Know your VO2 Max

Know your VO2 Max

Find your lung capacity

What is VO2 max and how does it relate to lung capacity? VO2 is technically the Volume of Oxygen (V O2 measured in liters per minute per kilogram of body weight) consumed during an exhaustive workout. The test measures the difference between the oxygen that you breath in and the level of oxygen in your exhalation some is converted to carbon dioxide and water.

Lung capacity is a function of age, gender, fitness and can be influenced by altitude. As you become more physically fit you will improve your aerobic capacity and reduce your resting heart rate. Improving VO2 peak requires training in the upper regions of your heart rate zone.

Measurement of aerobic capacity requires spirometry equipment. Unless you are a world class athlete, this type of equipment would typically only be found in a clinical lab. However, there are a number of methods to measure VO2. A VO2 Max Calculator is a simple way of estimating your lung capacity.

Typical Maximum VO2 for Non Athletes

Age Men Women
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

The best athletes in the world have max lung capacities in the 85-96 ml/kg/min for males and 57-73 ml/kg/min for females. Below is a table for non-athletes. So measuring your VO2 peak and comparing it to typical levels to world class athletic levels will indicate where you are in your fitness.

Improve Peak VO2

Genetic factors can limit your VO2 maximum but there are still lots you can do to limit the declines caused by aging. There have been estimates that you reach 100% of VO2 max at 90-100% of your max heart rate. Exercising in the aerobic range of your heart rate will typically give you the greatest improvement in max VO2 early in your fitness conditioning. As you increase your fitness, short bursts to 90-95% of max heart rate will help improve lung capacity. Make sure to return your heart rate to the aerobic range between bursts into anaerobic ranges.

Return from VO2 Max to Health and Fitness Monitors Home

Heart Rate Monitor - Heart Monitors
A heart rate monitor helps you learn how to optimize your workout, maximize your fitness, keep you in a safe heart zone and will keep you motivated

Body Fat Monitor and Body Fat Analyzer
A body fat monitor helps you learn how to lose ugly fat, not just lose weight. Learn the three major methods of determining body fat.

Home Blood Pressure Monitors
Home blood pressure monitors are easy to buy and invaluable in helping you to monitor your health and detect early symptoms of complicating diseases.

VO2 Max and Lung Capacity
VO2 max is a measurement of your lung capacity. It can help you determine your level of fitness. Workouts near your maximum heart rate improve your aerobic capacity.

Polar Heart Rate Monitor Reviews - Polar Heart Monitors
Polar Heart Rate Monitor reviews for most Polar fitness monitors

Garmin Reviews for Garmin GPS Sports Equipment
Garmin reviews for Garmin GPS enabled fitness monitors - running, cycling and swimming

Nike Plus - Nike iPod - Nike Heart Rate Monitor
Use Nike Plus running shoes to connect to your iPod Nano, iPod Touch or iPhone. Nike heart rate monitors also integrate with the Apple apps

Subscribe to Health Monitor Checkup and get monthly updates on the latest health and fitness monitors, fitness tips and more

Email

Name

Then