V02 Max is one of the purest indicators of cardiovascular performance. V02 max measures the maximum rate of oxygen consumption during exercise. There are three components to the V02 max measurement, namely:
- Oxygen Consumption: How much oxygen your body uses during cardiovascular exercise. This is measured in milliliters (mL).
- Body Weight: Your weight is literally part of the V02 max formula. It is measured in kilograms (kg).
- Minutes: V02 max is measured per minute. In other words, how much oxygen your body can use in a single minute.
How Is V02 Max Calculated
- V02 Max = Oxgyen Consumed in Milliliters (mL)/Body Weight (kg)/Time Spent Exercising in minutes (min)
- V02 Max = mL/kg/min
V02 Max Chart For Men
V02 Max Chart For Women
What's a good V02 Max?
The truth is that a good V02 Max depends on age and gender. As a basic rule of thumb, you could say:
- If you’re a man and less than 50 years old: A V02 Max above 50 ml/kg/min is very good.
- If you’re a man and older than 50 years old: A V02 max above 40 ml/kg/min is very good
- If you’re a woman and less than 50 years old: A V02 max above 45 ml/kg/min is very good.
- If you’re a women and more than 50 years old: A V02 max above 35 ml/kg/min is very good.
What Is The Fastest Way To Increase V02 Max?
Method 1 - Lose Some Weight... Seriously
This might sound like a joke, but losing weight is the fastest way to increase your V02 max. The reason for this is simple. Your V02 Max inversely proportional to your weight. That’s a convoluted way of saying the lighter you are, better your V02 max will be, provided you don’t dip into some totally unhealthy weight zone for your body.
To help clarify, it will be helpful to use an example, using the exact same person!
Rob The Runner - Current Weight - 90 KG
- V02 Max = 4860 ml of oxygen/ 90 kg /1 min
- V02 Max = 54 ml/kg/min
Rob The Runner - After Weight Loss - 80 KG
- V02 Max = 4860 ml of oxgyen/ 80 kg /1 minute
- V02 Max = 60.76 ml/kg/min
What should be clear from the example above is that Rob has increased his V02 max dramatically by droping 10 kg’s. We have kept the oxygen consumption ability exactly the same.
Method 2 - Interval Training
High intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to increase V02 max if runners commit to a consistent training schedule.
If you aren’t sure how to get started, try replacing one of your exiting weekly sessions with an HIIT session. Apart from increasing your V02 max, it will increase the average speed that you are capable of maintaining over shorter races like 5k’s.
Lastly, if you don’t want do a bunch of research on the best routine, just do this.
- Run at 90% of max speed for 2 minutes then rest for 2 minutes
- Repeat this process 5 times
- As you get fitter, you can add more sets into the mix