A tape measure, a clock and a calculator: How to MacGyver your fitness age

Exploring Intensity

A tape measure, a clock and a calculator: How to MacGyver your fitness age

If you’ve never heard of VO2 max, it’s not a new energy drink, but the maximum amount of oxygen a person’s body can process during a peak-level exercise. A VO2 max score is now considered the best measurement for cardiovascular endurance and physical fitness.
Screen-shot-2013-11-10-at-6.03.00-PMNorwegian researchers studied more than 4,000 people to create a formula that gives a person their estimated VO2 max score, along with their fitness age, and you can calculate it yourself right at home. All you need is a tape measure, a clock and this handy calculator. After answering a few simple questions like how often you exercise, your waistline and your resting heart rate, their calculator will give you an estimate VO2 max score and your fitness age.

Your VO2 max score is expected to decrease by 9-10% every 10 years after the age of 25, but fitness training can stem that decline. Give yourself the test and see if you need to hit the gym a little more often or if you’re literally young at heart.

After you get a score, see where your score fits with others.

  • Sedentary, non-athletic male in his mid-30s: 45
  • Sedentary, non-athletic female in her mid-30s: 34
  • Pro soccer players (in their 20s): 50-64
  • Speed skaters: 56-73 (M), 44-55 (F)
  • Nordic Skiers: 65-94 (M), 60-75 (F)
  • Baseball/Softball players: 48-56 (M), 52-57 (F)