The Åstrand Cycle Test was devised by professor Per-Olof Åstrand, a pioneer in modern exercise physiology at the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences in Stockholm. The objective of the 6-minute submaximal cycle test is to monitor the VO2 max, which is beneficial for athletes as well as for medical rehabilitation as clients do not need to perform at maximum capacity.
What is VO2 Max?
When you are exercising, your heart and your lungs are working hard to pump oxygenated red blood cells around your body to the muscle tissue, where the oxygen is being used. The more oxygen your body can use, the more your muscles can work.
VO2 Max is the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use, or maximal oxygen consumption. Improving it will enable you to increase the time you are able to do moderate or high intensity exercise. It should also make that exercise feel easier, which will definitely help with motivation and keep you wanting to exercise!
How can we assess VO2 Max?
Here at LEAR we use the Åstrand Cycle test. This involves pedalling on a static bike for 6 minutes whilst we monitor your heart rate and the workload (watts on the bike). Before setting off we record your baseline measurements such as age, heart rate and blood pressure. Using this, we calculate a percentage of your maximal heart rate which is known as your target heart rate. During the 6 minutes cycle, we want to ensure you are reaching your target heart rate and keeping a steady pace for the entire 6 minutes. By recording your average heart rate and workload after the 6 minutes, and a lot of behind the scenes math equations, we can determine your VO2 Max.
What are the normal values for VO2 Max?
VO2 Max scores can vary based on a number of factors in addition to fitness, such as your gender, age and genetics. Using VO2 max tables for men and women you can make an estimate of how good your oxygen intake and condition is
Ok great, now what?
Our Health Partners and you can now work together to formulate a health regime to improve all aspects of fitness, movement and wellbeing. VO2 Max is just one of the many measures we assess at LEAR when determining your health and fitness goals.
Want to know more?
Get in contact today to discuss your health goals with one of our qualified Health Partners!