthpiece so that your respiratory gases can be monitored (Oxygen uptake and Carbon Dioxide production). The consultants will be able to identify your Anaerobic threshold and therefore indicate the zone you need to work between in order to most efficiently burn fat as well as the zone to most efficiently improve your Cardiovascular endurance.
How will this benefit me?
This detailed and highly accurate report of the status of your cardiovascular fitness should be used as a guide to your fitness and will be valid for upto 6 months. All results can also be used by an experienced personal trainer to ensure maximum results are achieved in your quest for fitness. A healthier body means a healthier mind therefore reduces stress within the workplace.
How can you improve your VO2 max
The following are samples of Astrands (a work physiologists) workouts for improving your oxygen uptake :
- Run at maximum speed for 5 minutes. Note the distance covered in that time. Let us assume that the distance achieved is 1900 metres. Rest for five minutes, and then run the distance (1900m) 20% slower, in other words in six minutes, with 30 seconds rest, repeated many times. This is equal to your 10K pace
- Run at maximum speed for four minutes. Note the distance covered in that time. Rest for four minutes. In this case we will assume the you run a distance of 1500m. Now run the same distance 15% slower, in other words in 4 minutes 36 seconds, with 45 seconds rest, repeated several times. This approximates to a time between the athlete's 5K and 10K time
- Run at maximum effort for three minute. Note the distance covered in that time. The distance covered is, say 1000m. Successive runs at that distance are taken 10% slower or at 3 minutes 18 seconds, with 60 seconds rest, repeated several times. This approximates to your 5K time
- Run at maximum effort for five minutes. Note the distance covered in that time. The distance covered is 1900m. Rest five minutes. The distance is now covered 5% slower with one and a half minutes rest. This is approximately 3K pace for you, i.e., five minutes 15 seconds/1900m
- Run at maximum effort for three minutes. The distance covered is 1100m. When recovered, he runs the same distance 5 per cent slower, i.e., three minutes nine seconds/1100m, with one minute rest, repeated several times. This is at 3K pace