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VO2max with Gas Analysis

Athletes who excel in endurance sports generally have a high aerobic capacity or VO2max.  It is not the sole determinant of endurance performance but it is considered a fundamental measure of physiologic functional capacity for exercise.  If you want to be a top endurance athlete you don’t have to have the top VO2max score but you at least need to be in the high VO2max club.

The maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) recorded for competitors in distance running, swimming, cycling and cross country skiing is typically twice that of sedentary men and women.  Research also tells us that a VO2max below the 20th percentile for age and sex usually reflects a sedentary lifestyle and is associated with an increased risk of death from all causes.

The measurement of VO2max with gas analysis is considered the gold standard for accuracy.  The calibration with our system allows for a 3 percent margin of error.

Lactate Threshold is also provided as part of the results.  Our methodology includes the use of ramp protocols (ie. a very gradual increase in workload over time) which allows us to pick up significant changes in your physiology and assess where the threshold point occurred.  Some people prefer to get this measurement straight from blood and we can offer this as another service.  Knowing this threshold point is important as it tells you how much of your potential you are tapping into.  For a world class marathon runner this could be 90 percent of VO2max.  For a novice runner this could be 70 percent.

Our lab allows for testing on the Velotron Cycle Ergometer which provides power (watts) readings which has a 1.5 percent margin of error.  We can also test you on our Trackmaster Research Treadmill.

Endurance athletes will also know that lactate threshold is another strong indicator of performance.  Elite cyclists for example can obtain a lactate threshold which is greater than 80 percent of their VO2max.  From a health perspective, if an individual had a lactate threshold lower than 40 percent of VO2max there may be some underlying dysfunction or disease taking place.  Considerations could include anaemia, heart or lung disease, or pulmonary disease.

Allow 60-90 mins for the entire process and this includes the presentation of results.  The exercise part is less than 15 minutes.

Preparation Notes – to get the most from the test, it is best not to exercise for 24 hours prior to the test.  We also recommend that you avoid food and caffeine 3 hours prior to the test.  Water is fine.  If you are coming for a bike test, let us know what pedals you will need (eg. Look Keo, SPD, Shimano etc).  We have them all here.  Just bring your cycle shoes and cycle shorts.  If it is a treadmill test, just bring your running gear.

Cost $172.50 (incl GST)

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