When you’re trying to get physically fit, it’s always good to have a smartwatch or some other device that monitors your statistics as you work out. In fact, this is a great way to keep track of your fitness level so it is easier to determine how well you’re doing and if you’re improving to the level that you’d like to be. The V02 max feature on the Garmin device is one of these tools and it monitors your maximum oxygen volume, which is measured in milliliters. This volume shows how much oxygen you’re consuming per kilogram of your body weight per minute, but how accurate is Garmin vo2 max?
Taking a Look at the V02 Max Feature
Your V02 max number will rise as you become more aerobically fit, so it’s good to keep an eye on that number if you’re attempting to improve your overall health. But can you trust the V02 max number you see on your Garmin device? How do you know if the number is truly accurate? Fortunately, the Garmin device is very accurate because it uses advanced tools and mechanisms that work together to calculate your heart rate and other stats to come up with the right number.
Just how does Garmin calculate this number? First of all, Garmin calculates it differently depending on the activity you’re participating in, and they can calculate the number whether you’re walking, running, or cycling. Here is a general breakdown of how they calculate the V02 max numbers:
- You normally have to exercise for a certain length of time to get a true number.
- You must be attached to some type of device that monitors your heart rate
- Your heart rate must be at 70% of your maximum recommended heart rate for a certain number of minutes
If you remember, when we first heard of “aerobic” exercise, it was stressed to us that in order to get the most out of this type of exercise, you have to exercise at a certain heart rate for a certain number of minutes in order for it to produce the best results. This is what the V02 max number is based on with the Garmin device. It helps you get up to the number that helps you get into the best shape by measuring both your heart rate and the length of time you’re exercising. Together, this makes up your V02 max number.
Let’s Get More Specific
To go into more detail on how the Garmin calculates your V02 max number, take a look at the information listed here:
- For running: Running activity has to last a minimum of 10 minutes (15 minutes for Vivosport), you must be outside and be using a GPS signal, your heart rate has to reach 70% of your maximum heart rate, and the heart rate has to be monitored from either a chest strap or a built-in optical heart rate sensor.
- For walking: You have to walk for at least 10 minutes (15 minutes for Vivosport), you must be outside and be using a GPS signal, your heart rate has to reach 70% of your maximum heart rate, and the heart rate has to be monitored from either a chest strap or a built-in optical heart rate sensor.
For cycling: You must cycle for at least 20 minutes without stopping, your heart rate has to reach 70% of your maximum heart rate, your heart rate has to be monitored from either a chest strap or a built-in optical heart rate sensor, and, most of all, you must be using a power meter.
And if you’re curious about what a “good” V02 max number is, just know that that number is affected by many things, including your age, gender, heredity, body composition, etc. If you want to see some very general numbers, however, here they are:
- For men: A good V02 number is 35-40 mL/kg/min
- For women: A good V02 number is 26-30 mL/kg/min
Once you see this number, you’ll have something to shoot for if it’s not a number that you like.
What Can You Do to Bring Your Number up?
Since a high V02 number means that you’re in great shape and a lower number means that you’re in worse physical shape, it’s possible that you’ll want to bring that number up when you’re just getting started. So, in order to raise your V02 number, you simply have to get in better shape. To make it easy, you’ll have your handy Garmin device that can provide you with your V02 max number any time that you want to take a look at it, so you might as well take advantage of it!
The Garmin device quickly and accurately provides you with your V02 number so that you can gauge how good of a shape you’re in, but don’t despair if the number is lower than you want it to be. Just increase your fitness goals and work hard at them; in no time, that number will be just what you want it to be.