The more aerobically fit you are, the greater your body’s capacity to transport and use oxygen. An elite athlete who competes in endurance events like the Tour de France may have a VO2 Max of 80 or higher. But, a middle-aged person who doesn’t exercise may have a VO2 max of 20-40 ml/kg/min.
A VO2 max study can help an athlete design a more effective exercise program. It can also be used to determine whether certain symptoms are being caused by problems with the heart or with the lungs. Physicians use this test when evaluating patients with heart failure: the better their exercise performance, the milder the heart disease.
A VO2 max study is performed while you exercise on a treadmill or stationary bicycle.