Metrics That Matter: VO2 Max

Many fitness assessments focus on aesthetic goals. And that's totally cool! It's healthy to want to look good. But I also recommend tracking metrics that measure health and performance. One of my favorites is the VO2 max.

VO2 max, or maximal oxygen consumption, refers to the maximum amount of oxygen that an individual can utilize during intense or maximal exercise. This measurement is generally considered the best indicator of cardiovascular fitness and aerobic endurance. The more oxygen a person can use during high level exercise, the more energy a person can produce. This test is the gold standard for determining cardiorespiratory fitness because the muscles need oxygen for prolonged aerobic exercise, and the heart must pump adequate amounts of blood through the circulation to meet the demands of aerobic exercise.

What can the VO2 max tell us?

VO2 max testing identifies the heart rate at which your body is optimized to burn fat. You will also identify your carbohydrate-burning zones vs fat burning zones.

Proper training at your VO2 max improves your body’s power grid. It strengthens your heart, improves blood flow and metabolism, and makes your muscles more efficient. Your VO2 max itself also increases. In the images below you can see by leveraging the data from the VO2 max test I increased mine from 46.7 (“excellent”) in August 2017 to 50.3 (“superior”) in April 2019. Through strategic cardio training I made my heart and lungs stronger.

VO2 max is also a reliable health and longevity indicator. Lower VO2 max scores can mean lower energy levels and higher risk of certain diseases.

Where can you get your V02 max tested?

My clients can visit any DexaFit location to have their V02 max and several other important assessments measured. If you tell them you are my client you will get discounted pricing. Contact my colleague Michael Bonella ( to schedule.