Fitness Testing

Fitness Testing Records

VO2max test records

running manVO2 max is the measure of the maximum oxygen rate of use during exercise, and is used as the criterion measure of aerobic capacity, which reflects the physical fitness of a person. However, as seen by looking at the figures below for a variety of athletes and sports, having a high VO2max does not necessarily mean that you will be successful, and vice versa.

Wikipedia suggests that the average young untrained male will have a VO2 max of about 3.5 liters/minute or 45 ml/min/kg. In comparison, for world class male endurance athletes in sports such as cycling and cross-country skiing, scores are typically in excess of 80 ml/kg/min, and occasionally a few may exceed 90 ml/kg/min. The average young untrained female will score about 2.0 liters/minute or 38 ml/min/kg - compared to world class female endurance athletes which a few may exceed 70 ml/kg/min.

Here is a list of VO2max scores (in ml/kg/min) that have been recorded for a variety of athletes in a range of sports. The accuracy of these values may vary, as the scores achieved may depend of the quality of the equipment used, the calibration of the equipment, and the testing protocols used. However, these values still provide an interesting list for comparison and discussion.

96.0 Espen Harald BjerkeNorwegian cross country skier, in 2005 (7.3 liter/min). article
96.0 Bjørn Dæhlie, Norwegian cross country skier (another source has him recording a 90 ml/kg/min)

92.5 Greg LeMond, professional cyclist
92.0 Matt Carpenter, Pikes Peak marathon course record holder
92.0 Tore Ruud Hofstad, Norwegian cross country skier, in 2005
91.0 Harri Kirvesniem, Finnish cross country skier

88.0 Miguel Indurain, professional cyclist
87.4 Marius Bakken, Norwegian 5k record holder
85.0 Dave Bedford, 10k world record
85.0 John Ngugi World XC Champion
84.4 Steve Prefontaine, US runner
84.0 Lance Armstrong, professional cyclist
82.7 Gary Tuttle, US runner
82.0 Kip Keino, Olympic 1500 champion
81.1 Craig Virgin, twice World cross country champ
81.0 Jim Ryun, US miler WR holder
80.1 Steve Scott, US miler 3:47
78.6 Joan Benoit, 1984 Olympic Marathon Champion
78.5 Bill Rodgers, 2:09:27 marathoner
77.4 Don Kardong, 2:11:15 marathoner
77.0 Sebastian Coe. WR mile, 1500
76.6 John Landy, WR miler
76.0 Alberto Salazar, 2:08:51 marathoner
74.3 Amby Burfoot, US marathoner
74.4 Johnny Halberstadt, 2:11:44 marathoner
74.2 Kenny Moore, US marathoner 2:11:36
73.5 Grete Waitz, Norwegian Marathon runner/10K runner
73.3 Bruce Fordyce ultramarathoner
73.0 Buddy Edelen, 2:14:28 world record marathoner (1963)
73.0 Jeff Galloway, US Runner
72.8 Jarmila Krotochvilova, Czech Olympian 400M/800M winner
72.3 Peter Snell, Olympic champion
72.0 Zithulele Sinqe, 2:08:05 marathoner
71.3 Frank Shorter, US Olympic Marathon winner
71.2 Ingrid Kristiansen, ex-Marathon World Record Holder
71.0 Paula Ivan, Russian Olympic 1500M Record Holder
70.3 Willie Mtolo, 2:08:15 marathoner
69.7 Derek Clayton, Australian ex-Marathon World Record holder 2:08:35
67.2 Rosa Mota, Marathon runner

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