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Your burning VO2 max questions answered

The Better Body Group’s Danae van den Berg is on hand to answer the questions.

Better Body Group is hugely excited about our new VO₂ Max equipment, which enables us to take fitness testing to the next level. However, there are still questions floating around about what knowing your VO₂ Max actually means, how it can benefit your training, how long to wait between tests, and many more. This article aims to clear up all commonly asked queries and get you ready to up the intensity of your endurance-based activities.

So firstly, what is your VO₂ max? It’s the result of a test that determines how much oxygen your body uses at different intensities and will provide us with an absolute value of the amount of oxygen your body uses at maximal intensity. This value can then be compared against your future tests as a reference value for your individual fitness level. What better way than to push yourself in your endurance sport than scientifically-backed testing?

What to expect:
The process involves a period of exercise so you should come appropriately dressed for running or cycling. Bring along your normal gym essentials such as a small towel and water, and we’ll do the rest! The test will last approximately 12- 25 minutes depending on fitness level.

Requirements:
What you eat before and/or during the test will impact your performance. Specifically, eating within around four hours before the test can notably impact your results. We recommend you avoid eating or drinking anything other than water or sugar-free drinks in this 4-hour window. Be aware this also includes alcohol and tobacco use.

As a further precaution, try and avoid caffeine usage the day of the test. (Danae’s personal and only semi-joking recommendation: book your test first thing in the morning, life is too short to not drink your coffee.) Lastly, to ensure you’re fully prepared, refrain from extensive exercise or training in the day before your test.

Length between tests:
In general, there should be enough time between repeat tests so you can complete a full training block of at least 12 weeks. This will ensure any progress from the training program will be shown in the subsequent test.

The frequency of testing is also very individual depending on your needs. For elite athletes this test may be performed more frequently to fully understand the changes during each training phase.

However, for less competitive individuals the test may be performed twice a year. This will highlight any change in fitness levels that have occurred throughout the year or during training phases.

Is there an age limit?
Not necessarily, but we recommend that younger athletes should have experience performing regular exercise if they wish to perform the test. For adults, the test is available to anyone, regardless of age or experience.

To conclude, knowing your VO₂ Max is a great way to understand and develop your fitness level, and it’s available for absolutely anyone to try!

By Danae van den Berg. For more information or any more questions, please call the friendly and expert team on 01732 451979 or email info@betterbodygroup.co.uk.

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