Thursday, March 11, 2010

Free VO2 max testing at the Y for all you cardio junkies out there

An important part of getting a good workout is knowing how far you can push your body.

One way of gauging your cardiovascular endurance is through the VO2 Max Test. The test involves physical activity -- usually on a treadmill or exercise bike -- sufficient in duration and intensity to fully tax the aerobic energy system. For the purpose of testing, 'fully taxed' means reaching your maximum heart rate, which varies based on age.

The VO2 Max Test can be a very useful fitness tool, both for gauging your general health and for figuring out how far you can push yourself on workouts. The higher your VO2 max number is, the higher your cardiovascular threshold theoretically is. The number is measured in milligrams of oxygen per kilogram of bodyweight per minute. Elite athletes -- particularly runners and Nordic skiiers -- are known for having high VO2 max numbers.

A guide to VO2 max numbers and a comparison for the number between athletes and non-athletes can be found here.

So what's got me so geeked about VO2 numbers and cardiovascular endurance? Well, from March 22-26 and April 12-16, the YMCA will be offering free VO2 max testing to anyone who would like to know their cardiovascular fitness level. According to YMCA staff, the test will involve running on a treadmill for an extended period of time with the speed and incline of the treadmill increasing as time passes. A heart rate monitor will be hooked up to gauge when testers reach their max heart rate.

Anyone interested can sign up for the testing at the Life Center desk. A brief health history form will need to be completed prior to testing.

1 comment:

  1. The vo2 max test is a great way to test your fitness and improve it drastically if you train with it. Prepare to feel the burn!

    Jason from Bleep Test