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Ask The Trainer:"What is Vo2 Max?"

Ask The Trainer:"What is Vo2 Max?"

Christian Agudelo, Earvin Bahena, Spencer O'Neil

Christian Agudelo, ACSM - CPT

Vo2 is the amount of oxygen your body can use during exercise. Therefore the Vo2 max is the maximum allowable amount that can be used. By combining the amount of oxygen your blood pumps and how efficient your muscles use that oxygen is how we can determine an individuals Vo2 max. By calculating this number we are able to see the cardiovascular levels of a person and be able to determine their endurance level. Having a high Vo2 max shows that the person can sustain higher levels of cardiovascular exercise. The Vo2 max can be tested on either a treadmill or stationary bike and are considered the gold standard for testing.

Earvin Bahena, NSCA - CSCS

To put Vo2 max in the easiest terms, it is the maximum amount of oxygen your body can utilize during exercise. This is the combination of how much oxygen rich blood your heart can pump and the muscles efficiency in using that oxygen. Vo2 max correlates with fitness capacity, a person with a higher Vo2 max can perform at a  high level and longer than someone with a lower Vo2 max. Not everyone's Vo2 max will be the same, environmental factors as well as genetics alter your maximum capacity. You can increase your Vo2 max by doing exercise that challenge your cardiovascular system endurance training such as full body movements or interval conditioning.

Spencer O'Neil, NASM- CPT

Vo2 Max is a great way for trainers to measure a client's cardio respiratory fitness. We test this by measuring the maximum amount of oxygen our body can use during an aerobic activity. The more oxygen our body can take in the more we can feed our muscles which allows us to workout harder and longer. A lower Vo2 max has been correlated to higher risk of cardiovascular disease as well as various cancers. So it is important to continuously monitor cardiovascular health as well as the standard metrics for overall health.