VO2 Max & Lactate Threshold Testing

Discover Your Training Zones

Discover Your Training Zones

Vo2 Max Testing at Home $275

Are you ready to turn your living room into a lab? We only work with the highest grade equipment (cosmed quark) and will bring this technology to your home.


What Does our Vo2 max test tell you?

VO2 Max

VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen we can consume during exercise. The V stands for volume, O2 (oxygen). We measure VO2 max to provide a quantitative measure of your aerobic fitness. Your VO2 max is a valuable measurement for endurance athletes and is often referred to as your “engine size.” In addition to knowing the “size of your engine,” assessment of your vo2 max on a regular basis is useful in establishing the efficacy of your current training program.

A high VO2 max is anything above 50ml/kg/min, however, elite marathon runners and cross country skiers have shown capacity above 80ml/kg/min. Interestingly this pales when compared to some endurance animals. Alaskan huskies have been observed to have VO2 max greater than 200 ml/kg/min.

Lactate Thresholds

Every VO2 max test is unique and If consider VO2 max as “engine size” think of your thresholds as how much of that engine can actually be utilized, before it overheats. Power at threshold is a strong determinant for endurance performance. We establish thresholds using both expired gas analysis and blood lactate readings. requires specialist equipment. Thus, we will be conducting individual testing, moving from venue to venue, for the duration of 2022. We will schedule a date with your facilities management to conduct all testing for athletes wishing to participate

lactate Thresholds
Fig 1 lactate Thresholds LT1 and LT2

There are two important thresholds:

  1. Aerobic Threshold or (LT1)

Your aerobic threshold (LT1) occurs when blood lactate rises above resting levels (see figure 1). At LT1 the body is utilizing some anaerobic metabolism to maintain the desired speed/intensity. However, despite lactate levels rising, lactate is dealt with efficiently and is not the cause of fatigue.

  1. Anaerobic Threshold (LT2)

Your Anaerobic Threshold occurs when lactate deviates from its current trajectory and grows exponentially (see figure 1). This growth in lactate disturbs PH and thus enzymatic reaction, causing fatigue. Knowledge of ones LT2 has advantages, particularly for race pacing strategy. As an example, lets hypothetically assume your LT2 occurs at 300watts. During the early stages of the race you may feel great, there may be a temptation to exceed an intensity greater than 300watts. However, a smarter approach would be to sit just below 300watts. should you venture beyond your threshold, lactate levels will rise quickly and inevitably your overall race will suffer, despite the short term satisfaction of increased speed.

Additionally, LT1 and LT2 are useful in program design. We will provide you heart rate and power output at these physiological points, which can then be used to establish training zones. Use this insight when developing your training program to ultimately deliver superior training adaptations.

Respiratory Compensation Point (RCP)

The RCP occurs when acidemia overtakes CO2 as the driving force behind Ventilation. The RCP usually, but not always occurs post the anaerobic Threshold and is a strong indication the test achieved a maximal exertion. When the RCP is identified during the test it is an indication lung disease is unlikely and that ventilation was not a limiting factor towards the cessation of exercise.

The RCP is identified when the Ve/VCO2 plot displays a positive inflection. as shown below (figure 2).

Respiratory Compensation Point
Figure 2 Respiratory Compensation Point

The Lowest Point On the VE/VCO2 Plot

At this point your body is most efficient at removing CO2 from the system. It is handy to know this intensity as it can be used as a recovery point. In the clinical setting, this point should be bellow 30, a test which fails to produce a result <30 is indicative of pulmonary vascular disease.

Figure 3 Lowest Point On Ve/VCO2 plot
VO2 Max Test

Finding Your VO2 Max and Anaerobic Thresholds

If you are medically suitable for the test, you will undertake a step test where intensity will increase over time until exhaustion. Should you be deemed unsuitable for the test submaximal protocols can be conducted.

At O2TESST you have the choice of completing the test on either a concept 2 rower, or utilize your own bike using the Cyclus 2 ergometer.

Please download the protocol found below before attending your test