Tips to help you increase your VO2max and enhance your performance
VO2max, the maximal flow of oxygen that the body can convey to fulfill its needs during physical activity, is a good measure of the physical performance of an athlete. Specific training can help you improve it quickly.
What exactly is VO2max?
The greatest amount of oxygen that the body can take from the air and transfer to muscle fibers during physical exercise is referred to as VO2max. It is the athlete’s “engine” in the sense of Highly Trained Athletes. The higher it is, the faster the athlete can go while exerting the same amount of work. Knowing your VO2max provides you with a decent idea of how well you’re doing.
How can you increase your VO2max?
Factors that influence VO2max
The maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) changes with age and gender. It rises until adolescence, when increasing muscles require more oxygen, and then Genetic Potential plateaus when growth ceases. It gradually decreases beyond the age of thirty.
Women’s values are approximately 30 to 35 percent lower than men’s. This is due to a decreased level of hemoglobin, which is responsible for the fixation of oxygen on red blood cells. Physical activity causes VO2max to increase. Sedentary people have low levels, while athletes have high levels.
Training can help you increase your VO2max.
With appropriate 2-workout training, VO2max can be increased by 15 to 30%; in particular via:
- Land work, also known as fundamental endurance work or basic endurance work, consists of long periods of low-intensity exercise (60 to 75 percent of the HRmax). The number of capillaries supplying the muscles grows as a result of this training, as does the VO2max.
- Interval training is an anaerobic alactic (lactate-free) workout that consists of vigorous but short sprints followed by an equal amount of inadequate recovery time. When compared to labor, training requires double the duration of the exertion and doubling the rest time. The effort time must be kept short enough to avoid entering the anaerobic alactic zone.
This work leads to an increase in maximum cardiac output, which in turn leads to an increase in the amount of oxygen carried and, as a result, in VO2max. This is an extremely impressive method of progressing. The results may be observed as early as the first session if the activities are executed correctly. Interval exercise can help you increase your VO2max.
According to research (1), fractionation affects not just VO2max but also anaerobic capacity, unlike foundation. It is suggested that you practice both to improve your performance:
To obtain your highest capabilities, do preliminary land work that will be maintained throughout the season and work in 3 weeks or 6 session intervals. For further information, please prefer Fitness equipment to assist you to enhance your maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max).
Although you can improve your VO2max by running or cycling in the field, it is still preferable to use a piece of fitness equipment that provides better circumstances for conducting interval training.
Finding a regular ground for outside work is necessary (flat or sloped, long and regular enough to perform the exercises at the right intensity without a change of rhythm related to the ground).
The home trainer, spinning cycle, or even the treadmill are useful tools for this work and can be used in conjunction with fieldwork.
They enable you to focus on sprinting (explosive force), PMA, VO2max, strength, velocity, endurance, coordination, and threshold work effectively.
Low-intensity training will lack variety in your efforts on anaerobic capacity and VO2max, but interval training can raise both VO2max and aerobic capacity, or endurance, according to a study. The land alone boosts VO2max only marginally.
According to the findings, moderate-intensity exercise enhances peak aerobic power but not anaerobic capacity, whereas interval training improves both. These findings should be interpreted with caution: in practice, the intensities achieved are lower, and the outcomes are slower and less striking. Despite this, the study confirms the benefits of interval training in terms of lack of high-intensity efforts and VO2max.
Keep an eye out for magnesium deficiency!
Magnesium is necessary for good performance. There is a considerable decline in VO2max and thus performance when there is a shortfall. Magnesium supplementation, on the other hand, has little effect on the physical abilities of non-deficient athletes. It’s worth noting that an athlete can lose up to 30 mg of magnesium per liter of sweat when working hard (4).
In adults with moderate activity, a daily magnesium intake of 6 mg/kg of body weight is advised, with a minimum of 360 mg in adults (5). In athletes, this need is increased by 10% to 20%. As a result, it’s critical to keep an eye on your diet to avoid being deficient (read our article on magnesium and sport on this subject).
What is the purpose of measuring your VO2max and how do you do it?
VO2max is a way to not only estimate your potential performance but also to examine the influence of training on these performances and alter your training accordingly. Knowing your VO2max allows you to work out in the proper target heart rate zone, efficiently reduce fat, and even push yourself to new heights (anaerobic threshold, etc.).
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