VO2 Max Test

Test procedure and criteria for an approved test.

Most VO2 max protocols we use are implemented by the workload being increased at scheduled intervals, by fixed workload levels. If the athlete has been tested before, a workload layout is provided. If the athlete is "new," a discretionary decision will be made in cooperation with the coach and athlete.

The duration of the test is between 6 and 12 minutes. The last workload level must be sustained for a minimum of one minute. This is made known to the athlete prior to the beginning of the test, and it is the athlete’s responsibility to signal when they feel this level has been reached during the test.

The athlete is monitored continuously in regard to the measured values and is encouraged to reach exhaustion. VO2 max, workload advancement, and time to exhaustion, are logged into the database along with other selected parameters. In addition, there are specific conditions related to testing with different ergometers.

Common to all types of procedure:

  • VO2 is measured throughout the entire test
  • Highest average over one continuous minute is defined as VO2 max.
  • The workload profile, which includes maximum workload (speed or watts) and maximum values ​​for ventilation (Ve), heart rate (HF), breathing frequency (BF), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), is documented. 

Running on treadmill

  • Speed is normally increased by 1,0 km/h. every minute (or ½ km/h at the end.
  • Implemented until exhaustion. The tilt angle is determined by the sport type. The following are used as guidelines:
    • 1,75 %; athletics and triathlon            
    • 5,25 %; athletics, ball games and ”diverse”
    • 10,5 %; Most ski types
    • 21 %; Some cross-country skiers


  • Used primarily by cyclists, triathletes, and speed skaters.  
  • Cadence; free (normally over 90 RPM).
  • Workload is increased by 25 watts per min.
  • Implemented until exhaustion