How does my VO2 compare to pro cyclists?

May 6, 2009
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Last week I had my VO2 max test done, and it was at 65, so how does that compare to the guys in the peloton, or is it indeed quite good. or normal?

I'm not sure if this should be in the form and fitness subforum :eek:
 
Apr 29, 2009
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Way better then average, I think that is about 50. Indurain and co. were about 90.

So you're no genetic freak, but you aren't a donkey either! No idea what the average at pro tour level is - 75-80?
 
craig1985 said:
Last week I had my VO2 max test done, and it was at 65, so how does that compare to the guys in the peloton, or is it indeed quite good. or normal?

I'm not sure if this should be in the form and fitness subforum :eek:
Its at the lower end for an athlete, but very good for a non athlete.
I would be surprised to find a pro cyclist with Vo2 max less than early 70s.

More importantly, if you are 6ft 5' and 100kg then it is a probably not such a good reading, if you are 5ft 2' and 60kg then you are looking good.
 
Mar 19, 2010
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andy1234 said:
Its at the lower end for an athlete, but very good for a non athlete.
I would be surprised to find a pro cyclist with Vo2 max less than early 70s.

More importantly, if you are 6ft 5' and 100kg then it is a probably not such a good reading, if you are 5ft 2' and 60kg then you are looking good.
Vo2max is expressed per kilo, hence if he did weight 100 kg that would be an awesome 6.5 L.min-1... which would be a very high reading. Loose another 30 kg and we could be dealing with a champion!
 
Aug 12, 2009
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andy1234 said:
Its at the lower end for an athlete, but very good for a non athlete.
I would be surprised to find a pro cyclist with Vo2 max less than early 70s.

More importantly, if you are 6ft 5' and 100kg then it is a probably not such a good reading, if you are 5ft 2' and 60kg then you are looking good.
Wrong way around dude. VO2 max is normally recorded in ml/kg/min. The heavier you are and the higher the figure the more aerobic capacity you have. Many rowers have higher output aerobically than cyclists, problem is they are heavier. The reading is given and then divided by your weight to show VO2 max. A lighter person has less to gain aerobically if they drop weight. Someone like Cancellara, if he lost weight would have a monstral VO2max, just like the 100kg guy. He drops 10-15 kg, it would be in the 80s easily, which is achievable. the 60kg guy cannot drop that weight. He's near his genetic potential.

Simon Gerrans has one of 80. An Olympic Aussie female triathlete has one of 68, same too with an Aussie Olympic Gold medal rower. All taken at the VIS Craig. Yours is pretty high actually. Cadel allegedly has one of 88. Lance's is 81, 82 max, it was always changing. Basso's has done the same...his is 80, 81 as well. Hence why I've always said Cadel is better than Basso clean. His engine is bigger and guess what, Sassi said so. Lemond had one of 92-94, depending on his weight and where his training was at. Hinault said his was 92. Indurain's is reported as 88. I heard a rumour Floyd's was 90...but I'm not sure. VO2max means a great deal over 3 weeks.

One other thing Craig, do you know what your haematocrit level is? If it is over 44, I'd say over 46, then you'd be a pain in the **** on a group training ride to drop. Either way dude, you are tons fitter than the average person. Go to your local gym and you'd wipe the floor of most people in any aerobic utilising class(es).
 
Fester said:
Vo2max is expressed per kilo, hence if he did weight 100 kg that would be an awesome 6.5 L.min-1... which would be a very high reading. Loose another 30 kg and we could be dealing with a champion!
Oops, you are of course correct. I am confusing absolute with normalised.
Weight loss is however no more possible from a lean 100kg athlete than it is from a 60kg lean athlete.
The limitation in cycling terms, is the frontal area of a larger rider.
 
Galic Ho said:
Wrong way around dude. VO2 max is normally recorded in ml/kg/min. The heavier you are and the higher the figure the more aerobic capacity you have. Many rowers have higher output aerobically than cyclists, problem is they are heavier. The reading is given and then divided by your weight to show VO2 max. A lighter person has less to gain aerobically if they drop weight. Someone like Cancellara, if he lost weight would have a monstral VO2max, just like the 100kg guy. He drops 10-15 kg, it would be in the 80s easily, which is achievable. the 60kg guy cannot drop that weight. He's near his genetic potential.

Simon Gerrans has one of 80. An Olympic Aussie female triathlete has one of 68, same too with an Aussie Olympic Gold medal rower. All taken at the VIS Craig. Yours is pretty high actually. Cadel allegedly has one of 88. Lance's is 81, 82 max, it was always changing. Basso's has done the same...his is 80, 81 as well. Hence why I've always said Cadel is better than Basso clean. His engine is bigger and guess what, Sassi said so. Lemond had one of 92-94, depending on his weight and where his training was at. Hinault said his was 92. Indurain's is reported as 88. I heard a rumour Floyd's was 90...but I'm not sure. VO2max means a great deal over 3 weeks.

One other thing Craig, do you know what your haematocrit level is? If it is over 44, I'd say over 46, then you'd be a pain in the **** on a group training ride to drop. Either way dude, you are tons fitter than the average person. Go to your local gym and you'd wipe the floor of most people in any aerobic utilising class(es).
Yes, ignore what I said :) see above.
 
craig1985 said:
Last week I had my VO2 max test done, and it was at 65, so how does that compare to the guys in the peloton, or is it indeed quite good. or normal?

I'm not sure if this should be in the form and fitness subforum :eek:
Well Thor Hushovd for example has around 78 while EBH has 87.

Then there is Dag Otto Lauritzen who measured a VO2 max of 60 at the age of 54.
 
Jul 6, 2009
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vo2 is of course important but there are many factors to consider. look at cavendish he has a very very bad vo2 but again not the only factor to good cycling.
 
Jul 29, 2010
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Yeah, I think 65 is a lot better than "good for a non-athlete". It is not in the stratosphere of 'elite' national-class athlete, but for weekend warrior citizen athlete-types, it is very very respectable.

I think w/ the right gear, you could go far. Anybody know what Papp's was? Now there's a good example of a guy 'punching above his weight' due to the gear...
 
maltiv said:
Well Thor Hushovd for example has around 78 while EBH has 87.

Then there is Dag Otto Lauritzen who measured a VO2 max of 60 at the age of 54.
At age 54 I climbed La Faucille (11.3km and 711m elevation, no wind) in 35:41. I was fit, about 60kg.

A few years earlier, a bit less fit and 64 kg instead of 60, I did a real VO2 test (with tube in mouth) and managed 63.7 ml/mn.kg. Later that day I climbed La Faucille but could not manage better than about 38min.
So I would think that at age 54 my VO2 max was higher than Lauritzen's, but if I placed well in général in my age category (mountain climbs and such) , I was certainly not the best.
 
NashbarShorts said:
Yeah, I think 65 is a lot better than "good for a non-athlete". It is not in the stratosphere of 'elite' national-class athlete, but for weekend warrior citizen athlete-types, it is very very respectable.

I think w/ the right gear, you could go far. Anybody know what Papp's was? Now there's a good example of a guy 'punching above his weight' due to the gear...
I actually said "VERY good for a non athlete", ie has potential to be a very good athlete.
Potential being the key word.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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I am sure I read in a cycling magazing Nicolas Anleka had a vo2 max of somewhere in the 60s, he was the lowest of all that was tested and he's a footballer:S but at least there are some elite athletes with the same, Anelka doesnt seem to be unfit either.

I cant remember the exact numbers in that article but Lemond had a really high one 90+ Indurain was a bit lower and armstrong was mid 80s I think, although those guys are legendary cyclists so maybe it isn't a helpful comparison for you.
 
Aug 11, 2009
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A couple posters here compared the quality of certain gt riders' "engines" based upon their ml/kg/min VO2 numbers. There is definitely something to be said for this comparison, but two big qualifiers need to be kept in mind:

1) efficiency can make a big difference, even at pro level; thus, watts per kilo power output at VO2 max can be a more useful metric than merely seeing how much oxygen a rider is absorbing; and

2) a true VO2 max effort is in the 3-5 minutes range, making it a much more revealing metric for evaluating pursuit specialists than gt riders--even though it of course still tells you a lot about any endurance rider.
 
Jun 25, 2009
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Le breton said:
At age 54 I climbed La Faucille (11.3km and 711m elevation, no wind) in 35:41. I was fit, about 60kg.

A few years earlier, a bit less fit and 64 kg instead of 60, I did a real VO2 test (with tube in mouth) and managed 63.7 ml/mn.kg. Later that day I climbed La Faucille but could not manage better than about 38min.
So I would think that at age 54 my VO2 max was higher than Lauritzen's, but if I placed well in général in my age category (mountain climbs and such) , I was certainly not the best.
Very good performance!

La Faucille (11.3km and 711m elevation, no wind) in 35:41.

Your VAM, w/kg according to Dr. Ferrari : VAM 1196 m/h, 4.55 w/kg
 
craig1985 said:
Last week I had my VO2 max test done, and it was at 65, so how does that compare to the guys in the peloton, or is it indeed quite good. or normal?

I'm not sure if this should be in the form and fitness subforum :eek:
As several people have mentioned, VO2 max is not enough even though it is a very good indicator of what you can achieve with proper training.

When I started racing again after age 40, I had a VO2 max around that figure, 65. It was enough to get reasonably good results with the junior-senior crowd, but no wins.

When I was around 20, i inferred from a variety of indicators that I probably had a VO2 max around 72. It was enough to win occasionnally, but not very often as I was/am so slow in the finish ( except uphill).

The next indicator of interest would be VO2 at lactate threshold, which tells you what fraction of your VO2 max you can sustain for a long period ( 1-2 hours). That is something you can increase substantially with appropriate training.

Now, 72 does not translate to a lot of power when you are only 60kg. So, you need to add something else if you are to be competitive with 70 kg guys. In my case, in my 20's, that was "instant recuperation" : after a max effort, I only needed seconds to be ready for a similar effort. Something that is of no use in a TT but invaluable in head to head confrontation.

So, I would say that with 65 VO2 max you have a pretty good competitive potential, specially if you are 70 kg or more and have something to add to it like a good sprint or something else, like a 3rd lung (I am thinking of a guy would could sustain a conversation even though he was just hanging on!)
 
craig1985 said:
Last week I had my VO2 max test done, and it was at 65, so how does that compare to the guys in the peloton, or is it indeed quite good. or normal?

I'm not sure if this should be in the form and fitness subforum :eek:
I forgot to mention this

http://www.polar.fi/support/product_support?product=7886&category=FAQs&documenttitle=get&document=/gip/PKBStoGIP.nsf/c225742500419a8ac22567dc00542fc4/c225742500419a8a4225681f005e304d?OpenDocument

You will find how you compare with the general population. I assume you are 25 or 26 (1985)
 
Jul 17, 2009
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craig1985 said:
Last week I had my VO2 max test done, and it was at 65, so how does that compare to the guys in the peloton, or is it indeed quite good. or normal?

I'm not sure if this should be in the form and fitness subforum :eek:
If you are putting time and money into this science you might want to also consider other markers such as lactate threshold which some argue is more predictive of performance and manageable up or down is a training schedule

Did the group you went through for this testing offer or suggest such as a percentage of vo2?
 
Nov 9, 2010
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flicker said:
I am curious as to why this thread is in the clinic?
Thanks in advance, Flicker
The Clinic tends to know a lot of science related to cycling, if one can put it that way.
 
Apr 23, 2010
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Vo2 Max Comparison Chart

Olympic X-Country Skiers = 82 f65
Olympic Distance Runners = 78 f60
Olympic Distance Swimmers = 72 f57
Olympic Cyclists = 73+ f60
Elite Triathletes = 75 f65
Competitive Cyclists = 65 f58
Olympic Speed Skaters = 75 f56
Age 20-29 ave = 42 f32
Age 30-39 ave = 37 f27
Age 40-49 ave = 32 f23
Age 50-59 ave = 27 f21
age 60 -69 ave = 23 f19

The chart illustrates the average values for maximal oxygen consumption ( mlO2/kg-min) for various populations taken from treadmill tests.
 
I find the VO2 max stuff very interesting so I had mine tested couple months ago. I had 48.5 and was very disappointed while the tester was pretty excited. She explained I was really way above average. I am 56yo, 74 kg, and did 315 watts for 5 min. Always need to do better though, right.
 
Galic Ho said:
VO2max means a great deal over 3 weeks.
VO2 max, per se, is not a good (physiological) predictor of performance.

All it tells you is whether you have the O2 capacity to possibly enter the elite playing field but the VO2max range of successful athletes is very large.

A far better physiological indicator of performance potential is sustainable aerobic power to mass ratio, which is not only a factor of VO2max, but of efficiency and how high your threshold is as a percentage of VO2max.

Then of course there are other non-physiological factors.
 
veganrob said:
I find the VO2 max stuff very interesting so I had mine tested couple months ago. I had 48.5 and was very disappointed while the tester was pretty excited. She explained I was really way above average. I am 56yo, 74 kg, and did 315 watts for 5 min. Always need to do better though, right.
Yes, I wish I were 74 kg.

Dave.
 
Jul 6, 2009
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Haematocrit test

For one reason or another I was in hospital the other night & then ran 3x blood tests & ecg tests all night on me as they wouldnt believe my heart rate was so low. When I was tested my heart was between 36 - 40 BPM. Anyway after being in hospital all I got all my results and was wondering what my Haematocrit test = 40.5 is.... reading from some early comments I can see its ok.

I'm 32yo, 5ft6 & 61kg.
 

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