What is VO2 max and how can personal trainers use it?

Personal/Fitness Training Blog

VO2 max testing measures your athletic abilities. If you want to burn fat or improve your fitness VO2 max is something you should be considering.

How do you carry out VO2 Max testing?

VO2 Max testing can also be referred to as:

  • Maximal oxygen intake,
  • Peak oxygen uptake, or
  • Maximum aerobic capacity.

VO2 max testing measures your cardiovascular systems capability to perform under stress by measuring how much oxygen your body utilises when you are exercising. This capability is the body’s maximum capability to inhale, transport and use oxygen during exercise. The more oxygen the body consumes the better the athletic performance will be.

How does VO2 Max testing work?

VO2 max should only be performed in a laboratory or fitness centre under the guidance of a personal trainer. You will be on a stationary bike or treadmill with a mask on your face. The mask will measure how much oxygen you’re inhaling and the amount of carbon dioxide that you’re exhaling while you work out. This allows the personal trainer to measure your cardiovascular capacities.

Your cardiovascular system has to be worked to its max. What this means is that you should be completely exhausted by the end. As a result, the exercise you’re doing will increase in intensity at specific periods of time or, in fitness speak, intervals. The heart rate is also monitored during this test.

To give you an idea of your overall fitness level, your VO2 max will be combined with your heart rate. VO2 max is measured in millilitres of O2 per minute per kg of your bodyweight. The highest rate of oxygen consumed is your VO2 max.

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How personal trainers can use VO2 Max

A personal trainer needs to know more or less what your baseline strength is before developing a workout regimen for you. This helps the trainer to set realistic goals and a workout plan based on your immediate capabilities. If you take part in a programme in which your athletic performance is required to increase constantly it is important to do a VO2 max test.

Knowing your VO2 max allows your personal trainer to create training programmes that can increase your VO2 max. This will lead to increased athletic abilities and fitness.

How to increase your VO2 max

  • HIIT exercises combine aerobic and bodyweight exercises that will work out your body and cardiovascular system.
  • Repetition-based HIIT consists of a few short exercises that are repeated several times, or for a certain amount of time.
  • Time-based HIIT is about performing certain exercises for a specific amount of time and then moving on to the next one.

All of these methods can increase your VO2 max. If one method isn’t working try the other on your client. Other ways to increase your VO2 max is by doing sprints on a regular basis, biking and running. Mix different cardiovascular exercises to increase your VO2 max efficiently.

VO2 max is an interesting way to measure your physical fitness but it is not something you need to focus on improving. Just engage in some good workouts to keep you healthy.

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