Exercise Bike Fitness Test
Vic Denwood provides an overview of how to monitor your fitness level (VO2 max) on an exercise bike.
Congratulations! You have an exercise bike. It is easy to see how much weight it helps you lose by use of the bathroom scales, but you will also wish to know your gain in fitness. This is not quite so easy because the fitness level is based upon your Maximum Volume of Oxygen taken up while exercising (VO2 max). However, Astrand (1954)came up with a simple solution that relates your Pulse Rate and the Work Output in watts you are generating, to a VO2 max index, and thus to a tabular evaluation of your fitness.
The Nomogram diagram below is used to evaluate your results. It has pulse rate readings for Male and Female, and workload readings for Male and Female.
Decide which sex you are then:
An example line, in red, has been drawn, for a 55-year-old male with a pulse rate of 130 and a workload of 100 watts. His resulting VO2 max index is 40.
VO2Max Index Tables
Two tables are provided below, one for Female results, the other for Male results. Choose the row appropriate to your age and see where your index number appears. The column title will tell you your overall level of fitness. For our example, a 55-year-old male with a VO2 max of 40 gives a fitness rating of “Good.”
Normative data (Heywood 2006) for Female (values in ml/kg/min)
Normative data (Heywood 2006) for Male (values in ml/kg/min)
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About the Author
Vic Denwood is a retired RAF Engineer and IBM Business Analyst. This is his first article, and his nomogram scores are Age 68, Pulse 126, Workload 125 watts.