Testing, testing… 1,2,3…

Last night I biked a good 45 minutes after work on my way home in a round-about way. It was good, but I was exhausted by the time we got home. This boded well for L and my new leaf of going to bed early. Sure enough, I was sleeping by about 9:30!

This morning I did some VO2 Max testing at the University. I signed up to be part of a study of female vegetarians, partially so that I could help out and partially so that I could get some testing done of my body for my training. Two birds, one stone… or the vegan version would be feeding two birds with one scone! So I was there at 7am at the very dead and eerily quiet university campus. Today is supposed to be a nice day and I do not want to spend another nice day that could be spent riding, in a car. So I biked to the test, warmed up a bit, and then strapped on the head-gear involved in the test. Basically, there is a mouth piece like a snorkel (not that I’ve ever snorkeled) that is held on by what looks like a 1980s night-retainer headset. The nose gets plugged and the person starts running on the treadmill with a heart-rate monitor. The speed is decided beforehand by the speed that one could run for 20 minutes without stopping. At that speed, at 2-minute increments the incline increases 2% and the test must go at least 8 minutes. I went for over 10.

VO2 Max, according to Brian Mac:
Fitness can be measured by the volume of oxygen you can consume while exercising at your maximum capacity. VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen in milliliters, one can use in one minute per kilogram of body weight. Those who are fit have higher VO2 max values and can exercise more intensely than those who are not as well conditioned. Numerous studies show that you can increase your VO2 max 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 VO2 max for male athletes is about 3.5 litres/minute and for female athletes it is about 2.7 litres/minute.

Factors affecting VO2 max:
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

At my VO2 Max, these were my results:
Time: 10:20
Heart Rate: 179
VE (BTPS) (L/min): 106.5
VCO2 (L/min): 2.980
VO2 (L/min): 2.727
VO2/kg (mL/kg/min): 45.5
RQ: 1.09
FEO2: 17.47%
FECO2: 3.54%

Apparently the ideal VO2 Max for endurance runners and cyclists is over 75mL/kg/min and is much lower for other sports like volleyball (50mL/kg/min). So I obviously have a much lower VO2 Max than a pro runner and cyclist, but according to this particular website, I am “superior” in my age range:

Normative data for VO2max
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

This doesn’t really come a surprise and I think it is similar to my VO2 Max that I had tested a couple of years ago. I am going to get tested again in a couple of weeks. I find all of this stuff very fascinating because it is so scientific for something that is so hard to measure.

After my test, I biked to work and I’m going to do some time on the trainer tonight. I’m loving the Vega protein powder these days! L and I drink it in the morning.

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