Determining VO2-max the Traditional Way
Ergometer cycling or treadmill running are golden standards for determining VO2-max. Various protocols are be used i.e. increasing load and time intervals until exhaustion with measure of oxygen consumption during the test. Submaximal testing protocols may be used if the test person may be at risk. Monitoring the fitness level by VO2-max requires exercise at increasing loads until the test person change from aerobic work to anaerobic work and exhaustion. The test includes monitoring of the respiratory gases making it fairly complex.
The ergometer test itself should not take longer than 12 minutes to perform, but getting the subject ready for the test (changing into sports clothes, warm-up, instructing the subject about the test, and fitting the mask), calibrating the gas-analyzer and analyzing the results often end up taking more than 20-30 minutes in total.