How Accurate is a VO2 Max Monitor?

vo2 max monitor   is a measure of your body’s maximum capacity to take in oxygen and deliver it to your working muscles. It is an important marker of your cardiovascular fitness and a great predictor of your future health. It’s also a useful tool for those training for an endurance event like a marathon or IRONMAN triathlon.

You can track your VO2 max on most Garmin devices with the Cardio Fitness feature in the Health app. Your score is plotted over time, so you can see your progress as you train.

To calculate your VO2 max, your device needs to have consistent G

PS data from an outdoor run and reliable heart rate data, either through a built-in optical heart rate sensor or a chest strap. Your device will then use a combination of different equations to generate an estimate of your VO2 max based on your age, gender, weight and other factors.

Unlock Your Fitness Potential: A Guide to the Best VO2 Max Monitors in 2024

The accuracy of a wrist-worn VO2 monitor will fall far short of a lab test conducted by a sports physiologist using sophisticated equipment, but it’s a good snapshot of your fitness and a good motivator to push yourself harder when you exercise. A number of studies have looked at VO2 max estimates generated by various Garmin models and compared them to gold-standard lab measurements. The best results seem to come from those with a chest strap, but a recent study by Rebecca Moore and colleagues at Eastern Michigan University, used a Garmin Forerunner 235 and a Polar V800 with the wrist sensor (the latest model without an embedded heart rate sensor). The researchers found that both Garmin devices overestimated VO2 max in their subjects.