I Took My First Ever VO2 Max Test

I did my first ever VO2 Max Test

As you guys know, I am undergoing a Running Strength Research at Singapore Sports Institute.

The research involves measuring my VO2Max.

So what is VO2Max? VO2 max is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption measured during incremental exercise; that is, exercise of increasing intensity.

It can give you important insights about your cardiorespiratory fitness, such as how long you can sustain a certain intensity of exercise

They gave me the metaphor of a car fuel tank. The bigger the capacity of the tank, the more fuel can be pumped in and the car can go further. 

It is interesting to note that my watch also measures my VO2Max, but I heard that it is not really accurate. It says my VO2 max is 52, which is considered excellent for my age.

You can’t really get an accurate measure of it except in a lab with expensive clinical equipment which is not really accessible to casual runners like us which is why VO2 max is usually a fitness marker reserved for elite and professional athletes.

First, thanks to the SSI personnel for setting up the test environment and clear explanation to ensure the test is accurate and more importantly, safe.

That is I will need to give them a signal that I cannot go any more by giving them a thumbs down signal.

Once you reach that plateau, your body moves from aerobic metabolism to anaerobic metabolism — that is, your body stops using oxygen to fuel the breakdown of carbohydrates, amino acids, and fats because there isn’t enough oxygen there.

First, they have to prick my finger for some blood before the workout. It will be taken again twice at various rest intervals.

To measure VO2 max, I need to wear a mask and heart rate monitor. The mask is connected to a machine that collects and measures the volume of oxygen I inhale and the amount of air I exhale. I then slowly increase exercise intensity on the treadmill where it gets faster until my oxygen consumption remains steady despite an increase in intensity.

Drank some water to replenish my strength.

They increase the speed till I can’t go anymore, that’s when I gave the thumbs down signal.

After a short test, Danny explained to me my results.

My Highest VO2Max is 44.9. He mentions if the value doesn’t change much at my highest intensity, I would likely have hit the ceiling.

However for my test, my value is still changing a lot, meaning I still have the capability to go even higher. That’s really music to my ears..

I also went online to research more on VO2Max, that’s when I came across this table:

It mentions that for my age group, I am considered close to excellent and to become superior, I will need to hit 49.4 and above.

Danny also explained that the reason I can run faster than most average people is not only based on VO2Max. It can be a variety of factors like running efficiency, strength level and body’s ability to buffer the hydrogen ion etc.

There are marathon champions with lower VO2Max than their competitors too!

So is VO2Max fix forever? No, it can be increased with discipline and consistent training.

So I shall continue to work hard to improve my running capacity

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