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 max: maximum oxygen consumption, is the maximum volume of oxygen that the body is able to metabolize per unit of time.

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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, VO2 max becomes a good predictor of success in endurance tests such as Rockport test, although it is not the only determining factor.

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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 Cooper Test. This method is especially useful if you are looking for calculate your VO2max in a fast and effective way

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

If you are interested in learning more about how the Cooper Test can help you calculate your VO2max, we recommend that you read our detailed article about the Cooper Test.


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

It is an excellent alternative to the Cooper Test and is especially useful for those interested in Rockport test. Additionally, you can consult a VO2 max by age table to understand how this value changes with age

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.


For those looking for a more dynamic assessment, the Course Navette Test could be the ideal option. This method is more complex but provides an accurate estimate of the VO2 max

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.

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

VO2 tables Max

Once the VO2 max has been found by any of the previous methods, you can consult the following VO2 Max tables to establish what physical condition you are in based on your VO2 max.

VO2 Max Table by Age for Athletes

This table is designed specifically for athletes and athletes, offering an estimate of the VO2 max values ​​that could be expected in individuals with a high level of physical fitness.

As in the general table, VO2 max is measured in ml/kg/min.

It is crucial to understand that these values ​​are approximate and may vary depending on the sporting discipline, training level and other health factors.

Age (years) VO2 Max Men Athletes (ml/kg/min) VO2 Max Female Athletes (ml/kg/min)
18–25 55–70 50–65
26–35 50–65 45–60
36–45 45–60 40–55
46–55 40–55 35–50
56–65 35–50 30–45
65+ 30–45 25–40

By Age and Gender general population

Age (years) VO2 Max Men (ml/kg/min) VO2 Max Women (ml/kg/min)
20–29 49–55 43–48
30–39 45–51 39–43
40–49 41–45 35–40
50–59 37–41 31–35
60–69 33–37 27–31
70+ 29–33 23–27

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