Unleash Your Inner Athlete: 3 Ways to Improve VO2 Max

Anju Mobin - Writer for Trim Down Club
By Anju Mobin
Davor Štefanović - Editor for Trim Down Club
Edited by Davor Štefanović

Updated April 25, 2023.

A woman running up the stairs in order to improve her VO2 Max

Are you an athlete looking to build more stamina or just seeking to enhance your overall fitness? You'll be happy to know that one of the crucial predictors of success in endurance sports is your VO2 max.

But what is VO2 max exactly?

VO2 max is a term used to describe how much oxygen your body can utilize during exercise. It basically measures how fit you are and reveals your aerobic fitness levels.

Now, why is a VO2 max important?

A higher VO2 max allows you to exercise for longer periods without getting tired compared to someone with a lower one. So how long does it take to increase VO2 max?

Let's explore three effective ways to do just that and answer this question.

3 Ways to Improve VO2 Max

  1. Interval Training
  2. Endurance Training
  3. Combined Interval and Endurance Training

1. Interval Training

Interval training involves alternating between low- and high-intensity workouts, and it's been proven to be more effective in boosting VO2 max than continuous aerobic exercise.

While your body needs around one minute to achieve VO2 max, this level can be sustained for 5 to 8 minutes.

Traditional VO2 max intervals consist of 3 to 5 minutes of intense exercise followed by 2 to 4 minutes of recovery periods. Adding interval training to your exercise routine is an efficient strategy to improve endurance and increase VO2 max, especially for beginners who should start with shorter intervals of intense exercise.

2. Endurance Training

Endurance training is an effective way to boost your VO2 max. However, as you become fitter, you'll need to increase the frequency, duration, or intensity of your workouts.

For example, runners can gradually extend their distance or time spent running and include interval or hill training for more challenging workouts. Listening to your body and avoiding overtraining is crucial to reap the benefits of endurance training without risking injury or setbacks.

What Exercises Increase VO2 Max?

These exercises can improve VO2 max:

  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Cross-Country Skiing

3. Combine Interval and Endurance Training

While both interval training and endurance training are effective ways to improve VO2 max, incorporating both types of workouts into your program may be the most effective approach. Endurance training enhances your body's ability to use oxygen, while interval training pushes you to work at higher intensities.

Over time, your endurance will improve. Your heart will be able to pump more blood, and your VO2 max will improve considerably.

Combining both exercises creates an intense workout program, ideal for those who are already physically fit.

The optimal training program will depend on your current fitness level and goals, so it's essential to gradually increase workout intensity and duration to avoid injury and burnout.

Elevate Your Fitness Journey with Improved VO2 Max

TDC's 7-minute workout is a surefire way to boost your VO2 max and build up your stamina, even if you are a beginner. If you've been inactive before starting to work out, it can take 4-6 weeks to see results. As a rule, the fitter you are, the longer it takes.

Designed with SIT exercises that push your heart rate to the max, your ability to utilize oxygen for the workouts increases as your heart health improves.

This low-impact workout routine is quick and easy to do, and you can easily incorporate this into your daily schedule. Start today, and with consistency and patience, you'll improve your endurance and elevate your VO2 max for better overall fitness.