VO2 MAX Testing

The VO2 MAX test gives you the best possible measure of your overall cardiovascular fitness and efficiency.

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A man on a treadmill undergoing vo2 max testing with accompanying vital metrics
VO2 MAX Testing

The VO2 MAX test gives you the best possible measure of your overall cardiovascular fitness and efficiency.

4.9 star trustpilot score for my vital metrics Vo2 Max Testing Service
A man on a treadmill undergoing vo2 max testing with accompanying vital metrics
An athletic woman undergoing Vo2 Max Testing with accompanying vital metrics

What is VO2 Max Testing?

Vo2Max is a shortening of the Maximum (Max) Volume (V) of Oxygen (O2) which your body can process when you are exercising at the limits of your ability.

The higher the amount of Oxygen you can process the fitter you are and the better adapted to cardiovascular training.

How does VO2 Max Testing work?

As you increase the intensity during an exercise session, the number of calories you are burning will increase as well, as you are consuming more Oxygen (see the section on RMR testing). However, your body will only allow consuming a certain volume of oxygen per minute, and this will depend on how much you train in that range. The more high intensity or longer exercise sessions you do, the greater the volume your body will allow.

There comes a point where you can increase the exercise intensity (for a short time) but the body will simply not process any more oxygen. This is the point at which you’ve reached your VO2 Max.

What is VO2 Max Testing?

Vo2Max is a shortening of the Maximum (Max) Volume (V) of Oxygen (O2) which your body can process when you are exercising at the limits of your ability.

The higher the amount of Oxygen you can process the fitter you are and the better adapted to cardiovascular training.

How does Vo2 Max Testing work?

As you increase the intensity during an exercise session, the number of calories you are burning will increase as well, as you are consuming more Oxygen (see the section on RMR testing). However, your body will only allow consuming a certain volume of oxygen per minute, and this will depend on how much you train in that range. The more high intensity or longer exercise sessions you do, the greater the volume your body will allow.

There comes a point therefore where you can increase the intensity (for a short time) but the body will simply not process any more oxygen. This is the point at which you’ve reached your VO2 Max.

An athletic woman undergoing Vo2 Max Testing with accompanying vital metrics

What is the testing procedure?

Unlike Dexa Scans & Resting Metabolic Rate Tests, VO2 Max Tests require the participant to push themselves. At My Vital Metrics, because of the practicalities of the lab, we perform Submaximal tests. A true maximal test would have you reaching your absolute limit, and would frequently then result in you either passing out, vomiting, or both.

Come to your test ready for exercise. We will put a mask over your face which will ensure that all your exhaled air goes into a tube and into the machine. We will then get you starting to exercise on the machine, steadily increasing in intensity, until such time as we have sufficient data. We will then get you to cool down gradually and rest.

What do I get at the end of the test?

We will provide you with a detailed report showing you just how your body reacts to exercise, and we will help you understand your results. This will include the energy mix of carbohydrates and fat you are burning at any given intensity, and of course your Vo2 Max figure.

How long is a VO2 Max test?

VO2 Max Testing itself takes up to 20 minutes. It will take some time to get the equipment set up, and for us to fit your mask, and go through the questionnaire and health screening. After that we will spend some time going through the results. Allow a full hour in total.

What equipment is used for a VO2 Max Test?

A VO2Max test can be administered on either a stationary bike or a Treadmill.

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Why would I want to do a VO2 Max test?

There might be situations where you need to do this test. Certain professions like working on an oil rig, or becoming a diving instructor will require a minimum VO2 Max score which is independently tested – we are able to perform these tests in this scenario.

Other than that the VO2 Max and the associated report can help a lot with training for cardiovascular type events, such as marathon and triathlon training. You can get a real understanding of how fit you are, how much of a journey you have to go on, how safe it is to push to certain levels of effort and a whole lot more.

How do I read my VO2 Max results?

The first part of your VO2 Max results looks like this. Here you can see a number of things:

You can see in the first row what heart rate you were at at the start of the test, and when you hit your Aerobic Threshold, Anaerobic Threshold, and your actual measured peak heart rate on the test. It also projects what your peak heart rate would be when you hit your VO2 Max.

The second row shows the Volume of Oxygen being processed by your body when you hit each of the milestones described above.

The last row tells you how many calories per hour you are burning at each of the milestones.

VO2 MAX TEST RESULTS
  Start Aerobic Threshold Aerobic Threshold Peak Extrapolated VO2 Max
Heart rate 78 126 160 175 189
VO2
(ML/KG/MIN)
5.3 23.1 34.0 43.7 52.4
KCALS/HR 156 678 1,028 1,325 1,587
VO2 MAX TEST RESULTS
Start Aerobic Threshold Aerobic Threshold Peak Extrapolated VO2 Max
Heart rate 78 126 160 175 189
VO2
(ML/KG/MIN)
5.3 23.1 34.0 43.7 52.4
KCALS/HR 156 678 1,028 1,325 1,587

How intense is the test?

The test will take you to very close to your maximal intensity at the end. While it is still technically a sub-maximal test, it will be very strenuous. You will also likely get get sweaty. 

Returning to the office immediately afterwards might not be a great idea, but if you do have somewhere to be, please do make use of our shower facilities afterwards to shower off. Please bring your own towel and toiletries if you’d like to do this.

How much does a VO2 Max test cost?

We keep our pricing as easy to understand as possible. For a full schedule of prices for all tests/scans and memberships, please click here, but the basic pricing is to the right:

Number of tests Cost Validity Period
1 Scan/Test £135 3 months
2 Scans/Tests £235 12 months
3 Scans/Tests £325 12 months
4 Scans/Tests £385 12 months

The main graph of your VO2 Max test will show you how much fat and how much carbohydrate you are burning at different heart rates.

The purple bars are fats, the yellow bars are carbohydrates. As you can see, as you increase heart rate you are progressively burning more calories, and more of them from carbs.

By analysing your particular pattern, we can suggest the best zones for you to train in to make the body more efficient, and get the best bang for your cardio buck.

A graph from a VO2 Max test showing how much fat and how much carbohydrate you burn at different heart rates.

Who can take a VO2 Max Test?

 

Unfortunately, because of its intensity, we do not agree to do a VO2 Max with everyone. to the right is a list of conditions which would disqualify you from doing it unless you have a doctor’s letter specifically allowing you to partake in a maximal exercise test.

Aside from these conditions, however, the VO2 Max is not for the faint of heart, and we would only suggest it if we think the stats would really benefit the customer.

If you answer yes to any of the below, the VO2 Max test may not be performed. If in doubt – please email us, or use the WhatsApp contact button in the bottom right of each page

Do you have any diagnosed cardiovascular disease, including cardiac, peripheral vascular, or cerebrovascular diseases?

Do you have any diagnosed pulmonary disease such as Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis

Do you have any diagnosed metabolic disease, including Diabetes mellitus (type I or II), thyroid disorders, renal or liver disease
Have you experienced unusual pain or discomfort in your chest (pain due to blockage in coronary arteries of the heart)?
Have you experienced unusual shortness of breath during moderate exercise (such as climbing stairs)?
Have you had any problems with dizziness or fainting?
When you stand up, or sometimes during the night, do you have difficulty breathing?
Do you suffer from swelling of the ankles (ankle edema)?
Have you experienced a rapid throbbing or fluttering of the heart?
Have you experienced severe pain in your leg muscles during walking?
Has your doctor told you that you have a heart murmur?
Have you felt unusual fatigue or shortness of breath with usual activities?
Are you taking any medications which affect your heart rate or breathing?

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