2. Measuring oxygen consumption
Aerobic capacity cannot be measured directly without special instruments. Therefore, many companies have developed devices, commonly called metabolimeters, capable of measuring VO2 (and VO2 max) through the gaseous exchanges that occur during breathing. However, it should be emphasized that the measurement of VO2 max is highly dependent on the type of exercise performed.
This parameter, for example, generally varies if measured during the race or pedalling. In addition, the way in which a given exercise is performed is also important. Let's take the run, for example.
Depending on the type of training, duration and nature of our body, sugars or fats are burned, but in any case this "combustion" is accompanied by the consumption of oxygen.
Typically, VO2 max measurement includes standard exercise protocols called "ramp", when the treadmill speed is progressively increased, or "step", when the speed increases at regular intervals. Depending on the type of training, duration and nature of our body, sugars or fats are burned, but in any case, this "combustion" is accompanied by the consumption of oxygen. The objective is always to reach the maximum speed sustainable by the subject for a certain period. However, the way in which the speed grows can lead to different results and thus to different maximum VO2.
Since there are many variables to consider when choosing the optimal test protocol, it is therefore important to consult specialised personnel when attempting this type of test. Since direct tests for measuring VO2 max are extremely tiring and require special instrumentation as well as specialised personnel, "indirect" and/or "sub-maximal" test methods have also been developed. These have the advantage of not requiring maximum efforts or special equipment. However, this is at the expense of the accuracy and reliability of the results obtained.