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What is VO2 Max and why is it important?

VO2 max is the highest rate of O2 use that can be achieved at maximal exertion; in other  words, the maximum amount of O2 that your  body can extract or utilize.

For the general population, VO2 max will  predict general performance for endurance  activity. After the age of 30, if activity level  stays constant, VO2 max will decrease about  1% per year regardless of fitness level. It’s  important to note that elderly people require  a VO2 max of around 20 ml/Kg to remain  independent. A well structured program can  bring most people to this level of fitness within  three months, while a six month well structured  and individualized program can increase VO2  max by about 20%.

To improve your VO2 max, you need to do  cardiovascular training to improve Stroke Volume (the volume of blood pumped from the heart each beat) and to improve your muscles ability to extract and utilize the oxygen they receive.

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