# VO_2 Max – The maximum amount of oxygen your body uses while exercising as hard as you can

### (Pronounced vee-oh-too max)

The way to remember the meaning of VO_2 Max is to consider the following:

VO is the start of volume

O_2 everyone knows is oxygen

Max is the start of Maximum

So, VO_2 Max = volume, oxygen, maximum

or:

VO_2 Max is the maximum volume of oxygen your body uses (while exercising as hard as you can).

To find your VO_2 Max you would need to visit a special centre/testing lab. You'll put a mask over your face that captures the amount of oxygen in your breath. While wearing the mask, you'll run on a treadmill as intensely as possible.

The higher the individual's VO_2 Max, the better aerobic fitness they have.

There are two types of VO_2 Max:

Absolute VO_2 Max. Your absolute VO_2 Max is simply the amount of oxygen you breathe in litres per minute.

Relative VO_2 Max. Relative VO_2 Max measures the amount of oxygen you breathe per kilogram of bodyweight.

Example

1/  David weighs 100kg and has a VO_2 Max of 4000ml/min

Therefore David's relativeVO_2\text{ Max}=\frac{4000}{100}\text{ = 40ml/kg/min}

2/  Sarah weighs 57kg and has a VO_2 Max of 2500ml/min

Therefore Sarah's relative VO_2\text{ Max}=\frac{2500}{75}\text{ = 44ml/kg/min}

Conclusion: Sarah is aerobically fitter than David and can sustain intense cardiovascular exercise for longer.