VO2 Max: What Is, How to Measure and How to Increase Your

The VO2 max is the ability that the body of the person has to consume oxygen during physical activity aerobic, such as running, for example, and therefore their value is often used to assess the physical fitness of an athlete, amateur or professional. Basically this number better represents the aerobic capacity of a person.

The acronym VO2 max means the Volume of Oxygen Maximum and expresses specifically the ability that the body has to capture oxygen from the atmosphere and to get to the muscles during a physical exertion. Logically what you want is that person to be of the greatest possible capacity to pick up all available oxygen in the air and make it reach to your muscles efficiently and quickly, which depends on the breathing capacity, circulatory, and your level of training.

The high VO2 max is related to the benefits to health such as lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression and type 2 diabetes, especially due to healthy habits and physical fitness.

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What is the VO2 normal

The VO2 max of a man sedentary is approximately 30 to 35 mL/kg/min, while the marathoners the most famous has a VO2 max of around 70 mL/kg/min.

Women have a VO2 a little lower, ranging between 20 to 25 mL/kg/min in sedentary individuals and up to 60 mL/kg/min in female athletes because they have naturally a greater amount of fat and lower amount of hemoglobin.

People who are sedentary, that is, who do not practice physical activity can improve your VO2 faster, however people who already are well-trained and who practice physical activity regularly, you may not be able to increase your VO2, although you can improve your income in a general way. This happens because it is also related to the genetics of the person, and that’s why certain people are able to increase your VO2 in a relatively short time of training.

Test of VO2 max

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To measure the VO2 you can carry out the test, spirometric, which is carried out on a treadmill or stationary bicycle, with the person using a mask on the face and with electrodes pasted on the body. This test measures VO2 max, heart rate, gas exchange in respiration, and the perception of exertion as the intensity of the workout. Learn all about the heart rate ideal for weight loss

The test is usually requested by the cardiologist or sports physician to evaluate athletes, or to assess the health of people who suffer from lung problems or heart disease, and in some cases, also measures the amount of lactate in the blood, at the end of the test.

How to increase the VO2 max

To increase VO2 max is to increase the physical training because it improves the physical fitness, causing the body to better capture the oxygen using in the best way, to avoid fatigue. It is only possible to improve the VO2 max in only 30%, and some of the factors that are involved are: amount of body fat, age, and muscles.

So, a good way to increase VO2 is:

  • Burn fat, because the less body fat, increased VO2;
  • Age: the younger the person, the higher their VO2;
  • Muscles: the more muscles you have, the greater the VO2 capacity.

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In addition, the strong training with, at least, 85% of the heart rate also helps a lot to increase the rate of VO2, but as this is a training very strong, is not recommended for those who are starting the physical activity. To start a physical activity and increase your VO2 is a recommended workout lighter, with about 60 to 70% of the VO2, which should always be guided by the coach of the academy.