What is Your VO2 Max?
- VO2 max is the maximum oxygen your muscles consume during peak activity. V for volume and O2 for oxygen.
What is the average VO2 Max?
- This depends primarily on the age and gender of the person. Some averages:
- Average sedentary male – 35 to 40 mL/kg/min
- Average sedentary female – 27 an 30 mL/kg/min
- The higher the number, the better
- mL/kg/min = milliliters of oxygen used in one minute per kilogram of body weight
- Here’s a more detailed charge of age ranges and averages
What is the average VO2 Max of athletes?
- It varies greatly from sport to sport, but just to give you an idea, Lance Armstrong has been measured at 85 mL/kg/min.
- Other athletes:
- Bjorn Daehlie, cross country skier: 90
- Miguel Indurain, cyclist (winner of Tour de France): 88
- John Ngugi, 5 times world cross country champ: 85
- Dave Bedford, 10km World Record holder: 85
- Sebastian Coe, middle distance (1 mile WR): 77
How does having a high VO2 Max benefit me?
- In terms of athletic performance, someone with a higher VO2 max will be able to perform at a high level for a longer period of time than someone with a lower VO2 max.
- VO2 max focuses on aerobic capacity. So the person with a high VO2 max does not necessarily mean he or she can push heavier weights during resistance training or HIIT exercises and sprints.
How do you measure your VO2 Max?
- There are various ways to measure VO2 max which involve measurements, calculations, and formulas. This information can be found on pages like this.
- You will still need a device that can measure the necessary data needed for calculations. An Apple Watch can do much of the needed measuring and calculate your VO2 max for you.
- Simpler ways to get your VO2 max measurements is to go to professional services like BodySpec. There you will go for a short appointment where you would wear a mask to measure oxygen input while you run at a high intensity on a treadmill for a specified amount of time. I’ve been to Body Spec for measuring my fat percentage. It’s quick, easy and they provide a nice looking report for you in both digital and physical formats.
How do you increase your VO2 Max?
- You can definitely improve your VO2 Max with proper and focused training.
- There are no specifics tricks to increase your VO2 max despite what you may read. You basically have to train more often and elicit your VO2 max on a regular basis which means utilizing high-intensity interval training and do it at various intervals, pacing, and distances.
- There are numerous methods of high-intensity interval training, you can find some of those methods here.
Interesting facts about VO2 Max
- Genetics can account for 25-50% of the variance between individuals
- Even athletes that compete in the same sport can have a high variance when it comes to VO2 max.
- VO2 max declines with age (about 2% per year after age 30)