The Benefits of VO2 Testing

There are many misconceptions surrounding VO2 testing. This is an attempt to bring clarity and understanding of the benefits and reasoning behind the test. 

Threshold Identification

The most important data we pull from the test results are your aerobic threshold (AeT or AT1) and anaerobic threshold (AT or AT2). These are both extremely important as they signify when your body decides to switch between substrate (aka fuel) sources such as fat, glycogen or carbs, and lactate (lactate is a third fuel source). 

Become a Fat Burner

In order to maximize fat for fuel, you have to integrate two practices. 
1) training at an intensity that primarily uses fat for fuel
2) eat a diet that makes fat a focus

Without knowing the "sweet spot" or "crossover point", which is equivelant to your AeT you may be missing out on fat adaptation. 

More Work with Less Expense

Image courtesy of International Sports Sciences Association

Endurance Fibers aka AeT Training / Lower HR
Type I fibers or slow twitch fibers burn more fat for fuel and are great at fuel conservation. Think of these as the diesel engine fibers. If you're training at lower intensities, you're developing these fibers.

Power Fibers aka >AT Training / Higher HR
Type II fast twitch fibers burn glycogen at a high rate and eat through calories extremely quick. They're used to high output and need energy to produce big power, which is their job. These are the rocket boosters. If you're training fast or hard, you're developing these fibers.