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The VO2max test is carried out to calculate an individual’s maximal aerobic capacity and to set suitable training zones which will help to improve performance. 

This test can be carried out on the following ergometers:

  • Treadmill
  • Cycle ergometer
  • Concept II rowing ergometer

Following the testing session, you will be provided with:

  • Resting heart rate
  • Resting blood pressure
  • Training zones based on heart rate and speed (running)
  • Training zones based on heart rate and power (cycling and rowing)
  • Absolute and relative VO2max 
  • Maximum heart rate

Who is the test for?

This test is typically aimed at athletes who are trying to improve their performance. Endurance coaches often use this test to ensure that athletes train at the correct intensities throughout their programme.

Coaches of team sports (eg, football) often use this test to ensure all players train at the correct intensities during pre-season.

What is involved?

Following a number of baseline measures (eg, heart rate), you will be provided with time to carry out a suitable warm-up. The test will start at a low intensity which will be pre-determined from initial conversations. The test will then increase in speed until exhaustion. Throughout the test, you will be required to wear a heart rate monitor and face mask.

Testing protocols can be tailored to suit your needs so if you have any specific requests, please contact us prior to booking.

What should I wear?

It is recommended that you wear your normal training kit:

Running tests:

  • Shorts
  • Running top
  • Running trainers

Cycling tests:

  • Cycling shorts
  • Cycling jersey
  • Cycling shoes (SPD, SPD-SL and Look pedals are available in the lab but please feel free to bring your own pedals if you wish)

Shower facilities will be available for your comfort after the session.

How should I prepare for the visit?

We recommend you check your own blood pressure prior to booking a test, as we cannot test anyone with a blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or above.

It is recommended that you do not take part in heavy exercise 72 hours prior to the date of your test. You are also advised to have a high carbohydrate meal the day before the test and to avoid alcoholic beverages.

On the morning of the test, have a high carbohydrate breakfast, but please ensure that you do not eat anything two hours before the test. It is also important to make sure that you are well hydrated on the day of the test and it is advised that you drink 500 ml of fluid (water or sports drink) two hours before the test.

How long will the session last?

We allow two hours for this testing session which provides enough time to discuss the results with you after the test.

When can I book?

  • Monday to Thursday (0900–1700)
  • Friday (1000–1600)

We are available for weekend testing if booking as part of a group (four or more assessments)

How much does it cost?

  • Initial: £90
  • Returning visits: £80
  • Group bookings: POA

Contact us

If you have any questions or would like to book a VO2max test, email us at: sport.science@solent.ac.uk

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