Tri-Wissen: VO2max verständlich erklärt

VO 2 max - every athlete has certainly heard this term before, but what is actually behind it? Many sports watches already show the VO 2 max value. What does this number even mean, how reliable is the value and what does it say about my performance? In this article we give you a comprehensive overview of one of the most important terms in sports science.

What is VO2max exactly?

VO 2 max is one of the most important indicators for evaluating aerobic performance. It indicates the maximum amount of oxygen the body can absorb and utilize under stress. The availability of oxygen is the central element in endurance performance - without oxygen, the muscles are only able to work for a few seconds, the aerobic energy metabolism determines the long-term performance in all disciplines. The VO 2 max thus includes many physiological processes that describe the path of oxygen under stress:

  • capacity of the lungs
  • transport capacity in the blood
  • muscular utilization and metabolism in the muscle cells.

Endurance training leads to adaptation processes in the cardiovascular system, i.e. to a higher level of functioning of the organs and processes. The totality of these processes is then expressed in the VO 2 max value. The higher the value, the greater the aerobic capacity of the athlete, ie endurance performance can be maintained at a higher level of exertion over a longer period of time.

What does the abbreviation VO2max stand for?

VO 2 max is an abbreviation – consisting of V for volume, O 2 for oxygen and max for maximum: the body's maximum oxygen uptake. The number, which can often also be seen on your sports watch, describes the " relative VO2max ", because only this value ensures comparability between athletes:

rel. VO2max = mlO 2 /min/kg , i.e. milliliters of oxygen per minute per kilogram of body weight. The volume is set in relation to the body weight, since more body mass also increases the absolute absorption capacity. Consequently, the relative VO 2 max - not the absolute - is given as a standardization for better comparability and more meaningfulness with regard to endurance performance.

What is a good value for VO2max?

For "untrained" people, the average VO 2 max is:

  • Females ~ 35 mL/min/kg
  • Men ~ 40 mL/min/kg

Endurance training causes VO 2 max to improve significantly:

  • Hobby and recreational athletes ~ 45 - 55 ml/min/kg
  • performance-oriented amateurs > 55 ml/min/kg
  • Competitive athletes ~ 65-80 ml/min/kg
  • World class > 80 ml/min/kg

In women, these values ​​are about 10% lower overall.


Also interesting


How is VO2max calculated?

The VO 2 max is calculated using the following formula:

VO2max = HMV x AVO2D

What sounds complicated is actually very simple . Cardiac minute volume (HMV) indicates how much blood is pumped through the circulatory system per minute. HMV is the product of heart rate (HR per minute) and stroke volume (SV), i.e. the amount of blood transported per heartbeat. So: HMV = HR x SV.

AVO 2 D stands for the arteriovenous oxygen difference. To explain: The oxygen-rich blood gets through the arteries to the working muscles, the oxygen is metabolized there in the muscle cells, the "used up", oxygen-poor blood then flows back into the veins. The AVO 2 D thus indicates how well the body is able to bind the "fresh" oxygen in the blood, transport it and convert it into the mitochondria (= power plants of the muscle cells). The greater the difference, the better the utilization of the existing O2 potential, the greater the arteriovenous difference.

For our VO 2 max formula this means: the higher our heart rate, our stroke volume and our arteriovenous oxygen difference, the greater our VO 2 max! These maximum values ​​are therefore reached under load.

How is VO2max measured?

Many heart rate monitors now have a VO2max display, but this is "only" calculated on the basis of the existing data (HF / HFvar). The more data (i.e. the more regularly recorded training units) the system has, the more precisely the value can be calculated. However, if you want to determine the VO 2 max precisely, there is only one option: spirometry performance diagnostics. As part of a spiroergometry, the respiratory gases are measured and analyzed during a performance test. The diagnostics can be carried out sport-specifically for cycling or for running (note: VO 2 max values ​​for cycling and running are usually not identical). In addition to measuring the VO 2 max, statements can also be made about the aerobic and anaerobic energy metabolism, performance thresholds and other physiological stress parameters. This enables an exact determination of the individual training areas for cycling or running.

Why is that important?

As already described above, the goal of endurance training is to evoke adaptation processes in the cardiovascular system. Training areas serve to influence various functional processes in a targeted manner and to achieve specific adjustments: a long GA1 endurance run leads to different adjustments than intensive interval training in the development area.

In order to check the training progress, such a diagnosis can be repeated after approx. 10-12 weeks and the training values ​​are adjusted to the current level of performance.

Conclusion

The VO 2 max describes the functional state of the body under endurance exercise, i.e. the aerobic performance in its entirety. A higher value therefore always means an improvement in this functional state. Through variable, targeted training, the oxygen-processing systems can be significantly optimized, which leads to a higher level of endurance overall.


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6 comments

Nico

Nico

@Christoph – Ab 60 sollten Dich Dinge wie VO2max nicht mehr interessieren. Da ist man schon im letzten Abschnitt.

Roland

Roland

Hallo zusammen…
Also hier mal meine persönlichen Erkentnisse:
Alter:52
Grösse 170
Gewicht: 64 kg (vor 9Monaten noch 79 kg)
VO2max: 62
Letzter Livetest: 4,83 km, 446 hm, Mountainbike 9.5 kg, Zeit 24min 21 Sek.

Es sei gesagt, dass ich die 10 Jahre davor nicht wirklich sportlich war, sondern eher couchpotato.
Alles ist möglich, wenn man erstens den inneren Schweinehund überwindet und man einfach nur will :-)
Gemäss meiner VO2max habe ich die Fitness eines 25-30ig jährigen, hahaha
@Christoph: ein guter Wert ü 60 ist sicher 55 plus. Erreichbar aber nur durch strukturiertes Training und Ernährung. (DISZIPLIN)
@Hunziker:
Bin da nicht ganz deiner Meinung: Wer beginnt, über VO2max nachzudenken, sollte sowieso schon lange über sein Gewicht nachgedacht haben :-)
Du verstehst, was ich meine….

Hunziker

Hunziker

VO2max Werte sind etwas für nationale und internationale Hochleistungssportler, weil das Körpergewicht, resp. der prozentuale Fettanteil zum Körpergewicht eine, wenn nicht die entscheidene Messgrösse ist. Sobald man zum gewöhnlichen Hobbysportler wechselt, die normalerweise ein paar Kilo zuviel auf den Rippen haben, sehen die VO2max-Werte schnell einmal ziemlich bescheiden aus, obwohl die FTP-Vergleichswerte auf ähnlichem Nieveau sind.

Saskia

Saskia

Schade, dass die vo 2 max Werte der Frauen nicht genau aufgeführt wurden in diesem Artikel, sondern nur mit einem ungefähr 10 Prozent niedriger angegeben wurden. Es gibt viele aktive oder werdende Triathletinnen, die diese Artikel lesen und gerne auch sämtliche ausführliche Infos bekommen möchten… 😉
Lg

ich

ich

das Alter ist auch nicht ganz unwesentlich ;)

Christoph

Christoph

Meines Wissens ist der erreichbare VO2max auch altersabhängig. Was ist denn z.B. ein guter Wert Ü60?

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