Performance, genetics and VO2 Max

Thursday, March 03, 2016. Author Pleuni Hooijman

Cardiorespiratory endurance is a key element of health and fitness. In sports, it is reflected in the ability to sustain exercise over an extended period of time. How well the body can take up oxygen, clear lactate, and move efficiently, determines your level of cardiorespiratory endurance, and these factors are largely influenced by age, physical training and genetics.

There are several methods to measure cardiorespiratory endurance. Amongst them - and probably the most important one - is the maximal rate of oxygen uptake by the body (VO2max). A high VO2max has been shown to be an important factor for success in intermediate and long distance endurance sports1 2 3, which primarily depend on ‘burning’ carbohydrates and fats using oxygen.

VO2max is a frequently used measure in sports and science to determine the effect of training, to study the influence of genetic factors on endurance capacity. And, when combined with heart rate and performance tests it can be extremely useful in customizing training plans.

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