How to Calculate Relative VO2

Written by john winters
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How to Calculate Relative VO2
The Rockport Walking Test allows a person to find their VO2. (shoes image by April K from

VO2 falls under the umbrella of exercise science. VO2 is defined as the maximum amount of oxygen that the human body can utilise while exercising aerobically. VO2, also called VO2 max, is a way to not only show quantitatively the limits of the human cardiovascular system but also to serve as a way to measure individual fitness. VO2 tests can serve as an indicator for a physiological advantage in endurance oriented sports.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Flat 1.0 mile course
  • Stop watch
  • Calculator
  • Paper and pen

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  1. 1

    Find a 1-mile course on which to walk. It needs to be flat for accurate test results. A 200-meter track or a standard 400-meter track works best.

  2. 2

    Reset and start your stopwatch, then begin walking. You should walk at your fastest walking pace; do not run. The pace should be somewhat difficult as you are testing your aerobic capacity.

  3. 3

    After briskly walking the course, stop your stopwatch and record your time on the piece of paper. You will now need to make a few small calculations using your calculator to determine your relative VO2 max.

  4. 4

    Multiply your weight by 0.1692. Subtract that figure from 132.853.

  5. 5

    Subtract the number you got in the previous step from 0.3877. Multiply this figure by your age.

  6. 6

    Add 6.315 multiplied by 1 for males or 0 for females. From this figure subract 3.2649 multiplied by your time in minutes.

  7. 7

    Subtract 0.1565 multiplied by your heart rate measured in beats per minute from the previous figure to find your relative VO2 Max.

Tips and warnings

  • VO2 max (ml/kg/min) = 132.853 - 0.1692(weight in kiliograms) - 0.3877(age in years) + 6.315(gender, 1 for males, 0 for females) - 3.2649 (your time in minutes) - 0.1565 (heart rate at the end of the test)
  • VO2 max is measured in millilitres of oxygen per kilogram per minute.
  • 1 kilogram equals 2.2 pounds.
  • 1,600 meters make up a mile.
  • This test is a relative measurement. It is only an estimation.
  • Check with your doctor to make sure you are physically able to perform this test.

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