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Old 04-26-07, 08:48 AM   #1
dentalman
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just did a VO2 Max test at the University

I just did a VO2 max test at my university for a study, they made me breathe through a mouthpiece and ride a stationary bike. They also measured my skin folds, axilla (11mm), pectorals (11mm), stomach (16mm), and suprailliac (11mm). What does that equate to in body fat percentage? i'm 5'8", 140lbs.

The VO2 max test went as followed:
5 min at 50W
5 min stretch
-------------
50W 3mins
100W 3mins
150W 3mins
200W 3mins
225W 1min
250W 1min
275W 1min
300W 1min
325W 1min --- I couldn't pedal anymore after this. HR at 193bpm.

They haven't given me my numbers yet, I'm assuming I'll get it next week when I come back for the submaximal tests for their study.

What do these numbers mean? Am I exceptionally weak? How do I calculate my VO2 max from this?

Last edited by dentalman; 04-26-07 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 04-26-07, 10:46 AM   #2
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Why didn't you dial it up to 400????????
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Old 04-26-07, 12:00 PM   #3
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they dialed it up for me. i'm just too weak, i couldn't go anymore. my legs just stopped --- i'll train harder, i promise :-D
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Old 04-26-07, 02:11 PM   #4
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Here is an extremely rough estimate based off my running VO2max test. I lasted a weak 15min 32sec and could have easily done another 30 seconds. I also know that my FTP is 277watts and can hold 325 watts for 15-20min (it's been awhile). Converted from my results, weight, etc to your test, I would guess your VO2max is 55.

How close was I?
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Old 04-26-07, 02:40 PM   #5
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Thanks for the estimate, I guess I'll find out the real number next week. JPradun, man you can hold 325 watts for 15-20 minutes, that's a long time!

Is a VO2 Max of 55 competitive for cycling?
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Old 04-26-07, 04:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPradun
Here is an extremely rough estimate based off my running VO2max test. I lasted a weak 15min 32sec and could have easily done another 30 seconds. I also know that my FTP is 277watts and can hold 325 watts for 15-20min (it's been awhile). Converted from my results, weight, etc to your test, I would guess your VO2max is 55.

How close was I?
I don't know about your estimate of the OP's VO2 max, but you are either underestimating your own FTP or overestimating your 20 MP.

I would guess that the OP's power @ VO2 max is about 275-290w, or 85-90% of what was achieved with this test protocol.
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Old 04-26-07, 04:39 PM   #7
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Well, if we're guessing. OP's FTP should be @/near 245-250 ~ 3.8-3.9 w/kg, maybe a little higher due to the slow initial ramp rate. Agreed with the 275ish-280ish power @ VO2max.

If those numbers are right, you're at the top end of average competitive cyclists. The Coggan power profile sheet would put you at Cat 3 ability level, but I find the interpolation he uses from "World Class" down to "Untrained" to be insufficient for the low end. It takes a lot less work to get to 3.9-4.0 than it does to go from 4.0 to 5.0 or 6.0.
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Old 04-26-07, 09:45 PM   #8
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wow good info guys. what does this all mean? 275-280watts at vo2 max? is an FTP of 245-250watts a good number?

i'm definetly not a CAT3 racer. i'm cat5 this year and my goals are not to get dropped at races. i've raced three times this year, the first crit I did... i got lapped 3 times. my second crit, i didn't get dropped, but it hurt. the next race was a road race, felt strong, finished in the pack.
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Old 04-26-07, 11:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dentalman
wow good info guys. what does this all mean? 275-280watts at vo2 max? is an FTP of 245-250watts a good number?

i'm definetly not a CAT3 racer. i'm cat5 this year and my goals are not to get dropped at races. i've raced three times this year, the first crit I did... i got lapped 3 times. my second crit, i didn't get dropped, but it hurt. the next race was a road race, felt strong, finished in the pack.
Wattage means less than your watts/kg (or watts per kg/frontal area). They are estimating your Functional Threshold Power (1hr power) at 250watts, which would put you at 3.7-3.8w/kg and pretty damn good ("cat3 territory"). Anything over 275 will put you in anaerobic. You would be classified, basically, as a climber.

As for VO2max, Lance was 84 when he was 18, I think. Most pros are in the mid-upper 70s, but can be lower than that. Honestly, unless you are pro, it means nothing (your lactate threshold, or FTP is better). Age will lower the number. Click here for a grading scale. Mine was 62-63 on a Bruce treadmill test that wasn't very accurate, and on which I slacked off. I will have a real one with the machine in a couple weeks, hopefully. Sounds like the reason you are getting dropped isn't because you aren't aerobically fit, but because you aren't very good at drafting or conserving energy. Stay near the front of the pack at all times, at all costs.

To the other posters. My 277w test was 4 months ago at the beginning of my base season and the end of my "off" season--which would put me at 4.1w/kg. I've since put over 1600mi for base, 5 races, and 2 weeks of intervals (into my build season now). Nonetheless, my 325w estimate is just that, and won't be tested for awhile. Also, Nomad, Coggan never intended it to be used as a what-category-you-should-be. He intended it to be a rough profile of yourself as a sprinter, climber, GC, etc. He took it off for awhile, but I guess it's back up due to popularity. I know cat4/3s at 5w/kg, and cat2s at <3.8w/kg. Sandbaggers, horrible bike handlers, or smart riders.

Lastly, to the OP, concentrate on sprinting. Unless you move to the mountains, a vast majority of US races are won in sprints.
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Old 04-27-07, 12:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPradun
Also, Nomad, Coggan never intended it to be used as a what-category-you-should-be. He intended it to be a rough profile of yourself as a sprinter, climber, GC, etc. He took it off for awhile, but I guess it's back up due to popularity.
That's kinda what I was getting at. I see a lot more "power profile consistency" on the top end than on the low end. So, I wanted to disclaim what I was saying about his w/kg being roughly Cat 3 level. Still, pretty decent all in all.
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Old 04-27-07, 06:44 AM   #11
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some good info going on in here. i know nothing about the test numbers but a teacher at a local university here wants me to come in and do the vo2 test as well
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Old 04-27-07, 09:30 AM   #12
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some good info going on in here. i know nothing about the test numbers but a teacher at a local university here wants me to come in and do the vo2 test as well
If it's free, do it. I wouldn't really pay for it.

It will be the suckiest 5-7min of your life (the last half of it, basically)...but you'll get a bragging-rights number.
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Old 05-02-07, 09:02 AM   #13
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just came in for my second session of the study. they had me ride at 75% of my VO2 -- 200W. the goal was to go for an hour. they checked my breathing and everything and decided 22 minutes into it to bring to to 190W. Then 42 minutes into it they took it to 180W. I had blood drawn before and after the exercise. I have to do again tomorrow and the next day. They're trying to measure effects of overtraining.

My HR was in the 172 range just about the whole time and yes it felt hard. I didn't ask what my body fat or VO2 was, I think I'll save that for Saturday when they do the last blood draw.

What do you think my FT power is? Is it now 190? What's 75% of VO2 max? Zone 3?
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Old 05-02-07, 08:49 PM   #14
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Well, it all depends. You have to realize that an exceptional athlete can hold 75% of his VO2max for a long time. This component goes into your lactate threshold. I'm pretty sure your aerobic threshold is suppose to be ~90% of your VO2max, but this is just based off memory. You're still an inexperienced rider, so this will change pretty dramatically with more training.

As for your FTP? I don't know. They could have found that you were going anaerobic near the end of the 22min, which would have pretty severely limited your FTP. Also, although "hard," it may not have been impossible in a race situation. I question the fact that your MHR is only 193, it seems like it should be closer to 200. 172/193 is almost 90% which would be closer to a 15-20MP test. I don't understand how you could go for 325W for 1 min and have a 190W FTP. Your anaerobic system is exhausted after ~3-4min, so 250 should have been a good estimate...but wth?

Here's a Coggan/Coyle study where elite cyclists rode for 75-85% of their VO2max for 3hrs, which is quite the feat: http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/conten...ract/65/4/1703
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Old 05-02-07, 09:16 PM   #15
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Thanks JPradun. I don't think I held 325W for 1 min it was more like 30-40 seconds, cause after the minute they would have raised the wattage to 350. They told me that they were trying to keep me right below AT. 75-85% at VO2max for 3 hrs seems a little bit taxing the guys in the study must have been monsters.

The workout felt doable, but hard. I can definitely say that my training has been slacking. I have a better idea of where my AT is now in terms of RPE (rate of perceived exertion). I'm talking to my fiancee about letting me order a powermeter... she says we have to save for our wedding and that I already have a HRM.

As for HR the guy told me that as the workload gets higher the HR tends to lag behind and was not a good gauge at higher levels.
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Old 05-02-07, 09:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dentalman
They're trying to measure effects of overtraining.

My HR was in the 172 range just about the whole time and yes it felt hard. I didn't ask what my body fat or VO2 was, I think I'll save that for Saturday when they do the last blood draw.

What do you think my FT power is? Is it now 190? What's 75% of VO2 max? Zone 3?
At the end of the study could you ask for a full copy of the results and could you post them here? I would love to see how your blood profile changes.

190W is a good guess for your FTP, the fact they had to turn it down to 180 may have just been because you started too hard @ 200W. A 1-hour workout that ends in exhaustion is essentially the definition of FTP.
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Old 05-02-07, 09:36 PM   #17
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This converts %VO2max to %MHR
Attached Files
File Type: zip vo2max.zip (2.2 KB, 14 views)
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Old 05-03-07, 07:46 AM   #18
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just did my second day. paid attention more to the HRM. I'm actually running around 165 on average. we did the same routine today, 200W 1-21min, 190W 22-41min, and 180W 42-60min. Felt a little easier today because we all sat around and talked about the Floyd Landis scandal. We also talked about epo. I had my blood drawn before and after the ride. And breathed through their machine at 20 minute intervals for 4 minutes.

I overheard them talking about my VO2 max, which seem to be right at 53.5. I'm disappointed, but I guess it's okay. they said training with the intensity that I was doing with them would raise it.
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Old 05-03-07, 11:12 PM   #19
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53.5 and I guessed 55. Damn I'm good!

Time to work on VO2max intervals.
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