VO2 max is the rate at which the heart lungs and muscles can effectively use oxygen for during exercise. This is usually measured in ml of o2/per kg body weight/per min.
Normative data varies between ages and sex.
There are several ways to test VO2 max without the need for expensive equipment. Some tests can be more accurate than others, however consistency is the key to measuring initial and ensuing vo2 max readings. It would be unwise to use the Chester step test to gain an initial reading only to use the Astrand bike test on subsequent occasions. There are of number of variables which need to be taken into account such as time of day, medication and environmental factors among others.
Step tests are an excellent way of determining vo2 max, as the test is easy, quick and requires little preparation. I also find that clients are also not anxious about the test as they can sometimes be with the multi stage fitness test or Astrand treadmill test. Another reason why I use it is because the client follows the beat of the metronome and therefore external factors such as motivation to complete the task don’t play a role. The test concludes with HR being taken and rate of recovery is measured as VO2 max
Of course team players may wish to compete in a multistage fitness or intermittent yo yo test as it is more sport specific.
There are a number of ways to determine VO2 max without the need for physical assessment for certain populations. Research has found the following equations to mimic the results of the practical tests. This is especially useful if working with large numbers of people who need to be assessed quickly or with limited trainers on hand to monitor testing.
VO2 max = 15 x (HRmax ÷ HRrest) Or
VO2 max = 3.542+ (-0.014 x Age) + (0.015 x Body Mass [kg]) + (-0.011 x Resting Heart Rate)