What is VO2 Max?
While exercising, your body consumes oxygen to create energy. The more oxygen your body can consume, the more energy it can create. According to Healthline, “VO2 max is the maximum rate of oxygen your body is able to use during exercise.”
With every breath, our body absorbs oxygen and transforms it into ATP (adenosine triphosphate). These ATP molecules provide cells with the energy that powers many of our body’s processes. For example, muscle contractions are driven by ATP. For cardio activities especially, a higherVO2 max typically means enhanced athletic performance and increased muscle endurance. The more oxygen your body can absorb and turn into ATP, the more energy that’s available to power your workouts.
There are three main elements to VO2 max: (1) lung capacity and heart volume, (2) capillary development, and (3) muscle efficiency. All of these components are related to how your body consumes oxygen.
Having a greater VO2 max doesn’t correlate directly with going faster, but it does make it easier to go faster for sustained periods of time. It’s a useful measurement to be aware of since it can help you gauge when to push harder and when you should hold back.
How to Increase your VO2 Max
Increasing your VO2 max has multiple benefits for your health. It’s great for reducing stress levels and boosting your immune system. Plus, it makes activities like climbing stairs less exhausting. Your body can handle more activity with a greater VO2 max. The higher your max, the more you can do without feeling exhausted. Plus, VO2 max declines with age, so finding ways to maintain it can be beneficial for keeping up with activities.
Tips for Increasing VO2 Max
One way to increase your VO2 max is to incorporate high intensity interval training into your workout routine. Switching up your cardo activities in a single workout is also helpful. If you typically go for a 30 minute run, try running for 15 minutes and then ending your workout with 15 minutes on the bike.
The key is to keep challenging yourself. Once your body gets used to a particular sport or activity, it’s time to start pushing harder. Working out more often, working out longer, or going faster can help you get to the next level. Just make sure your progression happens at a realistic rate. Pushing too hard or too fast can lead to injuries.
Other Ways to Increase Athletic Performance
Increasing your VO2 max is one way to improve athletic performance, but there are other ways to overcome exhaustion/fatigue and keep progressing in your sport or activity. One of the best ways to maintain or enhance athletic performance is through better post-workout recovery. During the recovery phase, your body rebuilds damaged tissue and ultimately grows stronger. By putting in some recovery efforts, you’ll be able to keep your body fresh.
Marc Pro is a recovery tool that delivers the easiest and most effective post-workout recovery. Plus, using Marc Pro consistently will actually promote angiogenesis (new blood vessel creation), which will allow your muscles to do more work before they break down.