Can you tell me why and how to measure someone's V02?
"Why" depends upon the client and the trainer. Try to avoid testing VO2 max just because you find it interesting. Focus your testing on what's important to your client.
If you're working with competitive athletes in certain sports or with clients with cardiovascular disease. However, it may make sense to assess their VO2 max. You can use it to validate and quantify the efficacy of your training methods and to prove qualitatively that you're progressing.
The most accurate way to find out your client's VO2 max is to send them to a university physiology lab or a cardiologist.The test involves running to exhaustion on a treadmill (typically) while wearing a nose clip and breathing into a relatively uncomfortable mouthpiece.
Only the most motivated clients will put up with the combination of the equipment and working to exhaustion.
The most common tests to estimate VO2 max include:
- The Cooper 12 minute run
- The Balke 15 minute run
- The Rockport Fitness 1 mile walk
- A 1 1/2 mile run
Obviously, you only need a track and a watch for these. You can perform these tests yourself with most "apparently healthy" individuals.
For competitive runners, you can use the results of a recent 5 or 10K race to estimate VO2 max. Simply plug the race time into a VO2 max calculator, which can be found by doing a simple Internet search.
From a business standpoint, these human performance labs, wellness centers and cardiologists make great referral sources whether you specialize in working with athletes or with clients with cardiovascular diseases.
Once the subject catches his or her breath following a VO2 max test, the first question after "How did I do?" is "How can I improve that?"