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VO2 Max seperates pros from amatures?(19 posts)

VO2 Max seperates pros from amatures?QUiTSPiNiNArOuND
Sep 8, 2002 5:22 PM
So what i get from reading vO2 max articles is that your only as good as your VO2 is? So no matter how hard i try i might not be better than another person who trains just as much as i do, who has a higher VO2 max?

So lets say i have a VO2 max of 40. Does that mean that it wont go up much? I don't have the potential to race? I just find it discouraging to work so hard if i really get no where...can someone clear this up for me

Genetics is a Heartbreaker
A couple of things:VO2_max
Sep 8, 2002 5:42 PM
* you can increase your VO2 Max as much as 18% depending on how trained you were at the start.
* VO2 max may not be the ultimate indicator of fitness although almost every elite athlete (cardio based sport) has a "super human" VO2 max with out any exceptions that I have ever heard of.
*At most levels (club rides, amateur races, etc, its not just the VO2 max but the ability to work at a high percentage of your VO2 max for extended periods of time- and that you can train your body to do better - that will detremine your place in a race.

*you can also raise your lactate (or anaerobic threshhold) threshhold a lot through training. This is very changeable.

As lance and Carmichael always say champions are born - but a club rider who slays everyone through hard work can be made.

More reading can be found on the web:

You can ride with me ...Humma Hah
Sep 8, 2002 6:21 PM
... I know I'll never be a racer, and VO2-max is part of the reason.

I'm not fast, I've never been fast, and I never EXPECT to be fast. However, I've got endurance that's not half bad, and could probably ride a few of the racers in this forum into the ground on century-plus rides.

Part of competition is finding out what you're good at. Armstrong may be fast, but he's a lousy bulls%$!er (he's WAY to modest in interviews). I'll whup his ass in that department ANY day.
re: VO2 Max seperates pros from amatures?craigg
Sep 8, 2002 6:30 PM
Interesting response from Jason.

I've been going to a gym about 4 times a week and riding about 100kms to commute during the week. Weekend roadbike rides are about 70-90 kms once a weekend.

I found when I started at the gym in Nov last year, the exercise bike test came up with a V02 Max (MOU) setting of 38. I have been testing myself on the same bike every 3-4 months for a relative check and have improved to 59 and then the latest reading was 69.

While the actual figure may be false (I'm 39 and while I'm feeling fit I'm no olympic athlete !).

The change from 39 to 69 in a year is much more than the 18% suggested.

So maybe you should be a little more upbeat !

The 18% + - is an average often quoted in ex phys texts.Old_school_nik
Sep 9, 2002 6:02 AM
..I didn't mean to sound downbeat - I was trying to be upbeat actually in saying VO2 max may not be the most important thing.

Just to give you some ranges for 40-50 year old MALE :

completely untrained person 36 ml/kg per min
active 46
trained 52
elite 60+

World class would be 65+ in that age ranege

World class for 18-22 year old is 80+
world class 80+

Additionally, that bike test is estimating your VO2 max by taking your HR and extrapolating where your max would be based on your increasing HR ( I hope it is at least measuring your HR to give the VO2 max)

A better way to measure your HR that some clubs (and universities)do is to actually measure your expired air.. woops better gat back to work - if you have any more Vo2 max questions post em - I have to put that Masters in Exercise Phys to work again!

OK how does altitude affect VO2ozone
Sep 9, 2002 7:03 AM
I have a VO2 question. How does altitude affect your VO2 max. I had my VO2 tested in a lab setting (64). The lab is at 6000ft and I wonder how that effects the numbers compared to a lab a sea level. I was a little disappointed that it was not higher but everyone keeps saying that it is pretty good for 6000ft
OK how does altitude affect VO2No_sprint
Sep 9, 2002 12:30 PM
That is very good. I don't remember the exact values however, only the likes of Lemond, Mercx and Armstrong are 70+. I'll try to dig up those numbers. 35 here and a clinic tested 59 ml/kg.
LeMond charted a 94ripSRV
Sep 9, 2002 2:05 PM
Miguel Indurain was considered a freak when he registered a max of 84. I don't know what Eddie did. A young Cassius Clay was above 90.

I heard a rumor that only one VO2 has ever been recorded higher than LeMond's. I don't remember if it was a runner, skiier, or motocross rider. I think it was the motocross guy; a rather unlikely candidate.

Would be interesting to see what Tiger Woods could do. I'm guessing he would surprise a lot of us cyclists. When he was at Stanford, they tested all enrolled athletes and he was the STRONGEST, pound for pound. I would put him into the same category of greatness as LeMond, Merckx, Michael Jordan, and Ali.

IMHO Armstrong doesn't make that list.

Armstrong fans get out the flamethrowers; I'm ready to be grilled.
Sep 9, 2002 2:13 PM
Why the heck would an Armstrong supporter flame upon finding out he doesn't have overwhelming natural talent? That just means he wins based upon superior training, dedication, and pure toughness. I'd take him anyday over a slower but gifted rider.

I agree - although Lance has unhuman physiology from what IOld_school_nik
Sep 10, 2002 2:58 AM
read. Both his VO2 max (85 ml/kg/min)and his body's ability to process lactic acid is unparalled. I remember seeing some data on a lactate samples from Lance (pre cancer) and it was like he had 5 cups of baking soda in his veins - that is, his blood just bufferred everything back to normal, - lactic acid never builds up in that guy + everything Doug said in his post is true as well. Trains like madman, mentally tough,

Lance's VO2 is 85.(nm)James
Sep 9, 2002 9:07 PM
didn't carmichael say Lance had highest vo2 he had ever measuredOld_school_nik
Sep 10, 2002 2:50 AM
I thought that was in Lance book?

altitude affect VO2 - 64 is v. good dude!Old_school_nik
Sep 10, 2002 2:49 AM
At altitude the PP (partial pressure of O2 is much less than at sea level) - so you get a poorer exchange in the alveoli in your lungs - and since VO2 measure the rate of o2 you process - you would process less - so measuring VO2 at altitude would not be the best place for it - but alas if you are saying you measured 64 ml/kg/min at 6000ft that is very very good - if you are above 30 I would say of the top of my head 95th % or better- if you are above 45 I hate to tell you this but, you might have missed your calling and all thoses years slaving away at your full time job could have been replaced by trips to exotic European locales and kisses from Podium girls ets...but I digress

Sep 10, 2002 4:57 AM
I never quite understood why VO2 was lower at altitude. I do ok racing 33 year old semi-pro mtber but I don't know about 95th%.
The 18% + - is an average often quoted in ex phys texts.craigg
Sep 10, 2002 12:25 AM
I agree with your views on V02 Max.

The main thing for me is the relative improvement. The V02 Max numbers coming off the gym exercise bike I use are I believe inflated (I do not believe at 39, I'm a V02 Max 69 -> no way).

What's important for me is using the same bike and test every 4 months or so to check improvement.
VO2 Max seperates pros from amatures?tao
Sep 8, 2002 6:55 PM
Some say that VO2 max is the best indicator of a top cyclist.

While some say that LT (lactic threshold) is the best indicator of a top cyclist.

Still others argue that power (watts) at LT is best.

But all seem to agree that having all three at over 99% of the general population IS a good recipe for a top cyclist. All are based on genetics but all can be improved with training, so keep riding!
Beat them at your gamechazman
Sep 8, 2002 8:11 PM
Humma Hah hit the nail on the head with his quote "Part of competition is finding out what you're good at."

I've been lifting weights since I was 13 and still weigh only 130 lbs! I friend of mine never lifted a weight in his life and walked into my gym and bench pressed way more than I can (I can press 225lb). I never ran a day in my life until I was 34. At 35 I won my age group in a half marathon.

Participate in sports and activities you love. For extra fun, compete in games you are really good at. Maybe an ultra moutain bike race is in your future?
my motto: if you can't go faster, go further nmDougSloan
Sep 9, 2002 2:01 PM
Thanks for the replys, i feel a lil better (NM)QUiTSPiNiNArOuND
Sep 9, 2002 6:35 PM