vo2 Max & RMR testing

North 40 Physical Therapy now provides VO2 Max testing, the gold standard for assessing cardiorespiratory fitness. VO2 Max measures the maximum amount of oxygen you can utilize during intense exercise. The higher your VO2 Max, the more energy you can produce during high-intensity workouts. These tests help us gather critical physiological data to enhance your aerobic capacity, set optimal training zones, support weight loss goals, and boost overall performance.

What to Expect



V02 Max Report After the test, you’ll receive a detailed report outlining your:

VO2 Threshold testing and Resting Metabolic Rate Testing are key for evaluating cardiovascular fitness and aerobic capacity. They provide valuable data on VO2 max, ventilatory thresholds (VT1 and VT2), caloric burn, fat vs carbohydrate usage, maximal heart rate, and optimal training heart rate zones. Let’s explore these terms, their relevance to you, and what to expect during testing.

Important Test Values and Their Meanings

VO2 Max: VO2 Max is the maximum amount of oxygen your body can consume during exercise, measured in milliliters per kilogram of body weight per minute. It is the gold standard for assessing cardiorespiratory fitness and endurance potential, and a strong predictor of future life expectancy. Higher VO2 Max values indicate greater aerobic capacity, enabling your cardiovascular system to deliver more oxygen to your muscles, supporting longer and more intense work. Average untrained healthy males have a VO2 Max of 35-40 mL/kg/min, while females have 27-31 mL/kg/min. Elite athletes in endurance sports often have significantly higher values. Fun fact: the highest known recorded VO2 max score for a male was documented at 96.7 mL/kg/min by Oskar Svendsen, a cyclist, and for a female was 78.6 mL/kg/min by Joan Benoit Samuelson, an Olympic marathoner!

Ventilatory Threshold (VT) 1: VT1 marks your aerobic threshold, where ventilation starts to increase and lactate begins accumulating in your blood. This threshold is crucial for pacing in long-distance events and managing calorie burn, typically representing the highest intensity maintainable for 1-2 hours.

Ventilatory Threshold (VT) 2: VT2 indicates your lactate threshold, where lactate accumulates faster than it can be cleared. This threshold correlates with an intensity maintainable for about an hour and is commonly used to create heart rate and pace ranges.

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR): RMR is the number of calories your body burns at rest to perform basic functions. This value helps estimate your caloric needs for weight management and informs dietary planning.

Respiratory Exchange Ratio (RER): RER is the ratio of CO2 produced to oxygen consumed, indicating the type of fuel your body uses (fat, carbohydrates, protein) and the calories burned during activity. Normal RER values range from 0.7 (fat utilization) to 1.0 (carbohydrate utilization).

These values, along with maximal heart rate, lipid metabolism, respiratory rate, work rate, and optimal training heart rate zones, are analyzed after VO2 Threshold and Metabolic testing.

Testing Process

VO2 Threshold Testing: This maximal exercise test is performed on a treadmill while connected to a machine analyzing expired air. After a brief warm-up to establish starting speed, you will wear a heart rate monitor and a mask covering your mouth and nose. The test increases in speed and/or incline every 3 minutes until reaching maximal workload, lasting about 8-15 minutes. Post-test, you’ll receive a comprehensive report with your results.

Metabolic Testing: For Resting Metabolic Rate testing, similar preparation to VO2 testing is required. The test involves wearing a chest heart rate monitor and a mask to measure inhaled and expired air while lying down in a relaxed state for 15-30 minutes. This test provides an accurate measurement of calories burned at rest and fuel usage, aiding in weight management planning.

To schedule VO2 Threshold Testing or Resting Metabolic Rate Testing, visit our website or call us at 406-318-8340. We’re excited to help you reach your maximum potential!