How fit are you, really? Finding Your VO2 Max Without Spending $150

What best predicts your future health?

  • Your weight?
  • Your body fat ratio?
  • Cholesterol?

It all pales against your aerobic fitness – that is the top amount of oxygen that your heart and lungs can feed your body with. It’s also called maximum oxygen uptake and it’s measured in VO2 max.

Here is a table of VO2 values per age group.


The good thing about VO2 max is that you can improve it. Measure it regularly and you can see whether and how you are improving.

The problem is that is expensive. A health centre (or well-equipped gym) has to take you through intensive exercise as you wear a facemask. And that’s $150 upwards for just one session.

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But there is an alternative!

It’s free and takes very little effort:

The online fitness calculator by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology of Trondheim.


This calculator is by the team around Professor Ulrik Wisloff – one of the pioneers of High Intensity Training. They took VO2 max values of over 4000 people and found that they can predict the result with astounding accuracy if you tell them:

  • your age, sex and weight,
  • your waist,
  • your resting heart rate
  • the amount of exercise you get per week.

So, assuming that you know the rest, all you need to do, is measure your waist and resting heart rate.

Here’s how you can measure your waist:

And here’s how you can measure your resting heart rate:

Sit down and do nothing for 10 minutes. Then feel your pulse during 60 seconds. The number of heartbeats is your result.

Now you are ready to head over to the calculator.

You’ll get a result-page like this:


And when you have that?

Why not try to raise your VO2 max with High Intensity Training – it’s effective and takes very little time.

Image credits: CrossFit East Sac, Kevin Light

Content writer at Addapp. I write about exercise and productivity. I'm obsessed about tennis. Off the court, I also help people rediscover their love for writing.

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