VO2 Max

You have likely heard me talk about the importance of knowing and tracking your VO2 max. As Alex Hutchinson and I discussed in episode #151, your VO2 max refers to the maximum rate at which your muscles can extract oxygen from your blood and put it to metabolic use to generate energy. Your VO2 max is often used as an indicator of overall cardiorespiratory fitness and can serve as a metric for tracking progress.

As I discussed in detail during AMA #27 and again on Twitter in early March 2022, when looking at VO2 max in relation to all-cause mortality, we see a very clear trend. Simply bringing your VO2 max from ‘low’ (bottom 25th percentile) to ‘below average’ (25th to 50th percentile) is associated with a 50% reduction in all-cause mortality. When you go from ‘low’ to ‘above average’ (50th to 75th percentile) the risk reduction is closer to 70%!

The following is a collection of content diving deeper into the topic of VO2 max, including: what it is, how it is measured, and how to improve your VO2 max with Zone 5 training.

VO2 Max

How does VO2 max correlate with longevity?

This video clip is from episode #176 – AMA #27: The importance of muscle mass, strength, and cardiorespiratory fitness for…

#285 – AMA #55: Exercise: longevity-focused training, goal setting, improving deficiencies, managing emotional stress, and more

“Nothing comes close to having a greater impact on the length and quality of your life than your training. And unfortunately, we can’t put it in a pill. You’ve got to be able to do it. There’s no biohack for it.” —Peter Attia

#261 ‒ Training for The Centenarian Decathlon: zone 2, VO2 max, stability, and strength | Peter Attia, M.D.

I would never want anybody to come away from this thinking, ‘I’m too old to do anything about it.’ I think as long as you’re breathing, you have a chance to do something about it.” —Peter Attia

#223 – AMA #39: The Centenarian Decathlon, zone 2, VO2 max, and more

“Time, intensity, and specificity are going to be necessary components to give you the optionality to be able to be as physically active as possible when you’re in the final decade of your life.” —Peter Attia

#217 ‒ Exercise, VO2 max, and longevity | Mike Joyner, M.D.

The idea is to live a long time and then die quickly with minimal disability.” —Mike Joyner

How to incorporate high-intensity training (Zone 5) to increase VO2 max and optimize fitness

This video clip is from episode #201 – Deep dive back into Zone 2 with Iñigo San-Millán, Ph.D. (Pt. 2), originally…

The difference between maximum aerobic capacity and efficiency

This video clip is from #151 – Alex Hutchinson, Ph.D.: Translating the science of endurance and extreme human performance, originally…

Breaking down VO2 max: Definition, history, why it plateaus, and whether it really matters

This video clip is from #151 – Alex Hutchinson, Ph.D.: Translating the science of endurance and extreme human performance, originally…

#205 – Energy balance, nutrition, & building muscle | Layne Norton, Ph.D. (Pt.2)

Lean body mass is inversely proportional to your risk of mortality after age 50.” —Layne Norton

#201 – Deep dive back into Zone 2 | Iñigo San-Millán, Ph.D. (Pt. 2)

You can accomplish very important mitochondrial adaptations and very important metabolic adaptations by exercising one hour.” —Iñigo San-Millán

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