fit.test: the importance of estimating VO2peak

fit.test: the importance of estimating VO2peak

Aerobic fitness (VO2max) is more than about fitness: it is about health too.

Aerobic fitness (VO2max) is more than about fitness: it is about health too. VO2max is the maximum amount of oxygen that your body can use per minute and is the main measure of aerobic fitness. VO2max is also a very important measure of health, especially cardiorespiratory health or the health of your heart and lungs.

VO2max combines into a single number the ability of the (i) lungs to bring in fresh air (oxygen), (ii) blood to carry oxygen from the lungs to the heart (iron stores, haemoglobin), (iii) heart to pump blood (carrying oxygen) to the muscles via the (iv) blood vessels and (v) muscles to transport and use oxygen to produce aerobic energy for exercise. VO2max is a bit like a chain: it is only as strong as the weakest link. To have a high VO2max, all five links in the chain below need to be working well. You only need one bad link in the chain for VO2max to fall. This is why VO2max is such a strong indicator of overall health, especially for the heart and lungs.

How is aerobic fitness (VO2peak) measured? See pictures below.

Unfortunately the gold standard is expired air collection and analysis, requiring expensive laboratory equipment, highly trained staff and the need for clients to attend specialised facilities.

Fortunately it is possible to estimate VO2peak using predictive equations known as algorithms, based on just a few easy measures and very simple equipment: this is what fit.test is designed to do!

Key Points

·VO2max is a measure of health as well as fitness

·Very few exercise professionals measure or estimate VO2max for their clients

·It is easy to estimate VO2max and even submaximal VO2 using algorithms: fit.test is designed to do this!

·It is not possible to prescribe aerobic exercise safely or effectively without knowing VO2max: fit.test is designed to do this!

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