VO2 Max-Effort Lift

By Christian Larson

In ExPhysiology

October 10, 2015

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Once considered the gold standard of fitness, VO2 max is now just one aspect of athletic performance.

“By analyzing the amount of oxygen you consume, the (VO2 max) test determines how efficiently your body extracts and uses oxygen from the air. This makes it the gold standard of fitness markers, as well as a strong indicator of your overall health.”

That statement appeared in the April 21 Menshealth.com article “5 Health Tests That Could Save Your Life.”

Do you think it’s correct? Incorrect? Partially correct?

As CrossFit athletes, we’re interested in a broad and inclusive fitness, high levels of general physical preparedness (GPP) and increased work capacity. CrossFit training is often characterized by intensity, and many CrossFit athletes aren’t especially fond of long, steady-state workouts that require lower intensity due to their duration. That’s OK, because we can achieve aerobic adaptations through the interval work that has always been a large part of CrossFit programming.

“Properly structured, anaerobic activity can be used to develop a very high level of aerobic fitness without the muscle wasting consistent with high volumes of aerobic exercise,” CrossFit Inc. Founder and CEO Greg Glassman wrote in the CrossFit Journal article “What Is Fitness?” “The method by which we use anaerobic efforts to develop aerobic conditioning is ‘interval training.’”

The more we understand about the mechanics of aerobic adaptation, the better the foundation for solid programming, so let’s take a quick look at these adaptations through the lens of the Fick equation, named for German physiologist Adolf Eugen Fick.

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