3 ways to calculate our VO2 max

The VO2 max will be a good predictor of success in endurance tests, although not decisive

El VO2 maxthe maximum oxygen consumption, is the maximum volume of oxygen that the body is able to metabolize per unit of time.

This value is usually expressed in values ​​relative to weight, dividing the absolute value by the weight of each subject, represented by ml / kg / min, although it can also be expressed in absolute values, expressed in L / min.

What is VO2 max useful for?

This value is a good scale to measure the state of form and aerobic capacity of people, given that the greater the amount of oxygen that is transported to the muscles per unit of time, the better performance the subject can have.

Therefore it will be a good predictor of success in endurance tests, although not determinant, since many other factors influence the practice of the activity.

The VO2 max, and therefore the aerobic capacity, will decrease with age from 25-30 years, but a trained person who carries out resistance activities regularly will be able to reduce that fall in a large quantity and will achieve much higher oxygen consumption values ​​than a sedentary person.

It is advisable that find the value of VO2 max our fitness is acceptable and relatively stable, because if we perform the tests to know our VO2 max after a period of inactivity or before starting to train it is likely that in a few months the VO2 max does not have much to do with the initial.

Methods to calculate our VO2 max:

There are several ways to calculate our VO2 max, however the most effective way is to do it through direct methods, as are the stress tests.

But in this article we will take a look at 3 different tests of indirect methods that will allow you to calculate it


One of the simpler and more reliable tests to estimate our VO2 max is through the Zooper Test.

A maximum test of 12 minutes should be performed, where the subject should try to travel as far as possible during those 12 minutes. The terrain must be level and there must be no obstacles so that the results are not distorted by these conditions.

Once the test is done and the distance in meters has been obtained, the following equation must be carried out to find our VO2 max:

  •  VO2 max = 0,0268 x Distance (m) -11,3

For example, if when performing the test the result is 2500 m, our VO2 max would be the following:

  • VO2 max = (0,0268 x 2500) - 11,3 = 55,7 ml / kg / min


This method will be used for people with less physical condition than are unable to endure 12 min followed by running.

You must complete the distance of one mile (1.609 m) but you can only walk fast, without being able to run throughout the route, taking into account the heart rate and the time used to complete this distance.

Once these variables are obtained, the following equation will be made to obtain the VO2 max:

  • VO2 maximum = 132,6 - (0,17 x PC) - (0,39 x Age) + (6,31 x S) - (3,27 x T) - (0,156 x FC)

PC: Body weight. S: Sex (0: women, 1: men). T: Time in minutes. HR: Heart rate.


In this last test you have to have a recording of special audio that sets the pace of the race in the different series that make up the test.

The subject must move from one point to another located 20 m away. making a U-turn to the rhythm set by the audio recording.

This sound signal will progressively accelerate. The subject must perform the test until he can no longer complete the distance in the time marked by those signals.

YouTube video

To find the VO2, the last series that could be completed will be taken into account, resulting in the speed obtained. And once we have this data the following equation will be applied:

  •  VO2 Max = 5,857 x Speed ​​(Km / h) - 19,458

Once the VO2 max has been found by any of the previous methods, we can consult the following graphs to establish in what physical condition we are based on our VO2 max:

V02 Max tables

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