By Kevin Heine
ACSM-EPC, NBC-HWC

From podcasts, to books, to your Apple Watch, the term VO2 max is popping up all over the place. But what is it? And why should you care about it? Let me take a moment to explain in this month’s Coach’s Corner.

VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen that your body can use during exercise. Oxygen is critical in the process that creates ATP, a primary energy source for our cells. So, the greater someone’s VO2 max, the more oxygen their body is able to utilize, and the more effectively their body is able to produce energy during exercise. It’s a measurement of your cardiorespiratory fitness, and I believe that it is the best measurement we have.

Besides being the best measure of cardiorespiratory fitness, it also may be the best predictor of longevity and healthspan. Here is a great article/podcast from Peter Attia that explains the correlation between VO2max and longevity, but the TLDR version is that there is a clear correlation between fitness (as measured by VO2 max) and mortality risk. Most interesting to me is that the data tells us that going from the “low” category to the “above average” category represents about a 70% decrease in mortality rate. That’s incredible! The good news? This is totally do-able. Yes, some component of VO2 is genetic, but a very large portion of it is trainable. The more you exercise, the more your body will adapt to exercise and get better at it!

Where To Start

The first thing to do is figure out where you are. After all, you can’t measure progress without a starting point. While there are tools to estimate your VO2 max, the most accurate method is direct measurement. But you’re in luck! Fortunately, PH Performance boasts a cutting-edge exercise lab equipped with state-of-the-art VO2 max testing equipment.

When you undergo a VO2 max test at PH Performance, you not only receive your precise VO2 max measurement but also gain valuable insights such as accurate heart rate zones, information on your body’s fat-burning capabilities, and a wealth of other data. Armed with this comprehensive data, our team can work with you to develop a personalized plan that aligns with your goals, body type, and lifestyle.

Don’t wait to take charge of your cardiorespiratory health and longevity. Schedule your VO2 max test with us today, and let’s embark on a journey to a healthier, more vibrant you.

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