Keith Sherman from Velocity Sports Performance (free endorsement) did my VO2 Max Testing on Saturday at Cycler’s Cafe. It was a pretty interesting test. Keith did a great job explaining exactly what I needed to do and how the test was going to go. The actual test is pretty much what I expected, but I’m getting a lot more data than I thought I would. Over the next few days I explain in more detail what data the results contained and how I will use it in my training for my 2010 races.
A power meter was hooked up to White Lightning (my bike) and after a warm-up, I was instructed to ride at 75 Watts for 30 seconds, then 100 Watts for 30 seconds, 125, 150, etc. We went all the way up to 400 Watts before I ran out of gas. My heart rate and breathing were monitored throughout and came up with some interesting results.
VO2 Max Attained = 59.9 ml/kg/min
Max Heart Rate Achieved = 175 bpm
VO2 max is a measure of the maximum volume of oxygen that an athlete can use. It is measured in milliliters per kilogram of body weight per minute (ml/kg/min). VO2 max is simply a measure of the oxygen that the athlete consumes at the maximum level of energy output.
So how do my numbers compare?
For my age, here’s the VO2 Max of the general population:
31.5 – 35.4 = Poor
35.5 – 40.9 = Fair
41.0 – 44.9 = Good
45.0 – 49.4 = Excellent
> 49.5 = Superior
But, in all fairness, I don’t consider my fitness level to be equal to the “general population”. So how do I compare with other athletes? According to most reports, a trained male athlete should be somewhere in the range of 45-60 ml/kg/min. An elite athlete usually measures in 60+ ml/kg/min.
Highest ever recorded was 96.0 ml/kg/min by Espen Harald Bjerke (some Norwegian cross county skier). Lance Armstrong tested at 84.0 ml/kg/min, and famous marathon runner Bill Rodgers was at 78.5 ml/kg/min.
So while I would like to take all the credit for my relatively high VO2 Max, studies show that it is to a large extent determined by your genes; but it can be increased by training. Most people can increase their VO2 max by between 5% and 20%; but there is a small proportion of the population for whom training seems to make little difference. So thanks Mom & Dad! More so Dad…I’m sure his background in bike racing had more than a little something to do with my results. Plus, he shared the news with me yesterday that when tested during flight school, he recorded one of the highest VO2 max ratings in his class.
1 hour on the bike – some good hills with speed intervals mixed in…probably covered 20 miles or so
30 minutes of weights (chest, triceps, abs)