VO2 Max Provides A Fertile Foundation For An Elite Level Of Fitness



VO2 max can quickly give you answers if you have ever wondered if you are in good shape or not? One of the most effective ways to determine this is by testing your aerobic capacity, or V02 max, which stands for maximum oxygen consumption. This measures how much oxygen your body uses during exercise. A healthy individual will have a higher V02 max than someone who is unhealthy.

The VO2 test is normally done in a sports clinic by a certified trainer. You will wear an oxygen mask, and be hooked up to a machine that can monitor your oxygen intake and the amount of carbon dioxide you exhale. You will run on a treadmill, starting at a slow pace and increasing your speed until you are running at a very intense pace. As a person increases their workout intensity, their oxygen consumption increases as well. That is why it is difficult to have a conversation when you are doing extremely intense physical activity.

As the body works harder and harder, the oxygen requirements increase, therefore the oxygen intake increases as well. Once the body reaches a certain level of high physical exertion, the oxygen consumption level stops increasing and stays the same. This is the V02 max, or the aerobic capacity of the person.

Basically this is the level that a person is working their absolute hardest and they could not push themselves any more. The more physical activity a person does, and the better shape they are in, the higher their aerobic capacity will be. While testing for V02 max, people usually reach their anaerobic threshold which is when their heart is beating at 90 to 95% of its maximum beats per minute. So, as we know that a high V02 max is a sign of excellent health, you may be wondering....

How Do I Increase My V02 Max?

Even if you do not have access to a sports clinic to test your V02 max, you can wear a heart rate monitor and attempt to get your heart rate to 90% of its maximum beats per minute. Of course, before attempting an extreme cardiovascular workout such as this, you should check with your doctor. One way to get your heart rate up to 90% is to do interval training This is short bursts of all out exertion, such as sprinting, followed by a rest interval such as jogging or walking. This routine is normally repeated 6 to 12 times depending on the level of fitness of the individual. Practicing this sort of workout routine will definitely increase your aerobic capacity and therefore your V02 max. You will find that the better shape that you are in, the faster and longer you will be able to run. This is your best sign that you are improving. Try timing yourself and see how long it takes you to run a set distance. This exercise can also be done with any activity such as cycling, swimming, or whatever you enjoy doing.

Elite athletes such as swimmers, rowers, runners involved in marathon training and cyclists often use the clinical tests to monitor their progress. They of course also have some of the highest VO2 maximums due to their extreme workout schedules and high levels of fitness. Generally, men have a higher VO2 max than women do, and older people have lower VO2 max than younger people.

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