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USAT-certified coach Chris Navin is quick to recommend VO2 Max testing on athletes. But for him, the testing is more valuable than the simple acquisition of a single measurement.

In this webinar with KORR®, Navin explained, “With VO2 Max testing, people focus on the name ‘VO2 Max’ and they just think of the VO2 Max score, which is a great fitness benchmark number to know the maximum capacity that your body has to utilize oxygen… But that’s actually not the most useful part of the test. The most useful part of the test is the additional data that you get [from testing], and that really opens the door to more areas of application.”

What are these “areas of application” that Navin is referring to? Let’s look at four of his reasons to administer VO2 Max testing during training.

Measure and Track Aerobic and Anaerobic Threshold

Aerobic Threshold (AeT) and Anaerobic Threshold (AT) are indicators of your athlete’s endurance. AeT indicates when the body starts to rely on anaerobic metabolism to produce energy, and AT indicates when lactate clearance can no longer keep up with accumulation.

The short story - these numbers reveal exactly when fatigue will start to set in for your athlete. This creates a clear vision of where your athlete is getting depleted and how to increase their endurance.

Work in Personalized Heart Rate Zones

When it comes to zone-based training, there are many opinions on how to determine heart-rate zones. But why use generalized formulas when you can create heart-rate zones based on the physiology of each individual athlete?

Using the data from a VO2 Max test (including AT and AeT) to determine heart-rate zones allows you to be personalized and precise in your training approach. It also allows you to maintain consistency in training as you adjust zones with each test, therefore adjusting their zones according to their improved performance.

A quick note: Some VO2 Max test devices will automatically create these zones for you with each test, allowing you to spend less time doing math and more time focusing on your athlete.

Measure Metabolic Efficiency

If CO2 is measured during a VO2 Max test, a Respiratory Exchange Ratio (or RER) can determine the proportion of energy coming from carbohydrates and fats at various levels of exercise intensity. This takes all the guesswork out of refueling post-workout.

Some equipment will even give you ratios of fat vs carb burn throughout each heart rate level during testing, allowing you to develop an in-depth look at their fuel consumption.

Walk Away from the “Cookbook” Approach

All of this data from a VO2 Max test isn’t just interesting. It’s transformative. Personalized results empower you to mold your training to each athlete, and acquiring this thorough picture of your athlete’s physiology clearly defines the road from where they are to where you want them to be.

In this interview with KORR®, professional trainer Joe Rigowski describes how this information affects his training: “The amount of data [VO2 Max testing] gives you allows you to be creative as a trainer… It allows you to dictate what information you want to give the athlete and formulate a plan of action for them, as well as how you want to train them personally. It gives [the athlete] some confidence that you are directing this personally for them and not just taking a ‘cookbook’ approach.”

Chris Navin emphasizes that “it’s not just about the report and the data, but it’s about HOW you use that information.” Adding VO2 Max testing to a training regimen is more than looking at a few numbers on a computer or a piece of paper - it is taking your athletes to a higher level of excellence with unique data detailing their own cardiovascular abilities.


About KORR

For more than 30 years, KORR® has been perfecting the science of metabolic testing - including CardioCoach VO2 Max test equipment. The results? Unparalleled accuracy in an affordable price range, with clear results and software that is easy to navigate. If you would like to learn more about KORR®’s CardioCoach, email or visit