VO2max is a measure of your aerobic capacity. It’s used to evaluate how well you’re able to use oxygen during exercise. If you want to increase your endurance or power, then increasing your VO2max will definitely help you achieve these goals.
How To Increase VO2 Max?
The best way to get the most out of your VO2 max test is by doing it at the right time, under the correct conditions and with proper equipment.
If you have access to a treadmill, then go for it! However, if not, then there are other ways to maximize your results.
Aerobic Capacity Training – Aerobics is one of the best ways to increase your VO2 max. You’ll notice that when you do aerobics regularly (every day) you tend to see improvements in your VO2 max. There are many different types of aerobic training: running, swimming and biking all count towards this category.
Some examples include:
Warm up exercises like walking or jogging. These warm up activities allow your body to become accustomed to working at a higher intensity.
Exercise classes such as yoga, pilates and Zumba. These classes involve moving your muscles through various movements at high intensities, which helps build endurance and strength. They’re great for building stamina too!
Weight lifting. While weight training is known more for its role in building strength, it also has some aerobic benefits. Research has shown that doing activities like squats and lunges can improve your overall endurance as well as increase your VO2 max.
The best way to increase your VO2 is through performing exercises like the ones listed above. It’s also a good idea to measure your results by using a heart rate monitor. These monitors help you keep track of your heart rate throughout the day, which will help you see exactly when your body is most capable of performing at its best.
Resting Heart Rate – Not only should you measure your results but also your resting heart rate. Your resting heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute while at rest. If your resting heart rate is high then this could be a sign that your body isn’t functioning properly and may need medical attention.
The best way to find your resting heart rate is to measure it first thing in the morning before you do anything (including getting out of bed), for at least a week. Record the number of beats then divide this number by 4.
If your resting heart rate is over 90 then you may be experiencing pre- cardiovascular issues, have been sedentary for too long or have an illness. It’s very important to get this checked out by a medical professional.
How Does VO2 Max Relate to Exercise?
VO2 Max is a measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen your body can uptake and use when you are performing exercise of varying intensity levels.
Measuring VO2 is a good way to see how well your body is adjusting to the changes in your exercise program. It also allows you to compare your results with other people of similar ages and genders. With consistent training, people have been known to improve their VO2 results by up to 50%!
Your VO2 result is measured in milliliters per kilogram per minute. The more you train your body, the more oxygen your muscles will need to perform. As a result, those who perform aerobic exercises on a regular basis tend to have a much higher VO2 than those who don’t.
Although the terms aerobic and anaerobic are commonly used in discussions about exercise, VO2 testing does not really differentiate between the two. The only thing that matters is how much oxygen your body is capable of processing, not how it got there.
For most people, this is represented as a number between 20 and 80. A result of 80 or above is considered to be very high, while anything less than 20 is low. Your VO2 is affected by many different factors, including:
Age – As you get older, your body isn’t able to process oxygen as effectively, which is why the average result for people over 60 is only around 25.
Weight – The more you weigh, the harder your body has to work which means it needs more oxygen to do so. This is why obese people are likely to have a lower VO2 than their slimmer counterparts.
Gender – On average, women have a higher VO2 than men, which is why there are more women than men in the “good” and “great” VO2 categories.
Ethnicity – Various people from different countries or with different ethnicities tend to have different results, but this is likely due to personal habits and lifestyles rather than ethnicity per se.
Fitness – The more you train your body, the more efficient your lungs and heart become at providing oxygen to your muscles. As a result, the more you train, the higher your VO2 is likely to be.
Does Your Choice of Sport Affect Your VO2?
Most people assume that if they engage in a lot of aerobics that their VO2 will be higher than if they engaged in anaerobic exercises. While it’s true that anaerobic exercises do not improve your VO2, they do still require oxygen to some degree.
For example: during weight-lifting or body building activities, your muscles tend to use up a lot of ATP (Adenosine TriPhosphate), which is used as a source of instant energy for your muscles. In order to create ATP, oxygen is needed, which means that even anaerobic exercises are going to increase your VO2.
However, the increases are small and do not correlate to your VO2 results. The only thing that really matters is how much oxygen your body is able to process, regardless of how it got there.
What Else Can Affect Your VO2?
A lot of things can affect your VO2 result. If you’re a non-smoker and your diet is healthy then you’re already ahead of the game. However, even if you engage in anaerobic exercises on a regular basis, it’s no substitute for aerobic training if you want to improve your VO2.
There are also some medical issues that can cause temporary decreases in your VO2 result. Having a common cold, for example, can lower your VO2. Also, getting over-heated during a VO2 test can also cause a temporary decrease.
There are also some long-term conditions that can make getting an accurate result difficult if you have any of these, you will almost certainly need to get your VO2 tested by a medical professional rather than relying on a home test. These include asthma, lung or heart disease and even pregnancy.
Finally, there are some natural variables that can affect your score. If you’ve been exercising or engaging in physical activity within 24 hours of taking the test then you’re going to get a lower result than if you were fully rested. Also results can be affected by the temperature and altitude of the room you’re in when you take the test.
What’s a Good VO2 Score?
A “good” VO2 result is relative to the person taking the test, but most people would agree that a score of above 40 is a good indication of fitness. If you’re just looking for a quick and easy way to compare your result with others then anything over 35 would put you in the top 50 percentile for your age and gender, between 30 and 35 is still in the top 33% and below 30 is only in the top 16%.
Of course, this all depends on your age and gender. Men over the age of 60 have the lowest average VO2 at around 22 ml/kg/min, so anything above that would be comparable to the average 40 year old male. If you’re a woman under the age of 30 anything above 50 would make you comparable to most other women your age.
Anything higher than that puts you in the top 2% of people within your gender and age group.
What Does This All Mean?
Aerobic exercises are designed to increase your VO2, which is one of the best predictors of how long you’re going to live. The higher your VO2, the longer you’re going to live and the more physically fit you are. Of course, anaerobic exercises like weight-lifting are good for your overall health too, but they don’t do as much for your cardiovascular system.
The ideal situation is to engage in a combination of anaerobic and aerobic exercises. This allows you to maximize your potential for overall fitness and health.
Which brings us to one final point: if you want to know how fit you are, try taking this simple test. It only takes a few minutes and gives you a good indication of whether or not you’re in good shape or if you need to start making some changes to your lifestyle.
Test your VO2:
1. Go to the nearest stairwell and find a step that’s about mid-calf height.
2. Get a penny and place it directly in the middle of the top of the step.
3. Stand with your toes touching the front edge of the step and your heels hanging over the back edge.
4. Put your hands by your sides and press your body forward until it’s at a 45 degree angle to the floor.
5. Using just your legs, hop up off of the step as far as you can, straightening your legs as much as you can at the very top of the movement.
6. Land on the step as softly as you can without falling or using your arms.
If you’re using just the right amount of force, you should knock the penny off of the step and land with your legs bent.
7. Get the penny and count how many times out of 10 that you could do this successfully.
If you lands between 1-3 times: You’re extremely out of shape.
Between 4-5 times: You’re slightly out of shape.
Between 6-7 times: You’re average.
Between 8-9 times: You’re slightly more fit than average.
Over 9 times: You’re extremely fit.
The Bottom Line
There you have it: my completely unscientific test that should give you a good indication of whether or not you should start working out on a regular basis. Of course, you should always consult your personal physician before starting any type of exercise program.
However, if your test results are less than impressive, don’t lose hope: with a combination of proper nutrition and exercise you can increase your VO2 max significantly. And if you want a place to start, look no further than this article’s workout plan.
The how long does it take to increase vo2 max can be said as the maximum capacity of an individual to transport oxygen within the body. Maximum oxygen is the primary component for many factors including: proper cell respiration, blood circulation, and energy release.
Many people are misunderstanding the concept of how long does it take to increase vo2 max. This misconception has caused some people to think that there is no way to increase your body’s potential. However, this isn’t entirely true.
Here is a list of factors that can cause your body to naturally increase its maximum oxygen uptake:
Numerous Cardiovascular workouts:
The human body is an amazing machine. As it stays in good shape, the body can continue to do more things. One of these categories is increasing the number of red blood cells.
The red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body. By increasing your red blood cell count, there will be a higher concentration of oxygen per cell. This allows your body to perform at a higher level for longer periods of time.
Pushing the Body to its Limits:
If you’ve ever seen a marathon runner, you may not think they’re athletic. However, these people train their bodies to run long distances. It takes months or years of training to perform at this high level.
At first, your body will naturally object to the new activity and will do everything it can to prevent you from moving. However, if you continue to push yourself everyday then your body will eventually get used to the activity and increase its ability.
Along with cardiovascular workouts, weight training is also a great way to increase your VO2 max. After a few months of weight training, your body will increase its muscular capillaries. This helps deliver more nutrients to your muscles during and after physical activity.
As mentioned above, weight training is another great way to increase your VO2 max. There are numerous studies that have proven weight training to be one of the best forms of exercise for enhancing your aerobic capacity.
To start, you should focus on exercises that use multiple muscle groups. An example of this would be squats. Not only do they extensively use your leg muscles, but your core and arm muscles as well.
More importantly, you should focus on increasing the amount of weight that you can lift. While this may not directly increase your VO2, it will help you in the long run. As you gain strength, your body will want to adapt.
It will increase the amount of oxygen that is sent to your muscles so that you can perform physical activities quicker and more efficiently.
Using a Training Device:
One way to improve your VO2 max is through the use of training devices. These are pieces of equipment designed to help you train for longer durations and at a higher intensity.
One of the most common and well-known training devices is the treadmill. Treadmills allow you to run at a fast pace without having to worry about things like cars, animals or other potentially dangerous things on the road.
Furthermore, treadmills can offer differing levels of incline. This forces your body to work harder as it tries to pull you forward against gravity.
Another popular device is the elliptical. Elliptical trainers provide a smooth workout by replicating the movement of running. While they lack the impact of running, they provide an excellent cardio workout.
Lastly, there are exercise bikes. These allow you to cycle your arms and legs while sitting in a chair-like position. This is convenient for those who are looking to cycle their legs but do not want to actually cycle their legs.
These devices can all be found at your local gym or fitness store. While they are not necessary for training, they can certainly help you reach your desired goal.
3. Muscle Mass and BMI
Your muscle mass is the amount of muscle that your body contains. Along with this, your BMI (Body Mass Index) is a measurement of how much fat is contained in your body weight.
As you workout and build up your VO2 max, your body will increase its ability to perform physical activity. This is because as you increase your stamina and endurance, you’ll also be increasing the efficiency of your muscles.
However, it’s important to note that this does not necessarily mean that you’ll be increasing the size of those muscles. In fact, in many cases, people who engage in heavy cardiovascular activity tend to lose weight regardless of what they eat.
It is possible to actually have a low BMI (below 18.5) and still be considered underweight. If you have a low BMI, you may actually still be underweight.
This is because BMI is not a direct measurement of your body fat. It’s a rough estimation based on the mass and height of an individual. Because of this, it has been known to give inaccurate readings in some cases.
For this reason, if you feel that you are underweight (or overweight), it’s best to get a personal assessment by a medical professional.
Your BMI (Body Mass Index) is a measurement used by doctors to quickly see if you’re at a healthy weight for your age and height. It was created in the early 1800’s by a mathematician named Adolphe Quetelet.
In his time, the average person was shorter and weighed less than they do today. This means that Quetelet’s BMI formula is outdated and no longer accurate for people over the age of 20.
The modernized BMI formula is as follows:
BMI = (Weight in Pounds * 703) / (Height in Inches * Height in Inches)
•Underweight = Under 18.5
•Normal Weight = 18.5-24.9
•Overweight = 25-29.9
•Obese = 30 and Above
As you can see, this means that anyone with a BMI of 30 or above is considered obese. This is problematic because there are many medical experts who believe that this designation is inaccurate and could lead to people being misdiagnosed.
For example, a muscular man with a BMI of 30 or above would be considered obese, even though he has little excess fat on his body. On the other hand, an overweight individual with a normal BMI might actually have high levels of visceral fat surrounding their internal organs.
To add to the confusion, different BMI charts are used to assess children and teens.
If you’re curious about your BMI, you can find out by searching online for “BMI calculator” or by looking up your height and weight on various BMI charts.
If you are concerned with your weight, it’s best to consult a medical expert for an in-person examination and assessment.
4. Sports Specific
This section will focus on the muscles that are most commonly used when practicing each sport. Common skating injuries will be elaborated on as well as common injury prevention techniques.
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How did AV Hill understand the VO2max and the “plateau phenomenon”? Still no clarity? by TD Noakes – British journal of sports medicine, 2008 – bjsm.bmj.com
Fitness testing of tennis players: How valuable is it? by J Fernandez-Fernandez, A Ulbricht… – British journal of sports …, 2014 – bjsm.bmj.com
Heat balance limits in football uniforms: how different uniform ensembles alter the equation by TJ Kulka, WL Kenney – The physician and sportsmedicine, 2002 – Taylor & Francis
What Does Maximum Oxygen Intake (VO2max.) Measure? How Is It Interpreted? What Are Its Principal Limitations? by TK CURETON JR – PUB DATE Jan 72 NOTE 305p.; Not available in hard …, 1972 – ERIC
A new submaximal cycle ergometer test for prediction of VO2max by B Mackenzie – London: Electric World plc, 2005
A new VO2max protocol allowing self-pacing in maximal incremental exercise by E Ekblom‐Bak, F Björkman… – … journal of medicine & …, 2014 – Wiley Online Library