How to Increase VO2max

How Increase VO2max

Why increase VO2max?

VO2Max is a measure of endurance, representing the ability to use oxygen to produce energy in the muscle.

VO2Max can be increased by improving the cardiovascular system and capacity of the muscle to produce energy using oxygen. Training can help achieve these improvements.

Strategies to Increase VO2max

  • Long Zone 1-2 exercises at 60-85% max heart rate.

  • Boosts VO2max by 4.9 ml/kg/min on average.

  • Examples: 1.5hr run at LT1 or 2.5hr bike ride at FatMax.

  • FatMax might not suit well-trained athletes.

  • Testing provides your FatMax intensity and carbohydrate combustion rates.

  • We determine your optimal training intensity for sustained, efficient workouts.

The higher your VO2Max, the better your aerobic power, anaerobic threshold, and fat burning ability.

Endurance Training

  • Involves 3-20 minute long intervals at or above the anaerobic threshold.

  • Boosts VO2max by 7% over an 8-week program, more effective than slow distance training.

  • Example: 4x5-minute VO2max power intervals with 5-minute recovery or over-under intervals above and below anaerobic threshold.

  • We analyze lactate recovery and accumulation to optimizing interval training.

Interval Training

HIgh Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

  • Consists of short, high-intensity efforts alternated with recovery, usually less than 60 minutes.

  • Proven to increase VO2max effectively for both average and elite athletes.

  • Versatile, with routines including Tabata intervals and 40-20s, featuring active or passive recovery.

  • Example: 3 sets of ten 40s intervals at 120% of anaerobic threshold, with 20s active recovery in between.

  • Utilize testing to customize your HIIT training, optimizing for your unique fitness level and goals.

Monitor VO2max Improvements

Once you start implementing strategies to improve your VO2max, it’s important to be able to see whether they are effective. Regular VO2max testing is crucial to track progress and save valuable training time.

In person or remote test

Track VO2max improvements

Predict Future Performance

No lab visits required - utilizing INSCYD software to accurately measure VO2max. Use a power meter, GPS watch, or lactate test in your familiar training environment.

Consistent monitoring of your VO2max helps validate the effectiveness of your training strategies. Use INSCYD's performance tracking chart to observe changes and adjust your training as needed

Estimate how improvements, like a 2% VO2max increase, could impact your performance. Use INSCYD to shape your training and help you reach your goals.


Consistency is key

Patience pays off

Everyone is unique

Erratic training or long periods of inactivity can hinder VO2max improvements. VO2max declines quickly (4-14% in 2-4 weeks), and rebuilding takes 3-4 times the amount duration of the training inactivity. An aging athlete looses muscle mass twice as quickly as a young athlete.

Significant VO2max improvements take time. Start early and monitor your progress.

Don't copy training programs. Discover what works best for you.