What is aerobic power and how can you improve it?

Ever wonder how fit you really are? There are multiple ways to get an idea of ​​your current fitness level – such as tracking your reps, monitoring your heart rate, or measuring your body fat percentage.

But one metric you may be less familiar with is gaseous capacity.

Whether you are new to exercise or consider yourself a workout pro, finding out your aerobic abilities can be a great way to determine how fit you are and keep track of your progress over time.

Here’s what you need to know about wind power – and how to improve it.

What is gaseous power?

Aerobic power is the point at which your body is using as much oxygen as possible, using it as efficiently as possible.

“Aerobic capacity is the maximum amount of oxygen the body can use during intense exercise,” explained Trevor Thiem, senior director of fitness and nutrition at CSCS, Beachbody. “Knowing your aerobic abilities can give you an objective idea of ​​your current cardiorespiratory fitness level.”

Let’s get back to the basics: When you exercise, you breathe in oxygen, which is transferred to your blood vessels through your lungs.

Now-oxygenated blood travels to the heart to spread to your tissues and muscles, where oxygen is used. Oxygen works with glucose to make adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to fuel your muscles.

The more you exercise, the more your muscles will be able to use oxygen – and the more aerobic you will be.

Is Aerobic Power Like VO2 Max?

Yes. Terms Gaseous power And VO2 max Often used interchangeably – and they’re basically the same, says Theme.

VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use in a given period of time – in other words, it is a measure of your gaseous capacity.

VO2 max is usually measured in milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute (ml / kg / min).

You can see the terms Gaseous energy Or Maximum oxygen intake When referring to gaseous capacity, however, underline all these same concepts: the rate at which you take in and use oxygen.

How to measure gaseous capacity

Measuring your own VO2 max can help you get a baseline for your current fitness level and track improvements over time. Choose from the following methods for your calculations

1. Fitness is wearable

An easy option might be right on your wrist. Many fitness wearables – such as Garmin, Jabra, and Fitbit – provide an estimated VO2 maximum calculation based on your heart rate, age, sex, and weight.

But the key word with this GuessTheme says: “Wearable things can give you a rough estimate of your gaseous capacity, but for a truly accurate assessment, you’ll need to visit a sports performance lab for indirect calorimetry testing.”

2. Indirect calorimetry test

For the most accurate measure of aerobic power, you may want to check an indirect calorimetry.

Even weekend fighters and average joss can afford to do this test in a sports lab. (Some hospitals, training centers and universities also offer it.)

During the test, you will be wearing a mask that measures your breathing when you practice increasingly rigid on a treadmill or stationary bike.

This is less convenient (and less comfortable) than testing your fitness tracker, but for those who really want to improve their aerobic capacity, this test is the best way to get an accurate VO2 maximum measurement.

How can you improve air capacity?

Once you have a baseline for your aerobic strength, you can focus on improving it.

“Research shows that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the best ways to increase aerobic capacity,” says Theme.

“The key is to exercise at an intensity of your lactate threshold (the point at which you start burning your muscles) that will bring you about 80 percent of your maximum heart rate.”

Here are a few more workouts that can help you maximize your VO2.


Less time? Tabata lets you maximize your VO2 while blasting through ultra-short, ultra-intense workout segments (such as burps, jump squats, or mountain climbers) and a short rest time.

This four-minute form of HIIT follows a 20-second work pattern, followed by a 10-second rest, for a total of eight sweat-induced cycles.

Sprint break

One study suggests that sprint interval training may be an effective way to increase aerobic capacity.

In just six sessions of the sprint interval, the athletes trained in the study improved their overall running time, fatigue time, and maximum strength.

Even better, you can adapt to almost any sport in an effective sprint interval workout.

Love to swim? Instead of a slow and steady swim, do a 50-meter freestyle as fast as you can, with a recovery break in your lap.

If you want to ride a bike, pedal hard at your maximum effort for 30 seconds, then go at a smooth speed for up to 4 minutes while your breathing time.

(This recovery time is crucial for your body to recover so that you can continue your best efforts for each break.)

Cross training

Cross-training is about simply mixing your workouts – for example, doing a HIIT workout on Monday and doing a low-intensity study-state (LISS) cardio on Tuesday.

According to the American Council on Exercise, a LISS workout is a low-pressure way to improve gaseous capacity.

Doing a strenuous HIIT workout every single day can put you at risk for extra training – especially if you are a fitness beginner.

By adding low-intensity workouts to your week, you can improve your aerobic capacity while giving your body a chance to recover.

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