Your VO2 max refers to the amount of oxygen that your body uses when at maximum exertion during aerobic exercise.
We push our body to its aerobic limits in some situations - your body will utilize as much oxygen as possible to perform to its maximum capacity. Your VO2 max is a measure of how much oxygen your body uses at times like these.
To simplify it:
VO2 max = (the amount of oxygen breathed in when you inhale) minus (the amount of oxygen breathed out in when you exhale)
VO2 max can be measured in millilitres of oxygen used in one minute per kilogram of body weight (mL/kg/min).
As you can imagine, obtaining this direct measurement requires expensive laboratory equipment and trained professionals to administer the testing – resources that very few of us have access to.
In lieu of this, health researchers have developed a more practical and less costly way to estimate your VO2!
Our data analysts use the Uth-Sørensen-Overgaard-Pedersen VO2 equation that uses your maximal heart rate and resting heart rate to calculate your estimated VO2 max.
After using your heart data to estimate your VO2 max is, it is then assessed according to sex and age-specific classifications.
As a general rule, the higher your VO2 max the greater your cardiorespiratory fitness and aerobic performance. It is reported that Usain Bolt has a VO2 max of 88.2!
An interesting fact: your VO2 max and your resting heart rate share an inverse relationship. As your VO2 max increases your resting heart rate decreases.