# How to Measure Vo2 Max

Three Methods:Calculating VO2 Max Without a Fitness TestUsing the Rockport Walking Fitness TestUsing the Brigham Young University Jog Test

VO_{2} max is a measure of the maximum amount of oxygen that you use during intense physical activity.^{[1]} This measurement determines your fitness level by calculating how efficiently your cells use oxygen for energy. There are several methods you can use to measure VO_{2} max, but many require equipment such as a treadmill or a specially calibrated exercise cycle. These tests can be difficult to administer and are not suitable for all fitness levels. The quickest and easiest way to measure your VO_{2} max is to use a basic calculation or a walking/jogging test.

## Steps

### Method 1 Calculating VO_{2} Max Without a Fitness Test

- 1
**Determine your resting heart rate.**Many fitness trackers and watches come with a heart rate monitor. If you have one of these, record your heart rate while at rest (sitting down, doing little-to-no physical activity). The best time to measure your resting heart rate is in the morning before you get out of bed.^{[2]}- To determine your heart rate without a monitor, place two fingers against the artery on the side of your neck, just under your jaw. You should be able to feel your heartbeat on your fingers.
- Set a timer for 60 seconds and count the number of beats you feel. This is your resting heart rate in beats per minute (bpm).

- 2
**Calculate your maximum heart rate.**The most common way to calculate your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220.^{[3]}If you’re 25 years old, your HR_{max}= 220 -25 = 195 beats per minute (bpm).- There is some research that suggests this formula oversimplifies the calculation. You can also estimate your max heart rate with other formulas based on this research.
^{[4]}

- There is some research that suggests this formula oversimplifies the calculation. You can also estimate your max heart rate with other formulas based on this research.
- 3
**Define the simple VO**The simplest formula to calculate VO_{2}max formula._{2}max is VO_{2}max = 15 x (HR_{max}/HR_{rest}). This method is considered to compare well with other common formulas.^{[5]}- The units for VO
_{2}max are milliliters per kilogram per minute (mL/kg/min).

- The units for VO
- 4
**Calculate your VO**Using the resting and max heart rate you already determined, you can plug those values into the formula and calculate your VO_{2}max._{2}max. Let’s say you’re resting heart rate is 80 bpm and your max heart rate is 195 bpm.- Write the formula: VO
_{2}max = 15 x (HR_{max}/HR_{rest}) - Plug in the values: VO
_{2}max = 15 x (195/80). - Solve: VO
_{2}max = 15 x 2.44 = 36.56 mL/kg/min.

- Write the formula: VO

### Method 2 Using the Rockport Walking Fitness Test

- 1
**Put on your heart rate monitor.**Walk in slow circles and do light stretching for 10 minutes to warm up before starting the test. If you don’t have a heart rate monitor you can take your pulse yourself and determine the number of beats per minute by counting your heartbeat over 60 seconds. - 2
**Start your stopwatch and walk the entire distance of a 1 mile (1.6 km).**You can walk 1 mile on a treadmill or walk four times around a .25 mile (.40 km) athletic track. You want to make sure your walking track is mostly flat. Walk as quickly as possible without breaking into a jog. You should be breathing heavily, but able to speak 2 or 3 words in a row.^{[6]}- On a scale of 1 to 10 the effort should feel like a 7 or 8.

- 3
**Stop the stopwatch and check your heart rate.**After 1 mile, turn off the stop watch and immediately check your heart rate.^{[7]}If you have a heart rate monitor, record the reading. Otherwise, check your heart rate using the manual method:- To determine your heart rate without a monitor, place two fingers against the artery on the side of your neck, just under your jaw. You should be able to feel your heart beat on your fingers.
- Set a timer for 60 seconds and count the number of beats you feel. This is your resting heart rate in beats per minute.
- Continue walking, slowly, for another 5 minutes to cool down.

- 4
**Calculate your VO**VO_{2}max using the following equation:_{2}= 132.853 – (0.0769 x weight in lb) - (0.3877 x age) + (6.315 x gender) - (3.2649 x walk time in minutes) - (0.156 x heart rate). If you are male, use the number 1, if you are female, use the number 0 for the calculation.^{[8]}- For example: A 26 year-old male who weighs 160 lbs, walks a mile in 15 minutes and has a heart rate of 120 at the end.
- VO
_{2}= 132.853 – (0.0769 x weight in lb) - (0.3877 x age) + (6.315 x gender) - (3.2649 x walk time in minutes) - (0.156 x heart rate) - VO
_{2}= 132.853 – (0.0769 x 160) - (0.3877 x 26) + (6.315 x 1) - (3.2649 x 15) - (0.156 x 120) - VO
_{2}= 132.853 - 12.304 – 10.08 + 6.315 – 48.97 – 18.72 = 49 mL/kg/min.

### Method 3 Using the Brigham Young University Jog Test

- 1
**Put on your heart rate monitor.**Walk in slow circles and do light stretching for 10 minutes to warm up before starting the test. If you don’t have a heart rate monitor you can take your pulse yourself and determine the number of beats per minute by counting your heartbeat over 60 seconds. - 2
**Start your stopwatch and lightly jog 1 mile.**You can jog around a .25 mile (.40 km) track four times, or a 1 mile (1.6 km) flat surface. Jog at a steady pace and do not let your heart rate go above 180 beats per minute. Do not jog faster than 8 minutes per mile for men, and 9 minutes per mile for women.^{[9]} - 3
**Stop the stopwatch and check your heart rate.**After 1 mile, turn off the stop watch and immediately check your heart rate.^{[10]}If you have a heart rate monitor, record the reading. Otherwise, check your heart rate using the manual method:- To determine your heart rate without a monitor, place two fingers against the artery on the side of your neck, just under your jaw. You should be able to feel your heart beat on your fingers.
- Set a timer for 60 seconds and count the number of beats you feel. This is your resting heart rate in beats per minute.
- Continue walking, slowly, for another 5 minutes to cool down.

- 4
**Calculate your VO**This particular test has two different equations: one for men and one for women. Be sure to use the proper equation based on your gender._{2}max with the gender specific equation.^{[11]}- Women: 100.5 - (0.1636 x weight in kg) - (1.438 x jog time) - (0.1928 x heart rate)
- Men: 108.844 - (0.1636 x weight in kg) - (1.438 x jog time) - (0.1928 x heart rate)

## Tips

- To convert your weight to kg, multiply your weight in lb. by .45.
- If necessary, have a friend assist you by keeping track of your time as you walk or jog the track.
- Keep plenty of water on hand to remain properly hydrated.
- Some heart rate monitors have a stopwatch function that allows you to view your heart rate at the same time. You can use a strapped monitor or a strapless model.

## Warnings

- If you feel dizzy, experience pain or have difficulty breathing during the test, stop immediately.

## Things You'll Need

- Heart rate monitor with stopwatch

## Sources and Citations

- ↑ http://www.brianmac.co.uk/vo2max.htm
- ↑ https://www.healthstatus.com/health_blog/stroke-2/what-is-a-resting-heart-rate/
- ↑ http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise-intensity/art-20046887?pg=2
- ↑ http://www.brianmac.co.uk/maxhr.htm
- ↑ http://www.brianmac.co.uk/vo2max.htm
- ↑ http://www.directlyfitness.com/store/calculate-vo2-max/
- ↑ http://www.directlyfitness.com/store/calculate-vo2-max/
- ↑ http://www.brianmac.co.uk/rockport.htm
- ↑ http://www.physicaleducationupdate.com/public/345.cfm
- ↑ http://www.physicaleducationupdate.com/public/345.cfm
- ↑ http://www.physicaleducationupdate.com/public/345.cfm

## Article Info

Categories: Science