What is Lance Armstrong doing that you can do to improve your results?
Most people exercise to lose weight, focusing solely on that one goal. Goal
wait, it’s not just about looking aesthetically pleasing, putting on those skinny jeans,
or lose ten pounds. It is really about improving your health and that of human beings.
Every day, when you are huffing and puffing on the treadmill, concentrating vigorously
about staying slim, have you ever thought about what it’s like physically
happens in your body besides burning a lot of calories?
For best results, more people need to stop focusing solely on burning calories,
and start thinking about improving fitness values like VO2 Max, or maximum
What exactly is your VO2 Max? VO2 Max is defined as the highest rate at which
oxygen can be taken in and used during high-intensity dynamic exercise. When
you’re doing aerobic exercise on your treadmill, each and every muscle
contraction requires oxygen to break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins;
therefore, it provides the energy (ATP) necessary to fuel the muscles so that the movement is
The human being, at rest, needs 3.5 ml of oxygen, every minute, for every kilogram of body
weight just to support the cellular activities in the tissues that keep us alive.
Now let’s get back to our treadmill. As speed or incline increases
(intensity), more oxygen is required to transfer the oxygen through the blood and
in the muscles. Due to the higher intensity during your exercise session, more
Oxygen is required to start the energy release process.
Now let’s get the treadmill up to a speed and incline where it can no longer
catch your breath comfortably. The intensity has increased significantly, but you
has reached an upper limit on the amount of oxygen it can take. This is
your VO2 max.
VO2 Max values differ from individual to individual. Factors such as age, health,
activity levels, training programs and genetics affect VO2 Max. a sedentary
person has a VO2 Max of about 20 ml of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per
minute of exercise. A highly trained endurance athlete may have a VO2 Max of
Now why does Lance Armstrong win all those bike races? yes, he has a great
training program, a great coach and a great team. However, its genetics
an endurance athlete is nothing short of amazing. Do you know his VO2?
Max measures around 83-85 ml/kg/min, while the average person’s is around 40?
For Lance, his success is attributed to a combination of great training, will,
desire and an incredible genetic makeup.
A super human spear:
1. Lungs – 2 times the capacity of an average person
2. Muscle – Accumulates less lactic acid and is more efficient in
3. Heart: It is about 1/3 larger with a resting heart rate of 32 beats per
minute, and peaks at about 200 beats per minute.
4. Body fat: 4-5 percent before the Tour starts, while an average
person has 15-20 percent.
5. Food consumption: you need 6500 calories per day and more than
10,000 a day by biking in the mountains during his 120-mile race.
How is VO2 Max improved? The improvement is seen progressively
challenge yourself aerobically with consistent workouts at 60% to 85% of your
maximum heart rate (220-age) for an extended period of time. the most
important variable is to continue trying to increase the intensity levels of your
workouts. Progressive overload is the key; your body will adapt and improve
your VO2 Max and burn more calories to decrease body fat.
Now you wonder, how can I measure my VO2 Max?
For the most accurate measurement, you can go to a hospital or a university.
Human Performance Lab and get tested. Typically, you will use a treadmill or
stationary bike and be given an oxygen mask to measure your oxygen exchange.
Electrodes will also be attached to your chest to measure your heart’s response.
The main objective is to walk, ride a bike or run since the intensity is progressive.
raised until it is no longer possible to go any further. (You must be authorized or
monitored by your doctor before attempting a VO2 Max test.)
The easiest. but not as accurate, is to make an estimated submaximal aerobic
The following is one of many tests that can be used.
Find a 400 meter track, bring a stopwatch and walk or run as fast as you can.
12 minutes Keep track of the number of meters you have traveled in 12 minutes,
and use the following formula.
Distance traveled in meters – 504.9 / 44.730 = estimated VO2 max
Here is a rough guide:
4-5 laps covered, your VO2 Max will be around 30.
5-7 laps covered, your VO2 Max will be around 45.
7-8 laps run (2800 meters), your VO2 Max will be around 62.
8-8.5 covered laps (3200 meters), your VO2 Max will be around 67
9 covered laps (3600 meters), your VO2 Max will be around 70.
Learn to keep a close eye on your fitness values and try to continually improve
them. The improvement will lead to great health benefits and may result in your
goal of decreasing body fat (depending on your nutritional habits).
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By: Jim O’Connor (The Fitness Promoter) – All Rights Reserved