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What is the VO2 Max test?

The test calculates your VO2 Max, which is short for maximal oxygen uptake. Your VO2 Max reflects how much oxygen your body can use during exercise. The VO2 Max test helps determine precisely how intensely you should exercise in order to burn fat, maximize recovery, and optimize your performance, stopping before your body is no longer capable of performing.

Think of it as the sweet spot between pushing yourself too hard and not pushing yourself hard enough.

Keep in mind that VO2 Max is a measurement of your cardiovascular health and aerobic endurance, not a representation of your maximum potential. That means it’s likely to increase as you become more physically fit, especially if you’re at the start of your fitness journey. Your VO2 test results will tell you the approach you should take toward exercise to reach your fitness goals, which can shift over time.

What will I learn from a VO2 Max test?

A VO2 Max test will help you pinpoint how intensely you can exercise, and specifically how much of an increase in heart rate you can handle, through measurements including your anaerobic threshold and aerobic base.

You don’t want to exercise so intensely that your performance drops and you can’t continue, but you also want to exert yourself enough to burn body fat, and it can be hard to tell the difference without actually measuring your heart rate as you exercise.

The test results help you target your workouts so you’re doing exactly what your body needs. In addition to markers of your cardiovascular endurance, the test tracks how many calories you burn during exercise. Knowing this will help you customize an effective cardio exercise plan for weight loss.

What happens during a VO2 Max test?

To get an accurate picture of your cardiovascular endurance, you’ll need to refrain from smoking and strenuous exercise for 24 hours before the test, so you can start out fully rested. You will also need to avoid food and caffeine for at least four hours before the test. Because the test involves exercising, you should wear comfortable workout clothes and running shoes, we will provide water and a towel.

The test lasts 10-20 minutes and involves running on a treadmill while hooked up to a breathing mask. You’ll warm up by walking, and then a member of our team will carefully increase the speed or incline of the treadmill every few minutes. Once you’re exhausted, the test will end, and you’ll receive your results immediately.

To take a VO2 test and learn how to train smarter, not harder, call for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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