Post Number: 368
|Posted on Sunday, April 20, 2008 - 05:43 am: |
I got this short printout sent to me by a reader and he asked me to comment on. I like to show it here and not like to comment on but rather like to ask some questions, which go through my mind . Here we go .
"By completing a VO2MAX test your
fitness level can be evaluated more precisely, thereby making changes and improvements to your current training regimen that will help you attain your goals. Incorporating additional VO2MAX tests every few months is a great way to track your progress and measure your health as it improves. As this test is performed in a controlled environment, and is a specific scientific measure of each individual, the information obtained is much more specific than that based on predictions and equations made for large populations. With this exact information, training zones based on your heart rate can be made so that your workouts are organized more efficiently and effectively."
Okay here just some question
VO2 max explains( measures )the level the level of fitness: I always thought it measures the level of VO2 ?
The basic old question : is it VO2 max or is it the highest tested VO2 at that particular day on that specific bike or treadmill.
The problem is, as it is tested in a controlled situation on a treadmill or stationary bike we often have different VO2 levels when compared to a test on a wobbly outside bike, where lot's of muscles have to be used for balance and stability and this muscle groups need O2 as well.
VO2 and heart rate will go up linear . so where do you find the point and the different training zones. ?
It is better than using statistic and other equations.
The VO2 testing equipment will exactly do that , it will compare to equations and it will take % of , what is called max VO2 and than depending on the soft wear calculate 55 % from VO2 max / 75 % and so on to give you your intensity zones.
How is a VO2 max test done :
Step test over a time of 6 - 12 minutes from slow to all out.
So if you do this tests better charge the client before the test , as in some cases they may not be able to pay after the test anymore ( just kidding) but it is a maximal test and there are certain risks involved in pushing your clients to a max effort. The Web site , who offers this test is not an emergency room and does not has the medical backup to deal with this risks.
Now why to take this risk , as the max value is anyway of very limiting info for the biggest part of the population out there.
Testing every few month a VO2 max test is a great business idea in the first part , but a bad idea of maintaining your client base as VO2 max will not change that much in most cases.
There is indeed a very nice way to "proof" that your training plan is working well.
Take a very overweight person 50 - 60 p overweight.
Give this person a very good nutritional plan and let him do nothing but just loosing in a healthy way weight.
Now 40 pounds later you re-test him . The fitness level will not change , as we did nothing but the VO2 will go up. as we test VO2 max as a part of kg body weight . Here some numbers.
VO2 Max 19 ml/kg/min 120 kg heavy person
now 92 kg heavy VO2 Max is now 24.8 ml/kg/min
This is an improvement of 30 %.
We achieved this in 4 month with no activity at all. No change in fitness level.
Now here another example. Inactive person we put on a strength program with some cardio as well. Not overweight healthy eating habits.
74 kg heavy VO2 of 29.7 ml/kg/min
12 weeks later.
76 kg heavy VO2 of 28.9 ml/kg/min.
Client is much "fitter" increased overall functional strength and possibly due to the weight gain some structural muscles as well by 20 - 30 %.
BM index dropped from 18 - 14 and free fat mass dropped from 14 - 12. So gain of possibly active muscle mass.
In this case the VO2 test alone does not look very beneficial .
What I like to say as so often on this forum.
Don't just pick one specific test and believe it is the yellow of the egg. Think what the test is helping us to find or measure and than go ahead and draw some critical and positive conclusion.
The beauty really is as we test more and more people with Fit Mate the ability to see during the test what is going on and help the client to understand , the trends and changes he can see by following a more active and healthy life style.
So the small comment to the above short info is, that it is nicely written and a very good summary of a classical interpretation of VO2 testing. No discussion about that , but it would be nice to see a more critical approach by selling ideas for the general public to keep them informed and try to integrate them in their own health and fitness approach.
Thanks for this input and yes it may not always work with the challenge that I will "rip" ideas apart , as we all have fixed ideas and any idea can be improved .
As i go through old presentations of mine quite often , I always have to smile and tell myself.:
" wowww what a crap was i telling people in that presentation, hopefully they never ask me about that idea anymore. "
So same will be true on this Forum as we go through changes and ideas over time.
Have fun and remember Life is all about changes.
Post Number: 1
|Posted on Thursday, July 10, 2008 - 01:51 pm: |
I have used the FACT lactate test, spirotiger, compex, etc for years of successful training.
Now I am an elite athlete and I am interested to know my VO2 max values. I have access to a local university test facility but I have a few questions prior to having the test done:
Is there an established protocol for testing cyclists VO2? (standard; step size/length, etc)
How do rest/recovery/training effect the test results?
Will I see different results if I use the labs ergometer or my bicycle with computrainer? (does fit/comfort matter?)
Are there any other major factors to consider that will change the results of this test?
I want to be confident in my test values so thank you very much in advance for all your help!
Post Number: 542
|Posted on Thursday, July 10, 2008 - 02:08 pm: |
Thanks for the question, and if you read carefully the above your question part , you actually will have all teh answers.
You ask me personally : if you get thuis test done for free go ahead. If you have to pay , invite your wife or girlfriend for a nice dinner for that money.
,If you can get a protocoll from the test lab to see what they give you at the end for infos try to get one and we can discuss that here to see , what you really get besides a VO2 value, they name VO2 max. If you like to ahve a very high VO2 max values to look good try at the end to hold your breath for the last 45 sec to 1 min or if you can longer and you will see a very nice and high VO2 max. Record we could produce was 123 so L. Armstrong is a small fish with 85 to what we can get out. Just kidding, but if the full test just ist based on VO2 max and % you have no real benefit of it. In fact you may quite your racing idea, as you may get the comment , that your VO2 max is too low. So my advice: Get a protocol from somebody , who did a test there and rsults and than study this and see , whether it is worth while to pay money for this info. Good luck in your search Juerg
Post Number: 2
|Posted on Monday, July 14, 2008 - 03:56 am: |
Ha, ha, Juerg! The test is FREE and can be done any way I want. Maybe there is no use to this information but since you are the most knowledgeable people I have ever met on the subject... I thought I would ask. Please post a protocol and important variables if you think it is worth the time to run a test! Thanks,
Post Number: 544
|Posted on Monday, July 14, 2008 - 05:46 am: |
Pedalpro . That is great, sent me your email and I can sent you a full FaCT Iris protocol on how it would be nice if they could do a test so you can get as much info out as possible. Thanks for the feedback Juerg
Post Number: 552
|Posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2008 - 02:07 am: |
think Andrew , you are right the cardiac output may be one of the main limiting factor. Give me 3 - 4 weeks time as I start to assess cardiac output and stroke volume this week so stay tuned on the Forum, as I will very critically look back on VO2 and the values we actually have or may not have.
Subject: Re: Fitmate Assessment
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 21:10:00 -0700
There is no problem if we don't find March data, I was just interested to see if the high cadence work affected my VO2 at LBP as I suspect it might have. Looking at my numbers from June, I feel my VO2 at LBP (41-43 ml/kg/min) is quite low, which I think is a good thing. I may try to do the same test running and compare VO2 data, and perhaps try a simulated max test to see what percentage of VO2 my LBP is of "max" to see where I might be able to improve. My suspicion is that I am back once again to cardiac output being limiting, as I seem quite efficient at the power I can put out at LBP, and need to find some way to get more power...either better coordination (high cadence and riding in the sand of J.Tree) or more recruitment (slow cadence).
If it is cardiac output, I ned some ideas on how I might be able to improve this at my advancing age...with ideas on how to work with the younger more talented athletes also.
Will send Joel's numbers hwne we test him next week for comparison. 15 years old, and truly loves to train. It is taking all my energy to hold him back, but he has learned a great deal, and is committed to training below LBP for al workouts, which has resulted in some very impressive results. He is keen to continue learning, which is his biggest asset.
Post Number: 560
|Posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2008 - 08:02 am: |
some more to think about as we will have more questions , than answers.
that is pretty much the question , or is it so that we have to test more regular and as soon the slow intensity starts to plateau out we may have ti change the stimulus for a while as we may have to do in the extremity muscles and we end up just simply as usual . it is a question of effectivness of the stressor and the timing till a functional stress may end up with some structural changes. If this is the case and the CGM has some truth to it we will see a mjor change in trainig, as VO2 is directly dependent on cardiac out put and respiratory efficiency. Will be fun over the next few month to test . Juerg
Subject: Re: Fitmate Assessment
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2008 09:44:57 -0700
I can't wait to see the cardiac output monitor you have mentioned...then the question is, can we change it significantly, or is the output set? We know the heart enlarges with prolonged exercise...does this occur better at the lower intensities as we challenge the initial stretch of the heart, or with high intensities where we truly challenge the total cardiac output?
Post Number: 789
|Posted on Friday, September 26, 2008 - 11:22 am: |
Here some different ideas to a picture we had developped. It is nice to have different inputs from different sources.
VO2 max Key words.
So here some views from other sources, you can try to sort into our simple idea on how we may be able to look at VO2 .
1. Despite numerous positive tests for performance enhancing drugs in Italy and Spain, there has not yet been a positive test in the English Premier League. Although performance enhancing drugs have never been part of the culture of English football, some notable figures have their suspicions.
FIFA Medical Committee chairman, Michel D'Hooghe, commented "EPO is now quite commonly used in other sports, and I cannot imagine there is a barrier for EPO around the football field."
It has been claimed that weaknesses in the Football Association's drug-testing system could encourage cheats to believe they would not be caught in England. There is a belief that players should be tested far more regularly. During the 2000-01 season, 1,016 tests were carried out in England, with only 24 of these samples taken after matches and the rest sampled at club training grounds. This contrasts with Italy, where two players from each team are tested after every single match. Also, as blood samples are not routinely taken in England, there is no test for EPO or blood doping.
So, what exactly is blood doping?
2.Blood doping first came to the attention of a wider public following the 1972 Munich Olympics, when a double gold medallist reported he had used the procedure prior to the games. The ergogenic effects of blood doping were to increase maximal oxygen uptake during endurance activities, by increasing the amount of circulating haemoglobin.
Ekblom (1972) described the procedure explicitly. 1-4 units of an athlete's blood are removed over a 3-8 week period and stored in a freezer. These stored blood cells are then re-infused to the athlete (autologous transfusion) 1-7 days before the event. This procedure produces an increase of up to 20% in red blood cells and haemoglobin, which remains elevated for about two weeks. The increased haemoglobin level produces an increase in the oxygen carrying capability of the athlete's circulatory system.
More recently, some endurance athletes have taken to intravenous injection of recombinant erythropoietin (EPO) to get similar effects to the blood doping method mentioned above. Human erythropoietin is produced naturally by the kidneys. The kidneys release an enzyme - erythrogenin - that transforms plasma globulin to erythropoietin, under conditions of hypoxia (for this reason exposure to altitude has a similar physiological effect). Erythropoietin is a glycoprotein which stimulates erythropoiesis in bone marrow and raises the level of circulating haemoglobin. This has been shown to increase aerobic power (Ekblom and Berglund, 1991) and thus endurance performance. Casoni et al (1993) also demonstrated an increase in the levels of circulating red blood cells and haematocrit.
3.In order to understand the mechanism of EPO as an ergogenic aid it is necessary to understand the limiting factors for maximum oxygen uptake during endurance performance. Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) was first defined by Hill et al (1922) who stated:
There is an upper limit to oxygen uptake
There are interindividual differences in VO2Max
A high VO2 Max is prerequisite in endurance performance
VO2max is limited by the cardiorespiratory system to transport O2 to the muscles.
Bassett and Howley (2000) described four limiting factors of VO2Max. They were:
Pulmonary diffusing capacity
Oxygen carrying capacity
Skeletal muscle limitations
The first three can be described as central limitations and the fourth peripheral. It is the third of these which is affected by EPO and haemoglobin levels. The use of recombinant EPO has been shown to increase VO2max (Ekblom and Berglund 1991).
4. Haemoglobin is the iron containing globular protein. Each of the four iron atoms in the haemoglobin molecule can loosely bind one molecule of oxygen, in the following reversable reaction:
Hb4 + 4O2 produces Hb4O8
This reaction is not enzyme mediated and relies entirely on the partial pressure of oxygen in solution. When this oxyhaemoglobin reaches the skeletal muscle during exercise the oxygen leaves the red blood cells for consumption by the tissues.
The classical equation for an exergonic oxidative metabolic process is the aerobic oxidation of glucose - respiration:
C6H12O6 + 6O2 gives 6CO2 + 6H2O + ATP
The potential energy within the ATP molecule is utilized for all the energy requiring processes of the cell.
5. During endurance exercise at a steady pace (or even vigorous exercise which lasts more than several minutes duration), aerobic reactions provide the important final stages for energy transfer. A graph of oxygen uptake over time would show an exponential rise in the first few minutes, followed by a plateau. This represents the steady state which reflects the balance between energy required by working muscles and ATP production.
As the workload is increased there is a rapid increase in oxygen uptake, which is directly proportional to exercise severity. The region of the graph where oxygen uptake plateaus, and shows no further increase with an additional workload, is called maximal oxygen uptake, or VO2max. Additional work is accomplished via energy transfer reactions of glycolysis with a resultant formation of lactic acid. Exhaustion follows and the athlete can not continue.
VO2max quantitively expresses a person's capacity for resynthesis of ATP. This means it is an important factor in determining a person's ability to sustain high intensity exercise. A high VO2max is dependent upon, not only increased levels of haemoglobin but also, an integrated response from physiologic support mechanisms, namely blood volume and cardiac output; peripheral blood flow; aerobic metabolism; and pulmonary ventilation. It is difficult to know where to begin in a system that is so well integrated.
6.As we are concerned with modification of VO2max during physical performance, it seems appropriate to observe pulmonary ventilation first. Ventilation increases during maximal exercise leading to improvements in maximal oxygen uptake. The tidal volume becomes larger and breathing frequency is reduced. As a consequence, air remains in the lungs for a longer period of time between breaths and there is an increased extraction of oxygen from inspired air.
During endurance exercise individuals tend to overbreathe in relation to oxygen uptake. Even during maximal exercise, a considerable breathing reserve exists because minute ventilation represents only bout 60-80% of a person's maximum capacity for breathing (Blomqvist et al 1982). This would indicate that pulmonary ventilation is not usually a weak link in the normal oxygen transport system and that it has slack in the system which can utilise the extra oxygen carrying capacity which results from EPO abuse.
7.The next component of the oxygen delivery system fulfills the role of cardiac output and blood volume. Following EPO abuse, the increase in haematocrit and blood viscosity will put increased strain on cardiac function. During maximal exercise, the saturation of haemoglobin with oxygen is very high in percentage terms, so the most effective method of increasing oxygen to the tissues in normal conditions is to increase stroke volume.
There is a strong correlation between cardiac output and VO2max (Saltin, 1969). This pheneomenom doesn't take place in isolation and is closely associated with changes in peripheral blood flow. If it did take place in isolation, cardiac output would have to increase 20 fold to sustain the VO2max of top endurance athletes. In addition to this increase there is an increase in the arterial - venous O2 difference which increases the amount of O2 extracted from the blood during exercise. The maximal arterial - venous O2 difference that can be achieved during exercise - is influenced by the body's capacity to divert a large proportion of blood to the working muscles.
Certain tissues can temporarily compromise their blood supply by shunting. This redirection can be facilitated by training (Musch, 1987). Lash et al (1995) demonstrated enhancements in the microcirculation of skeletal muscle due to training. By increasing haemoglobin via EPO abuse, the drive of cardiac output can be decreased and may lead to decreased cardiac output. This would decrease blood flow and lead to a decrease in peripheral oxygen, and actually decrease aerobic capacity.
8.Aerobic metabolism is the final component examined here, which plays a part in the determination of VO2max. This occurs within the mitochondria when the pyruvate molecule is irreversibly converted to a form of acetic acid. This compound then enters the second stage of carbohydrate utilization known as the Krebs cycle. The most important function of the Krebs cycle is the generation of electrons (hydrogen) for transfer to the respiratory chain. Under normal conditions the transfer of electrons and subsequent release of energy are tightly coupled to ADP phosphorylation.
Endurance training improves the metabolic capacity of the trained muscle. More specifically, the mitochondria enlarge and even increase in number, as does the quantity of enzymes for aerobic energy transfer (Holloszy and Coyle 1984). There is also increased muscle capilliarization - this is 40% greater in trained athletes (Brodal et al 1976). If the increase in an athlete's VO2max is largely due to EPO abuse, and subsequent increases in haemoglobin levels, then the cellular adaptations mentioned here will not be sufficient to gain fully from the oxygen carrying capacity.
Post Number: 6
|Posted on Monday, October 13, 2008 - 06:33 am: |
Juerg and Andrew:
I was wondering if I could get your guys' help in solidifying some arguments as to why I do not want to complete a VO2 max test (running)as I am just now looking and seeing that it is part of the ski team's monthly schedule and it is expected that all the athletes do it...
I met with my coach about what the benefits of measuring VO2 max are and it was concluded that if it is measured and is seen to not be "World Class" (whatever that means) then we should be implementing "VO2 max" intervals and high level work into my training program in order to bump it up to this "World Class" level.
I already know that for me, my VO2 max value has little (or no) correlation to how well I do in my event of ski sprinting (2-3 minutes ALL OUT). I had my VO2 max measured last year and it was just below 70 ml/kg/min (running), whereas many of my teammates were 80 ml/kg/min or higher. It may have been confusing to some of them as to how I would beat them all the time...this is one of the main reasons why I know VO2 max has little effect on my performance in skiing. I suppose it could be argued that the test was indeed done running, and that it would have been higher skiing, but again it would likely be other factors that allowed my performance in skiing to be higher than my teammates than my VO2 max which is likely lower.
Any ideas and solid points for my argument would be much appreciated.
Post Number: 133
|Posted on Monday, October 13, 2008 - 10:33 am: |
There is nothing wrong with completing a VO2 max test...especially if they give you the raw data for us to help analyze what is happening at all the levels below "max". The data they can provide includes your resp rate, tidal volume and minute ventilation. All excellent parameters to help direct your training. The values at "max" are much less interesting as you have already pointed out.
To remind everyone else that is reading...Lance Armstrong has a recorded VO2 "max" on the bike of 83 ml/kg/min, but was beaten by nearly an hour during his first attempt at the New York Marathon. In fact, throughout his seven years of victory at the Tour de France, his reported VO2 max actually decreased.
So, any coaches or labs that still believe that VO2 max is anything more than an interesting number, and somehow can make predictions for training or for who will stand on top of the podium should do some serious thinking. But this is not what we are paying our University labs to do...
Go get tested...but don't pay for it. I would prefer your coach invest in your team's own equipment so she can do the testing herself. As I pointed out before...Juerg has equipment available that can do a very accurate VO2 test, is easily portable, and cost less than the annual cost of your team's testing budget.
I urge your coach to do some reading, and reconsidering our offer to test the rest of your group. Your own results should be enough proof that VO2 max means absolutely nothing in terms of race day performance. And trying to extrapolate VO2 max on a treadmill to skate skiing, is even more ludicrous.
I wish you the best of luck with that.
Post Number: 829
|Posted on Monday, October 13, 2008 - 11:09 am: |
As usual , Andrew gave you aclear and straight forward answer.
Here just an add on .
If your coaches decide to do VO2 testing than it would be of much more value, if they repeat them regular in an interval of 6 - 9 weeks to see potential changes in the parameter Andrew is referring to.
This way they can see, what kind of training is challanging what kind of systems..
VO2 max in fact may actually drop if the training is done properly by a given intensity due to a better and more effcient training .
Important is to see VO2 in ml/min by the same person and not as VO2 max / kg body weight . The later is often used ( with little success) to predict , who the better athlet may be .
Again what you look for is the shift in VO2 users during certain training interventions.
Testing VO2 max in running on cross country skier is often done but of very little values. I remember 2 world class cross country skier in our team in Switzerland just before calagry 1988 . One ( bronce medal in 50 km and the other top 10 in the same race.
The one on third place was as well an excellent cyclist , the other one ( top ten as well a world class marathon runner as he tried to qualify for sommer and winter games ( did not make it )
As we tested them on the bike and on the treadmill and at that time even on a diagonal cross country treadmill , we saw the first time, how sport sepcific the test were.
I have to try to find the numbers but I can remember very clear.
On the cross country erg. the bronce guy was clear stronger in speed ( wattage but had a lower VO2. On the bike he had a clear higher VO2 than the runner, but in the run he was far of the runner.
Both had the highest VO2 on the skies.
Based on the VO2 the slower one should have been better in the run ( which was true but as well on the skies , where he never could beat the bronce guy.
On the bike anyway the runner was slower .
Andrews suggestions sounds very fair and I think any critiacl open discussion in any coaching staff would dramatically improve results for coaches as well as atheletes.
Unfortunately we still have the "cooking" in your own seceret kitchen as the main trend of coaches all over teh world.
We see during worksops nice and cozy speeches, how we shoudl work together and integrate different ideas from different sports to achieve a coomon goal , healthier and therefor fitter and possibly higher perfoming athelets.
Reality is different, Very different, we stab in each other "back and trying to "lure" athelets from one center to another to justify vertain "excellence" which does not exist at all.
We hide behind titles ( Ph.D and university names and performance center by using top athlet names to "proof " our excellence, when in fact it was often the athlet himself in combination with his closest family ) Dad / mother/ hosue coach or club coach and the help of mother natures genetics and the wfunn and will power of teh person himself , who brought him up where all of the athletes end , in a national team or center. Arriving there as a raw but finished product , and often get pull out of a very success full cell of friends and family instead of adding to that successfull core some professional , but open advice from the Pros.
We are all far of from excellent, but as a team can try to get closer to that goal.
So try to make an open discussion with your coach and see where you can go from there.
Post Number: 7
|Posted on Monday, October 13, 2008 - 12:26 pm: |
Great, thanks guys, I will let you know how the test goes. We did in fact have 2 other tests scheduled for earlier this season, but I broke my hand just before the first one and then was sick for the second one, so I haven't done one yet this year. I do have the LBP test VO2 values from last week so it will be interesting to compare the two...
Post Number: 1060
|Posted on Friday, December 19, 2008 - 05:52 am: |
Nice simple and short summary :
Maximal Oxygen Consumption (VO2)
Oxygen consumption (VO2) is linearly related to the workload. As the exercise intensity increases, VO2 increases proportionally. However, there comes a point at which the VO2 ceases to rise even though the exercise intensity continues to rise. This point is referred to as the maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and is considered to be the benchmark of maximal aerobic power. In general, the VO2max is related to the amount of muscle mass used during the test in that maximal leg protocols result in a larger VO2max than maximal arm protocols.
The VO2max assesses the maximal ability of the body to deliver and utilize oxygen and is related to the ability to perform prolonged exercise. Genetic factors and training regulate the various physiological factors that contribute to the body's ability to transport oxygen and which include
a) pulmonary ventilation,
b) diffusion of oxygen from the alveoli to blood,
c) cardiac performance,
d) redistribution of blood to working skeletal muscle, and
e) extraction and utilization of oxygen by working skeletal muscle.
Two separate schools of thought have emerged to explain the primary limitation on VO2: an argument for central limitation and one for peripheral limitation. The "central" part of the oxygen delivery system depends upon the maximal cardiac output (Q) and maximal arterial oxygen content; the "peripheral" part is the extraction of oxygen from the blood (a-v O2 diff). When combined, these factors describe the VO2max which is expressed as the Fick equation: VO2max = Qmax x a-v O2max diff.
Historically, VO2max was thought to be limited by the pumping capacity of the heart. Early studies observed a relationship with heart size and stroke volume (SV) to VO2max, and that an elevated Q was thought to be the critical factor for an improved VO2max. However, others argued that the failure of SV to continue increasing at higher heart rates resulted from too short a filling time, thus if VO2 continued to increase while SV was not, Q would not be the limiting factor. Later studies showed this not to be the case.
In the late 1960s, a new era began in exercise physiology with the availability of improved techniques to study muscle blood flow and the oxidative enzymes. Subsequent studies sparked a debate that the ability of the mitochondria to utilize oxygen might be the real limitation of VO2max. There is the potential for limitation of oxygen utilization in the Kreb's cycle as a consequence of the rate-limiting enzymes.
Opinions were to swing back in the 1980s in support of the central limitation argument as more sophisticated techniques for studying blood flow concluded that the more oxygen available to the muscle, the higher the oxygen uptake. Although still somewhat controversial, the central limitation argument is held by most researchers today. Another possibility, however, is that VO2max in trained individuals is limited by oxygen availability but limited by insufficient mitochondria in untrained individuals. Regardless, it should be understood that there are many links that control the oxygen delivery system and that they each can affect VO2max.