What is a VO2max Test?

VO2max refers to the maximal amount of oxygen consumed by our body during maximal exercise. It is also the measurement of one's present state of aerobic fitness.

This maximal test comprises of treadmill running with increasing intensity accompanied by a gas analysis conducted through an attached face mask. The test requires an 'all-out' effort on your part.

How will I benefit from the test?

Without an objective measurement of our fitness level, most of us are unsure of the right intensity at which we should be training. Training at a randomly selected intensity can lead to under-training or over-training, which may lead to reduced performance or injury.

The VO2max test provides information on:

Your current state of fitness

Your predicted aerobic and anaerobic thresholds

This information allows us to predict training zones of varying intensities to optimise your training programme and maximise your training benefits.

Who can benefit from the test?

The test is suitable for endurance athletes seeking improvement in their running performance. Due to the high intensity of the test, you should preferably be someone who is already running consistently and have achieved a certain level of fitness. As a guideline, you should have already been running at least 30 minutes, 3 times per week, for the past 12 weeks.

How will I feel during the test?

Towards the end of the test, you may experience nausea, giddiness, breathlessness and fatigue as you would have exerted maximal effort. These feelings are usually transient. You can, however, request to terminate the test at any time. If you have concerns about your health, please consult your doctor or a Sport and Exercise physician before undergoing the test. You can make an appointment to see our sports physician at the SSMC@CGH

What are the risks associated with this test?

Some of the possible risks include chest pain, allergic reactions, abnormal heart rhythm, abnormal blood pressure response, heart attack and stroke. However, the chance of this happening in an average patient is approximately 1 in 10,000.

Will I receive my report on the same day that I perform the test?

Yes, the test takes a total of 1 hour and 30 minutes with a maximum of 15 minutes running on a treadmill. Thereafter, your gaseous exchange data will be analysed. Once the analysis is done, the Exercise Physiologist will discuss the results and the training plans with you.

The procedure is as follows:

Is this pre-participation screening?

No, it is not. The VO2max test is essentially a test of endurance and does not screen for health problems. If you would like to undergo health-screening before participating in endurance sports, please see our Athlete Medical Screening Packages on our website.

How should I prepare for the test?

You should be adequately hydrated with 350ml to 500ml of liquid at least an hour before the test, and have your lunch 1-2 hours before the test. Refrain from drinking caffeine on the test day. Do not participate in any strenuous physical activity 2 days before the test as it might affect your performance during the test. Please come in sports attire, bring along your heart rate monitor and watch if you have one and bring along your identity card on your appointment date. If you do not feel well on the test day or recently recovered from a viral infection(e.g. cold, flu, fever), please call (65) 6850 1569/70 to change your test date.

Note: Doctor’s consultation is recommended if you are in doubt of your body’s condition for the VO2max test. However, this does not guarantee that you would be certified fit to take the test on the same day.

How can I make an appointment?

For further appointments and enquiries, call the SSMC@CGH at Tel (65) 6850 1569/70.