Sunday, February 18, 2018

VO2max

Sport_Medicine_Online
(English Version)
VO2max
Fitness can be measured by the volume of oxygen you can consume while exercising at your maximum capacity. VO2max is the maximum amount of oxygen in millilitres, one can use in one minute per kilogram of body weight. Those who are fit have higher VO2max values and can exercise more intensely than those who are not as well conditioned. Numerous studies show that you can increase your VO2max by working out at an intensity that raises your heart rate to between 65 and 85% of its maximum for at least 20 minutes three to five times a week. A mean value of VO2max for male athletes is about 3.5 litres/minute and for female athletes it is about 2.7 litres/minute.
Factors affecting VO2max
The physical limitations that restrict the rate at which energy can be released aerobically are dependent upon:
  • the chemical ability of the muscular cellular tissue system to use oxygen in breaking down fuels
  • the combined ability of cardiovascular and pulmonary systems to transport the oxygen to the muscular tissue system

There are various physiological factors that combine to determine VO2max for which there are two theories: Utilization Theory and Presentation Theory.
Utilization theory maintains that VO2max is determined by the body's ability to utilize the available oxygen whereas Presentation Theory maintains it is the ability of the body's cardiovascular system to deliver oxygen to active tissues.
A study by Saltin and Rowell (1980)[3] concluded that it is the delivery of oxygen to active tissues that is the major limiting factor to VO2max. A study by Gollnick et al. (1972)[4] showed a weak relationship between the body's ability to utilize the available oxygen and VO2max.
VO2max for various groups
The tables below, adapted from Wilmore and Costill (2005)[2], detail normative data for VO2max (ml/kg/min) in various population groups.
Non Athletes
Age
Male
Female
10-19
47-56
38-46
20-29
43-52
33-42
30-39
39-48
30-38
40-49
36-44
26-35
50-59
34-41
24-33
60-69
31-38
22-30
70-79
28-35
20-27
Athletes
Sport
Age
Male
Female
Baseball
18-32
48-56
52-57
Basketball
18-30
40-60
43-60
Cycling
18-26
62-74
47-57
Canoeing
22-28
55-67
48-52
Football (USA)
20-36
42-60

Gymnastics
18-22
52-58
35-50
Ice Hockey
10-30
50-63

Orienteering
20-60
47-53
46-60
Rowing
20-35
60-72
58-65
Skiing alpine
18-30
57-68
50-55
Skiing nordic
20-28
65-94
60-75
Soccer
22-28
54-64
50-60
Speed skating
18-24
56-73
44-55
Swimming
10-25
50-70
40-60
Track & Field - Discus
22-30
42-55

Track & Field - Running
18-39
60-85
50-75
Track & Field - Running
40-75
40-60
35-60
Track & Field - Shot
22-30
40-46

Volleyball
18-22

40-56
Weight Lifting
20-30
38-52

Wrestling
20-30
52-65

Athlete's Vo2max Scores
The following are the Vo2max scores for a selection of the top female and male athletes.
VO2max (ml/kg/min)
Athlete
Gender
Sport/Event
96.0
Espen Harald Bjerke
Male
Cross Country Skiing
96.0
Bjorn Daehlie
Male
Cross Country Skiing
92.5
Greg LeMond
Male
Cycling
92.0
Matt Carpenter
Male
Marathon Runner
92.0
Tore Ruud Hofstad
Male
Cross Country Skiing
91.0
Harri Kirvesniem
Male
Cross Country Skiing
88.0
Miguel Indurain
Male
Cycling
87.4
Marius Bakken
Male
5K Runner
85.0
Dave Bedford
Male
10K Runner
85.0
John Ngugi
Male
Cross Country Runner




73.5
Greta Waitz
Female
Marathon runner
71.2
Ingrid Kristiansen
Female
Marathon Runner
67.2
Rosa Mota
Female
Marathon Runner
VO2max and age
As we get older our VO2max decreases. A study by Jackson et al. (1995)[5] found the average decrease was 0.46 ml/kg/min per year for men (1.2%) and 0.54 ml/kg/min for women (1.7%). The decline is due to a number of factors including a reduction in maximum heart rate and maximum stoke volume.
VO2max and performance
VO2max on its own is a poor predictor of performance but using the velocity (vVO2max) and duration (tlimvVO2max) that an athlete can operate at their VO2max will provide a better indication of performance.
VO2max evaluation tests
An estimate of your VO2max can be determined using any of the following tests:
Improving your VO2max
The following are samples of Astrands (a work physiologists) workouts for improving oxygen uptake:
  • (1) - Run at maximum speed for 5 minutes. Note the distance covered in that time. Let us assume that the distance achieved is 1900 metres. Rest for five minutes, and then run the distance (1900 metres) 20% slower, in other words in six minutes, with 30 seconds rest, repeated many times. This is equal to your 10 Km pace
  • (2) - Run at maximum speed for four minutes. Note the distance covered in that time. Rest for four minutes. In this case, we will assume you run a distance of 1500 metres. Now run the same distance 15% slower, in other words in 4 minutes 36 seconds, with 45 seconds rest, repeated several times. This approximates to a time between the athlete's 5 Km and 10 Km time
  • (3) - Run at maximum effort for three minute. Note the distance covered in that time. The distance covered is, say 1000 metres. Successive runs at that distance are taken 10% slower or at 3 minutes 18 seconds, with 60 seconds rest, repeated several times. This approximates to your 5 Km time
  • (4) - Run at maximum effort for five minutes. Note the distance covered in that time. The distance covered is 1900 metres. Rest five minutes. The distance is now covered 5% slower with one and a half minutes rest. This is approximately 3K pace for you, i.e., five minutes 15 seconds/1900 metres
  • (5) - Run at maximum effort for three minutes. The distance covered is 1100 metres. When recovered, the athlete then runs the same distance 5% slower, i.e., three minutes nine seconds/1100 metres, with one minute rest, repeated several times. This is at 3 Km pace
When and how often
It is suggested that in the winter sessions (1) and (2) are done weekly, and in the track season sessions (3), (4) and (5) are done weekly by runners from 800 metres to the half-marathon. Although it would be convenient to use the original distance marks made by the duration efforts, this does not take into account the athlete's condition before each session, so the maximum effort runs must be done on each occasion when they may be either more or less than the previous distance run. The maximum duration efforts are in themselves quality sessions. If the pulse rate has not recovered to 120 beats per minute in the rest times given, the recovery period should be extended before the repetitions are started. The recovery times between the repetitions should be strictly adhered to. These workouts make a refreshing change from repetition running. When all five sessions are completed within a month, experience shows substantial improvements in performance.
The effect of altitude
VO2 max decreases as altitude increases above 1600m and for every 1000m above 1600m maximal oxygen uptake decreases by approximately 8-11%. The decrease is mainly due to a decrease in maximal cardiac output (product of heart rate and stroke volume). Stoke volume decreases due to the immediate decrease in blood plasma volume.
VO2max Assessment
Top of Form
The VO2max assessment is based on the Cooper VO2max tables and comprises of the following grades: Very Poor, Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent and Superior.
For an evaluation of your VO2max select the age group and gender, enter your VO2max and then select the 'Calculate' button.
Age
Gender
Vo2max ml/kg/min


Assessment -
Bottom of Form
Normative data for VO2max
Normative data (Heywood 1998)[6] for Female (values in ml/kg/min)
Age
Very Poor
Poor
Fair
Good
Excellent
Superior
13-19
<25.0
25.0 - 30.9
31.0 - 34.9
35.0 - 38.9
39.0 - 41.9
>41.9
20-29
<23.6
23.6 - 28.9
29.0 - 32.9
33.0 - 36.9
37.0 - 41.0
>41.0
30-39
<22.8
22.8 - 26.9
27.0 - 31.4
31.5 - 35.6
35.7 - 40.0
>40.0
40-49
<21.0
21.0 - 24.4
24.5 - 28.9
29.0 - 32.8
32.9 - 36.9
>36.9
50-59
<20.2
20.2 - 22.7
22.8 - 26.9
27.0 - 31.4
31.5 - 35.7
>35.7
60+
<17.5
17.5 - 20.1
20.2 - 24.4
24.5 - 30.2
30.3 - 31.4
>31.4
Normative data (Heywood 1998)[6] for Male (values in ml/kg/min)
Age
Very Poor
Poor
Fair
Good
Excellent
Superior
13-19
<35.0
35.0 - 38.3
38.4 - 45.1
45.2 - 50.9
51.0 - 55.9
>55.9
20-29
<33.0
33.0 - 36.4
36.5 - 42.4
42.5 - 46.4
46.5 - 52.4
>52.4
30-39
<31.5
31.5 - 35.4
35.5 - 40.9
41.0 - 44.9
45.0 - 49.4
>49.4
40-49
<30.2
30.2 - 33.5
33.6 - 38.9
39.0 - 43.7
43.8 - 48.0
>48.0
50-59
<26.1
26.1 - 30.9
31.0 - 35.7
35.8 - 40.9
41.0 - 45.3
>45.3
60+
<20.5
20.5 - 26.0
26.1 - 32.2
32.3 - 36.4
36.5 - 44.2
>44.2
% MHR and %VO2max
It is possible to estimate your exercise intensity as a percentage of VO2max from your training heart rate. A study by David Swain et al. (1994)[1] using statistical procedures examined the relationship between %MHR and %VO2max. Their results led to the following regression equation:
  • %MHR = 0.64 × %VO2max + 37
The relationship has been shown to hold true across sex, age and activity.
Top of Form
Calculator
The following calculator will do the conversion for you. Enter a value, select the parameter (MHR or VO2max) and then select the "Calculate" button.
Value =
%


=
%
Bottom of Form
%VO2max and Speed
% of VO2max
Speed
50
Very slow running
60
Slow running
70
Steady running
80
Half Marathon speed
90
10 km speed
95
5 km speed
100
3 km speed
110
1500 metres to 800 metres speed
Free Calculator
  • %VO2max to %MHR Calculator - a free Microsoft Excel spreadsheet which you can download and use on your computer. The spreadsheet will be loaded into a new window.
Referenced Material
  1. SWAIN et al (1994) Target HR for the development of CV fitness. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 26 (1), p. 112-116
  2. WILMORE, J.H. and COSTILL, D.L. (2005) Physiology of Sport and Exercise. 3rd ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics
  3. SALTIN, B. and ROWELL, L.B. (1980) Functional adaptations to physical activity and inactivity. Federation Proceeding. 39 (5), p. 1506-1513
  4. GOLLNICK, P.D. et al. (1972) Enzyme activity and fiber composition in skeletal muscle of untrained and trained men. J Appl Physiol., 33 (3), p. 312-319
  5. JACKSON, A.S. et al. (1995) Changes in aerobic power of men, ages 25-70 yr. Med Sci Sports Exerc., 27 (1), p. 113-120
  6. HEYWOOD, V. (1998) The Physical Fitness Specialist Certification Manual, The Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research, Dallas TX, revised 1997. In: HEYWOOD, V (1998) Advance Fitness Assessment & Exercise Prescription, 3rd Ed. Leeds: Human Kinetics. p. 48
Page Reference
The reference for this page is:
  • MACKENZIE, B. (2001) VO2max [WWW] Available from: http://www.brianmac.co.uk/vo2max.htm [Accessed 9/7/2012]


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