A VO2 max test involves intense physical exertion. Before undertaking any test of physical exertion, consider if the test would be safe for you to perform by undergoing a physical activity questionnaire.
If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the included questions, consult your doctor before undergoing physical performance testing. You can estimate your VO2 max without undergoing testing using this method.
There are two ways to calculate your VO2 max using a treadmill (you can also perform these outdoors):
Rockport Fitness Test
To perform this test you’ll need to know your current weight, and have a heart rate monitor handy. Make sure to warm up first, then perform the following test:
- Walk 1 mile (1.6km or 4 laps of a 400m track)
- Time the walk with a stopwatch
- Record your max heart rate immediately after finishing
To calculate your VO2 max, you can use this online calculator.
The second method is the Maximal Heart Rate Estimation:
If you know your resting heart rate and maximal heart rate, you can calculate an estimated VO2 max from those numbers.
You can find your maximal heart rate by running the fastest pace you can hold for 3 minutes, jogging slowly for 3 minutes, then repeating the maximal 3-minute run. Note the highest heart rate reading from the second trial.
VO2max = 15.3 x HRmax/HRrest