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Treadmill VO2 max Test

Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made. In the analysis, we need to bear in mind the factors that may influence the results.


To monitor the development of the athlete's general endurance (VO2 max).

Required Resources

To conduct this test, you will require:

  • Treadmill where speed and grade of the slope can be adjusted
  • Stopwatch
  • Assistant


How to conduct the test

This test requires the athlete to run on a treadmill, which has its slope increased at one-minute intervals for as long as possible.


  • The assistance sets the treadmill to a speed of 11.3 km/hour (7.02 miles/hr) and a slope of 0°



  • The assistant gives the command "GO", starts the stopwatch, and the athlete commences the test


  • The assistant, at one-minute intervals, adjusts the treadmill slope as per the table opposite


  • The assistant stops the stopwatch when the athlete is unable to continue (ideally between 9 and 15 minutes)
Time (mins) Slope
5 10°
6 11°
7 12°
8 13°
9 14°
10 15°
11 16°
12 17°
13 18°
14 19°
15 20°

Converting from Percent Grade to Degrees

To determine the angle of elevation of a 15% grade, you find the inverse tangent (Arctan) of 15 ÷ 100 (0.15), which is 8.5°.

If the slope is 10°, you determine the tangent of that angle, which is 0.176, x 100 to give a 17.6% grade.

Enter a value, select the parameter (degrees or per cent) and then select the "Calculate" button.

Convert = =


From the total running time, an estimate of the athlete's VO2 max can be calculated as follows:

  • VO2 max = 42 + (Time × 2)

"Time" is the test's total time expressed in minutes and fractions of a minute.


The athlete stopped the test after 13 minutes, 15 seconds of running (13.25 minutes).

  • VO2 max = 42 + (13.25 × 2)
  • Vo2 max = 68.5 mls/kg/min

VO2 max Calculator

For an estimate of your VO2 max, enter the run's duration and then select the 'Calculate' button.

Time minutes VO2 max mls/kg/min

For an analysis of your VO2 max score see the VO2 max page.


Analysis of the test result compares it with the athlete's previous results for this test. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement in the athlete's VO2 max.

Target Group

This test is suitable for endurance athletes and players of endurance sports (e.g. football, rugby) who can run at a steady pace of 7 miles per hour (11 km/hour) or faster but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.


Test reliability refers to how a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test. The following link provides various factors that may influence the results and therefore, the test reliability.


Test validity refers to the degree to which the test measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions made based on test scores are appropriate and meaningful. This test provides a means to monitor training on the athlete's physical development. For assessing your VO2 max see the VO2 max normative data tables.


  • Minimal equipment required
  • Simple to set up and conduct


  • Specialist equipment required
  • Assistant required to administer the test

Free Calculator

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2002) Treadmill VO2 max Test [WWW] Available from: [Accessed