Andries Lodder biokineticist in Fourways
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V02max & Lactate Testing

Posted on February 27th, 2012 by Andries

VO2max & Lactate Testing

VO2max is the maximum amount of oxygen in milliliters one can use in one minute per kg of body weight. It is an important test for evaluating the cardiovascular capacity of an athlete and is the maximum capacity to transport and utilize oxygen during incremental exercise. It is also known as aerobic capacity, which reflects the physical fitness of a person. Highly trained athletes generally have a higher VO2 max than untrained individuals.

Lactate Threshold testing is considered to be the single most important determinant of success in endurance related activities. Training at the right intensity is important to help prevent over or under training. During the demands of high intensity exercise, the cell utilizes a substantial amount of glucose and glycogen (stored glucose). The bi-product of the glucose breakdown is lactate. This increase in lactate coincides with an increase in blood and muscle acidosis, therefore lactate is an excellent indirect marker of cellular fatigue or the “burn”.

Both VO2max and lactate turnpoint are valuable and independent physiological markers for your current state of fitness, in addition the gas analysis measurements will allow you to determine the point at which your body is using fat as the primary energy source as opposed to carbohydrates and your current economy ratings. The threshold calculations are crucial for development of accurate heart rate zones and training parameters. Utilizing the information from the VO2max and lactate tests we can identify the most appropriate training intensity and type of training for you specifically. If you would like to improve your ability to deal with lactate or to work in a zone that will primarily use fat as an energy source, this test can provide the accurate parameters needed.

Preparations for the test

Please arrive well-rested and well-hydrated. Avoid participating in any anaerobic type activities 48 hours prior to the test. Please also abstain from caffeine and medications such as decongestants until after the test is completed. Please bring own bike for more accurate results and also increasing comfort and familiarization during the test.

What’s in the results?

From the tests you will identify:

  • VO2 max (ml/kg/min)
  • Anaerobic threshold (measured by gaseous exchange)
  • Lactate threshold and lactate turnpoint
  • Energy usage for any given heart rate
  • Fuel mixture for any given heart rate
  • Oxygen consumption at a range of exercise intensities
  • Calculation of training zones

Following the test you will receive structured feedback and training suggestions which can be integrated into you regular program