VO2 Max Testing

New Leaf My family (after some hinting on my part) gave me a great gift for my birthday this year – a gift certificate for a full VO2 Max test. So three weeks ago I went to Peak Performance of Lynbrook, NY and went through the testing. I worked with a guy named Paul and he was extremely knowlegable and friendly. Paul put me through the testing to find out how my body utilized oxygen.

The testing used a system by New Leaf which tracked my oxygen and CO2 usage through a mask, and my heart rate. Paul doesn’t work with many marathoners, so he was excited to see what results my high mileage might yield.

For the V02 Max test, he strapped on the mask and an HR monitor, and put me on a treadmill. Over the course of 40 minutes, they slowly cranked up the speed and incline until I maxed out at 12 degrees and 10 miles/hour. This calculated the oxygen and CO2 levels at each heart rate. Here are the test results:

Max Heart Rate: 186 (I was WORKING!)

VO2 Max: 57. The VO2 Max represents your peak oxygen uptake, ie, your ability to deliver oxygen to your muscles. Paul said that my score of 57 is “very good” (see the chart), and that most people come in around 45. Overall, it looks like my body is utilizing oxygen well, but there may be some room to grow.

VO2 Max Chart

Anaerobic Threshold: 173 beats/minute. This is the point where your body starts needing to use glycogen instead of fat to process calories.

So what does all this mean? Well, as Paul explained it, the key is to be working to my maximum potential. That fact that there exists a gap between my Anaerobic Threshold (173) and my Max Heart Rate (186) means that I am not working to my full potential.

Great! So now what? Well, the follow week I went back to Peak Performance and Paul took me through a treadmill workout specifically designed for me with the goal of raising my Anaerobic Threshold. This workout is tough and left me very sweaty.

I am now in constant email contact with Paul and he sends me a new workout to do once a week for the 10 weeks. After 10 weeks, I strap the mask back on and get tested again. I am promised to see a dramatic improvement.

I am currently only 2 weeks into the 10 week program, but based on the intensity of these workouts… I am almost positive I will be seeing results. I will be sure to report back!  Smile

UPDATE:  The results are in!  Check them out here.

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8 Responses to VO2 Max Testing

  1. Fred says:

    Hello, i have a question as i take the bruce protocol test every 2 years for open heart surgery in 2002 and i can estimate my VO2 max that way and it’s a test that starts on grade 10 and increases 2 every 3 minutes as the speed increases, level 5 is 5 mph and grade 18 so it’s not as long as your test but seems to be more intense.

    What did it cost for the test if you don’t mind me asking?

    thank you,

    • jsoldo says:

      Hey Fred,

      That test does sound intense! The package I got is normally $200, but I had a coupon from a marathon that made it $150. That might seem like a lot, but it was for an initial testing, 10 weeks of custom workouts, and a final testing.

      I def. believe it was money well spent.


  2. Mr. Underhill says:

    Hi Jon, I wanted to ask you how did it go after the 10 weeks of training, how much did you anaerobic threshold improved?

    Do you know of a good way to calculate heart-rate-zones based on the information obtained in this test, I did mine today and got a lot of info but the heart-rate-zones they provided don’t seem to be good, they said its because my anaerobic threshold is too high its messing up the standard heart-rate-zone calculation. I got a VO2 max of 61.3 mL/kg/min, Aerobic Threshold ~155bpm, Anaerobic Threshold ~169bpm and Max HR ~179

    Let me know,

    • jsoldo says:

      Hello there and welcome to Running Dummy!

      The results for my testing are documented here:

      If you’d like, I can reach out to the person who conducted my tests and ask about calculating heart-rate zones. Sound good?

      • Mr. Underhill says:

        Wow, the improvement you got after those 10 weeks is impressive, I wish I can see your entire training plan for those 10 weeks, I know you answered this already to somebody else and you mentioned those were designed for your age / weight / etc, however there is value in looking at a training plan to see for example the progression thru the weeks and the variation of exercises you are doing, and someone can take that and apply to its own condition, anyways, if that is possible it will be great if you don’t mind sharing.

        As far as checking with the person that conducted your test that will be great, I found an article online which talks about this, but it will be great to compare to get a better understanding in this subject, here is the link to the article I found:


        Thanks again Jon, keep it up!

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