How Accurate is Your VO2 Max Monitor?

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The vo2 max monitor is one that accurately estimates your VO2 maximum through a combination of the data it collects from your body. Typically this includes your heart rate, pace/speed and running/cycling power. In a nutshell, your VO2 maximum is the amount of oxygen (VO2) your body can use while exercising as hard as you can. It’s an important fitness measurement because it can help you understand the capacity of your cardiovascular system and how your training is improving your ability to exercise and perform at a higher level.

Unlock Your Fitness Potential: A Guide to the Best VO2 Max Monitors in 2024

The most accurate way to measure VO2 Max is in a lab by a physiologist, where you’ll wear a mask and complete a progressive treadmill test to voluntary exhaustion while the physiology technician measures your lung volume and the concentration of oxygen and carbon dioxide inhaled and exhaled. Portable testers like the VO2 Master are also available, but they’re much more expensive and impractical for most exercisers.

Several fitness trackers claim to measure your VO2 Max, but the reality is that most of these measurements are just estimates. This is because most rely on equations and at-home tests rather than collecting and analysing the precise information a lab test provides.

Despite this, there are a handful of sports watches that can estimate your VO2 Max. Many utilise the Firstbeat method, which was patented in 2012 and is prevalent across a number of Garmin devices including its GPS tracking and heart rate monitoring wristwatches.

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