VO2 Max

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
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Asakadai, Saitama
#1
Recently I bought a new running watch from Garmin (Forerunner 620) and one of the new features it has on it is a VO2 Max calculator. I'm not sure exactly how it works but I believe it takes your heart rate and GPS data, throws it into a few algorithms and gives you a VO2Max number. I'm well aware that this kind of feature probably won't be the most accurate but it is quite interesting. I was wondering if anyone out there knows of any sports testing labs in the Tokyo/Kanto area that conducts proper VO2 Max tests. What kind of prices are we talking about? 10,20, 50,000 yen? I wonder if garmin will be releasing the feature on their cycling computers in the future.

Thanks in advance
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
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538
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Yokohama
#2
Recently I bought a new running watch from Garmin (Forerunner 620) and one of the new features it has on it is a VO2 Max calculator. I'm not sure exactly how it works but I believe it takes your heart rate and GPS data, throws it into a few algorithms and gives you a VO2Max number. I'm well aware that this kind of feature probably won't be the most accurate but it is quite interesting. I was wondering if anyone out there knows of any sports testing labs in the Tokyo/Kanto area that conducts proper VO2 Max tests. What kind of prices are we talking about? 10,20, 50,000 yen? I wonder if garmin will be releasing the feature on their cycling computers in the future.

Thanks in advance
You can actually do it yourself doing the shuttle run (bleep) test - it's actually very accurate and you can download the "Bleeper" software from various sports/running related websites.
 

bawbag

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Mar 20, 2013
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63
Tokyo
#3
You can actually do it yourself doing the shuttle run (bleep) test - it's actually very accurate and you can download the "Bleeper" software from various sports/running related websites.
Very accurate is pushing it - any test which doesn't actually take an oxygen measurement is purely an estimate. True VO2 max tests require a respiratory monitor and either a treadmill/bike on a trainer. Not saying the estimators are not accurate, but just like body fat analysis, you can't get true accuracy outside of a medical facility.

From what I gather from one of my friends, a cardiologist/surgeon at Tokyo University Hospital, the students there are always on the lookout for lab rats for experiments. Perhaps contacting medical universities would yield some offers.
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#7
We'll have SmO2 test equipment within a couple weeks and available at our training lab. This is a slightly different approach than the 'gas bag' method which compares O2 levels of intake vs outtake then apply an algorithm to obtain VO2Max. SmO2 measures muscle oxygenation so it allows you to trend the recovery side of your effort more accurately. By knowing that, you can indicate exactly when to begin a next set of intervals, for example. The cool thing about this kind of sensor technology is that you don't need to drag along a volumetric analyzer and gas mask everytime you train!

VO2Max testing is a good way to get some indication of fitness and a nice benchmark to correlate zones based on HR on a periodic basis. The Shuttle, Bleep, Beep, etc tests as FE mentions are probably good enough - (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2924218) And if you engage the service(s) of a coach they will be able to help you conduct this with sufficient accuracy as to be valid.

If you use the Metropolitan Gym, then you may need a couple of hints:

1) They have larger mask sizes now - make sure you ask for it. The first one I used was too small and heavily constricted my breathing.
2) Bring in your own pedals! Their ERG uses standard cycling crank arms and you are welcome to fit your own pedals.
3) They get quite busy and you need to find out exactly when to call , when to call for appointment. It's a little confusing - but there is a schedule to call-for-the-call-for-the-appointment.

There may be other testing facilities - it would be great if anyone could find and list them?? I heard that a small facility in Yotsuya exists and they also have a hypobaric chamber to conduct at-altitude testing and training sessions.
 

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,514
2,191
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Asakadai, Saitama
#8
Thanks for all the replies. I'll have to check out some of those gyms to see what they offer.

The bleep test takes me back to my secondary school days. I remember asking the P.E teacher one year if my friend and I could take the bleep test because the rugby team had done it the week before.
Mr.Smith, my P.E teacher, gave us a ghetto blaster and bleep test tape. My friend and I went to the assembly hall to do the test. We set up the tape then started the test, running back and forth within the time limit indicated by the bleeps. I don't remember the exact numbers but my friend got around 12.5 and I think I got around 13.5. Everone was shocked that Tony Lewis, from the rugby team beat both myself (school cross country captain) and my mate (cross country team runner) with a score over 14.
The next week was the school "Houses" annual cross country running race (For non-British, think of the Quidditch tournaments in Harry Potter, but running instead). Everyone from the other houses were saying Tony Lewis was going to crush me in the race. If I recall correctly, he came 5th. Not quite the crushing blow people had anticipated. ANyway, to cut a long story a little shorter, it turns out that when doing a bleep test, you ahve to measure a set distance and run that distance between the bleeps. My mate and I, not being the sharpest tools in the toolbox, had just run the entire length of the assemble hall between beeps, meaning we were running much further than we should have been doing. If I do another bleep test, I'll be sure to measure the distance :)

@GSAstuto That sounds like some fancy equipment. What kind of monitoring equipment will you be using? NIRS? The palce in Yotsuya sounds very cool , but very expensive.