​The Importance of VO2 Max Testing

Cenegenics is designed around creating a completely personalized experience. This applies to each of our programs, as well as our advanced testing. How your body utilizes oxygen is an important measure of your overall health. The results gathered from VO2 testing can aid in further customizing your Elite Health Program to meet and exceed your goals.

What is a VO2 Max Test?

VO2 max tests are also known as maximal oxygen uptake tests. The main idea behind VO2 max testing is to measure your response to incremental increases to the intensity of cardiovascular exercise. It can accurately, and efficiently, reveal important data points about your cardiovascular fitness-- a determining factor of your general health. Although this test can be used for athletes, you certainly don’t have to be one. Whether you work in the office all day or run marathons regularly, your aerobic & anaerobic performance will be comprehensively tested.

How is VO2 Max Testing Performed?

Depending on the patient’s needs, there are usually multiple ways of performing the same test. This is the case with VO2 max. The most routine way involves walking on an inclined treadmill.

Every 120 seconds, the treadmill’s total speed and incline are slightly increased in intensity. This process continues until your maximal work capacity is reached. While this is a widely used method of testing, it also increases the risk of personal injury. Running and even walking, at consistently high speeds while fatigued, can possibly create an unsafe environment for those who are overweight, sedentary, or dealing with a previous injury.

When you reach a state of physical depletion, there can be a serious risk of falling involved. At Cenegenics, our first concern is that all precautions are taken to prevent injury and ensure your safety at all times.

A safer and equally accurate option to the treadmill test, is the cycle ergometer. It utilizes the same principle of increasing intensity, but minimizes the risk of injury, while also negating the possibility of a fall.

Aerobic Threshold (AeT)

This is where oxygen supply is adequate for the
major muscle groups. Below the aerobic threshold indicates a level of effort that can be maintained for many hours. Training below the aerobic threshold is of minimal value for most populations. This is also measured.

Anaerobic Threshold (AT)

This is the exercise intensity level at which your muscle’s demand for oxygen is
not being fully met, leading to “oxygen debt”, and is recognized as your anaerobic metabolism. Lactic acid begins to accumulate causing burning in your muscles and increased fatigue. Vigorous effort can be sustained for an extended duration, at intensity levels below the anaerobic threshold, but not above. The anaerobic threshold is measured as a part of a VO2 Max test.

Why is VO2 testing important?

Can you recall the last intense workout you had where you monitored your heart? Going all out-- hearing your heart pump like you were running after the ball again. Regular exercise is a crucial part of staying young, but most heart rate machines that you see in the gym, are giving inaccurate readings. Your anaerobic threshold (AT)-- could be off by over 50 heart beats per minute.

Due to the large discrepancy in target heart rate displays, they are deemed ineffective and counterproductive. At Cenegenics, we feel that health should be built around the individual, not the other way around. Our team will design a cardiovascular program based on your current fitness level-- aimed towards strengthening and conditioning your heart, incinerating fat, and reducing the total amount of time spent working out. Just like each patient has unique needs and goals, no two programs will look exactly alike.

How to Read VO2 Max Test Results

We use cutting-edge VO2 max software that provides extremely accurate and useful information. Using this data simplifies and streamlines the process of understanding your results.

One of the most outstanding qualities of this test is its ability to track all of the following data in 15-second intervals for the duration of the entire test, allowing our physicians to observe not only the changes that occur but also how quickly physiologic markers shift as the exercise intensity increases. Simply put, this helps us track your body’s every move while in a state of exertion.

Why do VO2 Max Test?

The main outcome of a VO2 max test results in incredibly important data, including a solid picture of your overall health, potential disease risk factors, and your current fitness levels. The VO2 max test is the gold standard in predicting long-term health and disease risk. At Cenegenics, it’s just one important part of our full suite of diagnostics.

What if working up a quick sweat could dramatically increase the performance of your heart? VO2 max scores on the lower end have been associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. This test is so powerful, that it’s a more accurate predictor of heart disease than evaluating all of the classic signs such as smoking, hypertension, or high cholesterol. This compelling fact has led us to use this highly effective method above other traditional, less effective approaches.


Each data point is valuable, but when simply looking at overall health, nothing is more important than the relative VO2 max and METS indicators.

These two data points can reveal the most about your current health status.

VO2 testing blends your general health and current level of fitness together-- providing useful and pertinent information. This data can massively shape your current exercise routine. Most exercise equipment does not have the ability to accurately analyze VO2, but a simple heart rate (HR) monitor will let you easily implement the data.

In today’s technologically advanced world, everything from smart phones to Fitbits can be used to measure your heart rate and provide you with real-time feedback. Using heart rate to prescribe exercise, rather than just going by how you “feel”, allows us to take the guesswork out of fitness and instead know the exact range you should be performing in for optimal health. This makes it easy to track progress and outline your goals in a challenging, yet realistic manner.

How, Precisely, is this Done?

 For clinically healthy patients, your Cenegenics physician will determine a set of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for you to perform. Once your muscles and joints are warmed up and loose, incremental adjustments to the intensity of the exercise will be made to help you reach your anaerobic zone. Upon reaching your physician-provided target heart rate, you will slowly and steadily recover back into the moderate heart rate range. Your VO2 max results will determine your specific recovery periods and training frequency.

On the other hand, if your VO2 max results uncover that high-intensity interval training may be too challenging or dangerous for you to start with, your physician will provide you with a target heart rate within the moderate range and steady-state cardiovascular options.

Maximizing Results at Cenegenics with VO2

At Cenegenics, our goal is to encompass all aspects of your health and wellness and focus on your body as a whole. We use the data from your VO2 test to adjust your comprehensive program and minimize risk factors for age-related diseases. After completing the assessment, your data will be analyzed by a Cenegenics physician. A qualified exercise coach and nutrition counselor will also help in making recommendations and adjustments to your unique plan.

Once you have your target heart rate zones, you’ll have a clearly defined path to your personalized workouts. By working within this target range, you will be performing anaerobic exercise at times, which will stimulate the EPOC effect.


EPOC stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. It refers to the period of time following physical activity during which your body uses oxygen to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP), clear out lactate, return normal oxygen flow to the rest of your body, and restore your body’s temperature to a normal level. After exercising, your body’s metabolism will be stoked and active. This is a time where you can sit back, relax, and reap the rewards of burning extra calories from your high intensity workout.

There’s no better investment in your health than VO2 max testing. Your Cenegenics team is waiting!

Take Your Health to the Next Level

There’s no better investment in your health than VO2 max testing. Your Cenegenics team is waiting

to provide you with an incredible experience!

Cenegenics is the clinical leader in age management medicine, Cenegenics uses preventive care which begins with a comprehensive elite health evaluation, additional testing such as telomere or heart attack and stroke prevention program can be added for an additional cost, the cost of Cenegenics can vary based on location