VO2 Max Testing

Necessary for hiking? Not so much. But one way to test cardiovascular strength is the VO2 “Max” test.

VO2 stands for volume of oxygen consumed, and is generally measured in liters per minute (L/min) and also scaled for different bodyweights (mL/min/kg). That is, the amount of oxygen that your heart can pump to your muscles. One can say that the larger the value, the better cardiovascular shape you are in, as your heart can pump more oxygen and so you can perform more work during exercise (move faster).

The test generally lasts from 10 – 15 minutes, and works by increasing the workload each minute. In my case, the grade was set at 14%, and the speed was increased 0.5 mph each minute until failure. I think I failed at about 7 – 7.5 mph. The clip only shows the end of the test.

There are plenty of specifics one could talk about in regards to exercise performance – such as the applicability of such a test versus a lactate threshold test – but I just wanted to point out this video as my colleagues were laughing at it (and me) recently.

Final stats

Max VO2 (L/min): 5.3
(ml/kg/min): 64
Max heartrate: 194

Don’t try to max out while hiking!

Related posts:

Energy Bars, Zé's Take
Understanding Altitude Sickness
Layman's Guide to Hiking - Part I: Breakfast

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 24th, 2009 at 1:03 pm and is filed under Exercise & Nutrition, Zé’s Guide to Hiking. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “VO2 Max Testing”

SocalHikes Hiker

SocalHikes Hiker September 5th, 2009 at 10:09 am

I was talking with a girl last night and she said she had a vo2 of 45. I take that as a good thing.


September 6th, 2009 at 4:35 pm

depending on her age, it’s considered ‘above average’ to ‘good’.

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