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VO2 Max Testing
Athletes & Trainers
VO2 Max testing is a valuable tool for serious athletes to assess performance and evaluate training regimens. Even though extensive training can sometimes cause an athlete to reach a plateau,VO2 Max test results make further improvements in performance by pushing them to increase anaerobic threshold (AT) and maintain that threshold for longer periods of time. This in turn enhances both endurance and cardiovascular performance.
*The anaerobic threshold (AT) is defined as the level of exercise intensity at which lactic acid builds up in the body faster than it can be cleared away. Lactic acid buildup generally leads to muscle fatigue and soreness. Vigorous effort can be sustained for an extended duration at exercise intensity levels below the anaerobic threshold.
What is VO2 Max Testing?
Many people are inefficient exercisers, with no understanding of what specific heart rate, intensity or duration would best help them reach their specific goals such as fat burning, endurance training, or cardio conditioning. An initial VO2 Max test can clarify the specific target heart rates that will enable each individual to reach their fitness goals more effectively, with less fatigue and fewer injuries.
A VO2 Max Test is a measurement that reflects a person’s ability to perform sustained exercise. It is generally considered the best indicator of cardiovascular fitness and aerobic endurance. The actual measurement is “milliliters of oxygen used in one minute per kilogram of body weight.” It is suitable for a wide range of individuals, from sedentary individuals to elite athletes.
VO2 Max testing gives you precise heart rate zones for optimal training sessions. You may have seen charts about your “target heart rate” while you work out. Here’s the truth—those numbers are just averages based on your age & weight. CardioCoach will measure your unique heart rate zones and guide you through the intensities necessary for you to achieve your goals. Whether your focus is on burning fat, increasing endurance, or strengthening your heart, your precise target intensity zones will help you work out smarter not harder.
How is a VO2 Max Test Performed? .....It’s as easy as 1-2-3!
1 Put on a heart rate strap and face mask.
The mask is then connected to the device.
2 Begin to exercise on a stationary device such
as a treadmill, cycle, or stair-stepper. Your trainer
will instruct you to gradually increase your intensity
over a period of 6 to 20 minutes.
3 The device will indicate when the test is completed.
You can cool down while your Target Intensity Zones
are calculated and printed in a simple, insightful report.
** To get the most out of your VO2 Max Test, be sure to refrain from exercise or training for 24-hours prior to the test. At least 3 hours before testing avoid food, tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine, and continue taking your medications as usual.
Test Preparation InstructionsTHINGS DEFINITELY NOT TO DO Do not eat or drink anything other than water, at least 3 hours before the test. This includes chewing gum. Unless you are fasted, the test results will be contaminated and it will have to be postponed to another date. If you smoke, do not smoke at least 4 hours before the test. Avoid any strenuous activity at least 24 hours before your test. We would not advise working out or going to the gym until after your assessment. THINGS TO DO It’s important to have sufficient rest before your VO2max Exercise test. Continue to take any medication as normal and only delay the timing of your medication if it’s safe to do so. If you delay, remember to bring your medication with you so you can take it after the test. It is especially important to bring your inhaler if you suffer from exercise-induced asthma. If you have any concerns about doing the test, please seek advice from your provider. If you have any metabolic conditions e.x). thyroid issues or diabetes, please ensure you bring some rapidly absorbed carbohydrates to take immediately after your test. You will be fasted pre-test, so you need to avoid the risk of hypoglycaemia. There are always risks associated with exercise and it's essential you complete our health screen prior to your test day. It's extremely important that we have your information and failure to do so may cause your test date to be postponed or cancelled.
Information about the maskThe weird, Bane-like mask is where all the magic happens and is how the machine is able to measure your oxygen intake and usage. Can I do the test without the mask on? No – the mask is how you obtain the data. It’s actually super cool – it isolates both the oxygen you take in and your carbon dioxide output and then uses a machine to measure the oxygen content. Does the mask make you feel claustrophobic? Being honest here, as someone who doesn’t like anything on my face at all, just a little bit. But only when you first put it on – I couldn’t even notice it (aside from being able to see it occasionally when I looked down my cheeks) after the initial set up. Can you breathe normally? Yes! I thought it was going to feel restricted from the looks of it, but you can breathe totally normally when you put it on and when you’re doing the treadmill or cycling portion. What does the mask smell like? Fresh,Clean, Plastic. Ever had something new made of plastic,well thats the smell. Does it pinch the face? No, It will take just a second to adjust the straps to your face(fit testing) but once we have that done, it will be fine fine! Do they clean it first? Yes,We most definitely clean it first. We have special disinfecting wipes and UV sterilzation techniques and equipment that we use to clean all our products
Exercise ExpectationsDo I have to run on a treadmill? No! but It’s definitely recommended, If you don’t want to run, just let the staff member know the point is to get you up to your max exercising ability, which may mean different things for different people.In order to get your oxygen consumption measurements, you have to exercise with the mask on for a certain amount of time, at a graduated scale of intensity, while wearing a heart rate monitor, like a Myzone belt. How long do I have to exercise for? You will be working for about 10-15 minutes, which is about the time it takes to cycle through the warm-up and increasing speeds, up to your max level of ability, this is different for everyone! Do I have to wear a heart rate monitor? What if I don’t have one? Yes, in order to get the right data, you’ll need to wear a heart rate monitor, like a Myzone belt. Don’t have one? Don’t worry! The team will have a belt for you and will help you put it on. What kind of data do I get from the test? After your test is completed, you’ll get a printable readout of your data, plus some cool charts, graphs and summaries of what it all means. Ex)I got an outline for a workout plan – basically I have to keep my heart rate under 150 to ensure I burn fat during my workouts.
Post Testing Instructions...AFTER THE TEST Because you're fasted and likely to have low blood sugar, bring something to eat or drink immediately after the test. If you have specific dietary needs, bring some appropriate snacks to consume. If you have a medical condition, please bring your medication to take immediately after the test (if required) e.x). an inhaler for exercise-induced asthma. The test results will be explained in detail and you will presented with a full analysis and review. Your report will either be printed immediately or emailed to you by the close of business .
Safety AssuranceAll of our metabolic tests are conducted by certified and insured health & fitness professionals. Latex Allergy-There is a rubber ring in the mask to support a component used to measure your breathing. This ring could rest against your lip and may be an issue if you have a latex allergy or intolerance. Claustrophobia-The mask fits snugly over your face. This may be an issue if you are claustrophobic. Cardiac Issues-Due to its very nature of the test,it places your body under increasing stress. There are inherent risks associated with exercising, which include (but are not limited to), cardiac events, stroke, breathing difficulties, joint issues and death. Fainting/Health Issues-Please be sure to bring a post exercise snack,I advise you to eat simple carbohydrates (high Glycaemic Index) after his VO2max test. At Most 10 minutes after the test, to avoid illness, and fainting. Respiratory Issues-The mask fits tightly over the face and often restricts nasal breathing, forcing you to breathe through your mouth. The tests are conducted in an air conditioned environment, which makes the air drier than normal and may irritate your throat and cause breathing issues. If you have exercise-induced asthma, please bring your inhaler and any prescribed medication. Please complete our short Health Screen before your test so we can identify any potential safety issues.