VO2 Max Testing

My bike shop of choice here in Louisville is the Cycler’s Cafe on Lexington Road. They are a small shop compared to others, but that’s one of the reasons that I like going there. I had them do a bike fit for me when I bought my bike and I have all of my tune-ups done there.

When they sent me an email a few weeks back telling me about the VO2 max testing that they were offering at their shop, I immediately called and set up an appointment.

So the obvious question is, “What is VO2 max testing?”.
VO2 max (also maximal oxygen consumption, maximal oxygen uptake or aerobic capacity) is the maximum capacity of an individual’s body to transport and utilize oxygen during incremental exercise, which reflects the physical fitness of the individual. The name is derived from V – volume per time, O2 – oxygen, max – maximum. Accurately measuring VO2 max is not something that you can do on your own. It involves a graded exercise test in which exercise intensity is progressively increased while measuring ventilation and oxygen and carbon dioxide concentration of the inhaled and exhaled air. VO2 max is reached when oxygen consumption remains at steady state despite an increase in workload.

Here’s a sample of what a VO2 max test looks like:

So the next question is…”What do you do with the test results?”
As I develop my training plan for the next year, knowing what my aerobic capacity is will come in very handy. I can plan my workouts based on heart rate zones and rating of perceived exertion on a scale of 1 to 10. My training in the past hasn’t been this involved, it was based more on time and distance. Workouts based on intensity are the more efficient and effective way to train.

I go for my VO2 max test tomorrow afternoon…check back for the results!

Ran 2 miles at 7:30/mile pace with 5 minute warm-up and cool-down
35 minutes of weights (shoulders & traps)

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