A VO2 Max is the gold standard, maximal exercise test, to determine training heart rate zones to drastically improve your endurance.

With Scottsdale Sports Medicine Institute’s on-site and portable off-site testing capabilities, the test can be performed in virtually any exercise environment, whether it be here at the fitness lab, around your local track, in a health club or even climbing a mountain. For the test, the subject will breathe through a mouthpiece connected to a metabolic analyzer, and he/she will wear a heart-rate monitor. The analyzer measures the volume as well as the percentage of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the expired gas. From this data, we are able to calculate:

AEROBIC THRESHOLD: Aerobic threshold is the intensity or heart-rate at which an individual burns the most fat. Using fat for fuel, more oxygen is required to release a given amount of energy than when carbohydrate is the main fuel. This means that at low intensities, when plenty of oxygen is available to the muscle, fat is the preferred fuel. As intensity increases, at some point the cardiovascular system will not be able to transport proportionally more oxygen the muscles. This is the aerobic threshold. Above this point, increased intensity will reduce fat burning.

ANAEROBIC THRESHOLD: Known as the red-line to endurance athletes, this threshold is the highest intensity, as measured by heart rate, at which the body can remove lactic acid as quickly as it is produced. Just below anaerobic threshold (AT), an athlete is working hard, but feels no burning in the muscles and is breathing heavily, but controlled. Above AT, lactic acid is building up in the muscles and will cause premature fatigue. Knowing one’s threshold allows one to achieve a very high level of cardiovascular conditioning without the discomfort and muscle damage of lactic acid buildup.

VO2 MAX: For those who take the test to completion (so that we are able to determine VO2 Max), VO2 Max is the volume of oxygen the body uses during one minute of maximal exercise. Expressed as liters of oxygen per minute or milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of bodyweight per minute, this data tells your potential for endurance athletics. While anaerobic threshold is the best predictor of current endurance performance, VO2 Max indicates the potential of an athlete after several years of systematic, structured training.


Normative data for VO2max

Female (values in ml/kg/min)

Age

Very Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Superior

13-19

<25.0

25.0 - 30.9

31.0 - 34.9

35.0 - 38.9

39.0 - 41.9

>41.9

20-29

<23.6

23.6 - 28.9

29.0 - 32.9

33.0 - 36.9

37.0 - 41.0

>41.0

30-39

<22.8

22.8 - 26.9

27.0 - 31.4

31.5 - 35.6

35.7 - 40.0

>40.0

40-49

<21.0

21.0 - 24.4

24.5 - 28.9

29.0 - 32.8

32.9 - 36.9

>36.9

50-59

<20.2

20.2 - 22.7

22.8 - 26.9

27.0 - 31.4

31.5 - 35.7

>35.7

60+

<17.5

17.5 - 20.1

20.2 - 24.4

24.5 - 30.2

30.3 - 31.4

>31.4


Male (values in ml/kg/min)

Age

Very Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Superior

13-19

<35.0

35.0 - 38.3

38.4 - 45.1

45.2 - 50.9

51.0 - 55.9

>55.9

20-29

<33.0

33.0 - 36.4

36.5 - 42.4

42.5 - 46.4

46.5 - 52.4

>52.4

30-39

<31.5

31.5 - 35.4

35.5 - 40.9

41.0 - 44.9

45.0 - 49.4

>49.4

40-49

<30.2

30.2 - 33.5

33.6 - 38.9

39.0 - 43.7

43.8 - 48.0

>48.0

50-59

<26.1

26.1 - 30.9

31.0 - 35.7

35.8 - 40.9

41.0 - 45.3

>45.3

60+

<20.5

20.5 - 26.0

26.1 - 32.2

32.3 - 36.4

36.5 - 44.2

>44.2


Table Reference: The Physical Fitness Specialist Certification Manual, The Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research, Dallas TX, revised 1997 printed in Advance Fitness Assessment & Exercise Prescription, 3rd Edition, Vivian H. Heyward, 1998.p48

Here's how it works: 

Treadmill

  • You will have sufficient time to stretch and warm up as needed
  • Allow yourself an hour from the time you arrive to the time you leave
  • A heart rate strap will be provided for the test
  • Bring: Cloths and shoes you wear while running
  • Water or a recovery drink
  • A towel

Bike

  • A trainer will be available at no additional cost for those who don’t have power
  • A heart rate strap will be provided for the test
  • You will have sufficient time to stretch and warm up as needed
  • Allow yourself 1.5 hours from the time you arrive to the time you leave
  • Bring: A bike trainer and every thing required to make it work with your bike
  • Your bike computer if you do have power
  • All of your cycling gear you would normally use while riding your bike on a trainer—shoes, kit, and water bottle
  • Any tools needed to make adjustments
  • Water or a recovery drink
  • A towel


Bike and Treadmill

  • Allow yourself 2 hours from the time you arrive to the time you leave
  • You will have sufficient time to stretch and warm up as needed
  • You will be using the treadmill for the first test and your bike for the second test
  • You will have 20-30 minutes of rest in between tests for sufficient recovery
  • A trainer will be available at no additional cost for those who don’t have power
  • A heart rate strap will be provided for the test
  • Bring: Cloths and shoes you wear while running
  • All of your cycling gear you would normally use while riding your bike on a trainer—shoes, kit, and water bottle
  • A bike trainer and every thing required to make it work with your bike
  • Your bike computer if you do have power
  • Any tools needed to make adjustments
  • Water or a recovery drink
  • A towel

VO2 Max Testing Treadmill

Contact Information

Ironwood Square
10133 N.92nd Street, Suite 102
Scottsdale, Arizona 85258

Phone: 480-664-4615
Fax: 480.664.4367

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