Professional athletes have to look into many different aspects of their athletic performance. It isn’t just about investing in the most expensive equipment and eating right for performance, but the oxygen you consume, too! Also known as your Vo2 max, this is one of the best ways you can improve your athletic performance.
But how does a Vo2 Max Calculator and learning the results help improve both your health and athletic performance, exactly? It might seem confusing at first, but once you’re familiar with what it is, you can start learning how to improve!
So read on as I show you all about how to calculate Vo2 Max and what it’s all about.
What Is Vo2 Max?
So, what is Vo2 Max in the first place? This actually stands for maximal oxygen consumption, or also known as maximal aerobic capacity. It refers to how much oxygen your body can use within a minute.
Vo2 Max measures the capacity of your aerobic work, used as a predictor of the potential you have as an endurance athlete. Besides that, it also determines your future health, with trainers and professional athletes using their Vo2 Max percentage to know how intense they need to train for.
Usually, the Vo2 Max would rise when we’re teenagers, reaching maximum levels once we hit 18 to 20 years old. As we grow older, it gradually decreases.
Just to be clear, Vo2 Max does NOT refer to your natural ability of oxygen consumption. It’s a measurement of different factors that affect how your body consumes oxygen.
For instance, the amount of red blood cells in your body affects the measurement of your Vo2 Max. Besides this, different factors like the way your muscles react to your exercise or how much your heart pumps a minute affect the measurement.
You’re able to learn your Vo2 Max measurements from tests conducted in laboratories. However, you can also use calculators online or other methods.
Why Is Vo2 Max So Important For Me?
You’re probably wondering: What makes Vo2 Max so important anyway? Even I was curious because I didn’t feel like it was relevant for my runs. All I needed was to push myself and exercise with proper posture, right?
While you do need to learn proper posture and follow a good training schedule to increase your running intensity, learning these things matter, too.
Through learning your Vo2 Max measurement, you’ll know at what pace you should run in for optimal results. You’ll also know how intense you can perform and how you can gradually work your way up until you reach your goals.
Knowing the exact measurements can also help you realize what areas you need to improve on. With taking the proper steps on how to maximize and increase your Vo2 Max, it makes you utilize your oxygen consumption better. This will help you become an even better athlete regardless of what kind of exercise you do.
Fortunately, there are ways you can improve your Vo2 Max measurements and take advantage of your current Vo2 Max. But I’ll get into that in the next sections!
How to Calculate Vo2 Max
Vo2 Max is found using a metabolic cart system. You will wear a mask and a machine would measure your chemical difference between inspired and expired air. You’ll then undergo a Bruce Protocol Graded Test, which challenges your body as you increase intensity in a certain period.
Physiologists would use formulas which include your weight and the rate of oxygen consumption during exercise. This is the usual formal used:
Vo2 Max = Max ML of oxygen consumed in a minute / your weight in kilos
You can also calculate your Vo2 Max with this alternative formula:
Vo2 Max = 15.3x (MHR/RHR). MHR stands for maximum heart rate, while RHR stands for resting heart rate.
I highly recommend that you get a test by a professional than on your own. However, doing so on your own is a good start!
If you want to learn more on how to calculate Vo2 Max, check out this helpful video for more information:
Improving Your Fitness and Vo2 Max
As mentioned, it’s completely possible to improve your fitness and endurance through your Vo2 Max. To do so, follow these tips:
Improve Your Diet
You need food that fuels your body, which can help provide the energy you need for your workouts. Healthier food can also positively affect your cardiovascular health, from your heart down to your immune system. This, in turn, helps with your fitness and Vo2 Max measurements.
Stay Consistent With Your Exercise Routine
I highly recommend that you increase your Vo2 Max through exercises that challenge your cardiovascular system. This calls for endurance training such as running, swimming, cycling and rowing. I also recommend you do HIIT and stay consistent with all the exercises and routines you do.
Drink a LOT Of Water
Stay hydrated and drink at least eight glasses of water a day. This helps with your energy levels, muscles, heart rate, and other functions that affect your fitness, health, and Vo2 Max measurements.
Get a LOT of Sleep
Without the right amount of sleep, it takes a toll on the muscles, which result in pain and risk of injuries. Give your body the time it needs for rest and recovery, getting rest days and eight hours of sleep a night.
Wrapping It Up
Vo2 Max is one of the best indicators for both cardiovascular fitness and aerobic endurance. Because of that, it’s important to learn your own Vo2 Max based on the right calculations. Whether you use a Vo2 Max Calculator or check out a Vo2 Max Chart, make sure that you use accurate ones!
I hope this article answered your question, “what is Vo2 Max?” Now that you know the answer and how to calculate it, use your results to improve your athletic performance now!
If you have any questions or want to share your own experiences on using a Vo2 Max Calculator, then comment below, your thoughts are much appreciated!