VO2 Maxt Test (Evaluation of Maximum Oxygen Uptake)

What is VO2 max?

VO2 max is unanimously reconginized as the best indicator of performance for endurance athletes. It is a quantitative measurement of the muscles’ ability to utilise oxygen to produce energy. If we compare to car, it would be the size of our engine. The higher the VO2max, the better the ability of the body to produce an intense and long-lasting effort.

What does the VO2 max consist of?

The VO2 max test is a maximal progressive test. It can be performed on a treadmill or a bike. During the test, all the air that is exhale is analysed in order to determine the volume of air and its oxygen content. This will allow to establish the VO2 vs. intensity diagram. The curve will increase almost linearly until it reaches a plateau, corresponding to the VO2 max.

What is measured during the test?

  • Body weight and percentage of body fat (by impedance)
  • Respiratory function
  • Maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max)
  • Maximum heart rate
  • MAP (Maximum Aerobic Power) for cyclists and MAS (Maximum Aerobic Speed) for runners
  • Ventilatory threshold (anaerobic threshold): level of intensity when the body start using preferentially the anaerobic system as a source or energy

Why should I measure my VO2max ?

  • If you are active and do cardio-vascular training regularly, the VO2 max will be a good indicator of your physical fitness. It is much more precise and valid than any other indirect sub-maximal test.
  • Measuring VO2 max will allow you to quantify your progress after a training cycle or for pre- and post-season screening.
  • Maximum heart rate and ventilatory threshold can be used to optimise your interval training since you will know exactly at which intensity you need to work.

The members of the Guru Racing Team give their opinions:

Christian Lemay, membre de l'équipe Vélorganic, donne ses impressions: