World Best VO2 max Scores
The maximum rate of Oxygen (O2) consumption by the body during exercise, commonly written as VO2max, is the criterion measure of aerobic endurance fitness. You can read details of the procedures for conducting a VO2max Fitness Test. The measurement can be given in the units liters of O2 per min (l.min-1) or divided by body weight to get a score relative to a person's body weight (ml.kg.min-1)
Wikipedia lists VO2 max levels for the average young untrained male of about 3.5 liters/minute or 45 ml/min/kg. In comparison, world class male endurance athletes in sports such as cycling and cross-country skiing typically achieved scores in excess of 80 ml/kg/min, and occasionally a few may exceed 90 ml/kg/min. The average young untrained female will score about 2.0 liters/minute or 38 ml/min/kg compared to world class female endurance athletes which a few may exceed 70 ml/kg/min. See also some VO2max results for athletes for specific examples for a range of sports.
Below is a list of VO2max scores (in the units per body weight: ml/kg/min) that have been recorded for a variety of athletes in a range of sports. Not all the values have been verified, and the accuracy of these values may vary, as the scores achieved depend on the quality of the equipment used, the calibration of the equipment, and the testing protocols used. However, these values still provide an interesting list for comparison and discussion.
Having a high VO2max does not necessarily mean that you will be successful. Although all the athletes listed below have been successful in their chosen sports, there have also been others equally successful who have not recorded such high VO2max scores. There are obviously other factors to consider for success in aerobic based sports.
These are some of the top male VO2max scores ever recorded (in ml.kg.min-1).
|97.5||Oskar Svendsen||Cycling||18 year old from Lillehammer, Norway. The test was conducted in Sept 2012 at the University College of Lillehammer by physiologist Joar Hansen. (from an article on procycling)|
|96.0||Espen Harald Bjerke||Norwegian cross country skier||This score was achieved in 2005 (7.3 liter/min, 76 kg body weight), listed in an article on www.fasterskier.com.|
|96.0||Bjørn Dæhlie||Norwegian cross country skier||This score is commonly quoted, though another source has him recording a best of 90 ml/kg/min.|
|93.0||Kurt Asle Arvesen||Road Cycling||a Norwegian professional road bicycle racer for Team Sky. Figure taken from article on syklingens verden website, said to be from 1997.|
|92.5||Greg LeMond||cycling||US professional cyclist|
|92.0||Matt Carpenter||runner||Pikes Peak marathon course record holder|
|92.0||Tore Ruud Hofstad||Norwegian cross country skier||achieved in 2005|
|91.0||Gunde Svan||Swedish XC-skier||won a total of 4x gold, 1x silver and 1x bronze medals at the Winter Olympics.|
|91.0||Harri Kirvesniem||Finnish cross country skier|
|89.5||Kilian Jornet||Ultr-endurance runner||from a test in 2012 by Daniel Brotons Cuixart, a sports specialist at the University of Barcelona.|
|88.0||Miguel Indurain||cycling||professional cyclist|
|88.0||Anders Aukland||cross country skier||achived 2005, listed in an article on www.fasterskier.com.|
|87.4||Marius Bakken||runner||Norwegian 5k record holder|
|87.0||Jon Anders Gaustad||cross country skier||achived 2005, listed in an article on www.fasterskier.com.|
|86.4||Edvad Boasson Hagen||road cyclist||from Norway and Team Columbia-HTC. Figure taken from article on syklingens verden website, possibly from 2008.|
|86.0||Thor Hushovd||cycling||listed in an article on www.fasterskier.com.|
|86.0||Ole Einar Bjœrndalen||biathlon||listed in an article on www.fasterskier.com.|
|85.0||Dave Bedford||runner||10k world record holder|
|85.0||John Ngugi||distance runner||World XC Champion|
|84.6||Chris Fromme||cyclist||from a test at the GlaxoSmithKline Human Performance lab in London in August 2015. His weight on the testing day was 69.9kg.|
|84.4||Steve Prefontaine||runner||from the US|
|84.0||Lance Armstrong||cycling||professional cyclist|
|83.5||Mark Walters||cycling||a pro-cyclist, former Navigators team member, won Philadelphia. This score was from the peak of his career. (personal communication, heard first hand from Mark himself)|
|83.0||Jens Arne Svartedal||cross country skier||achived 2005, listed in an article on www.fasterskier.com.|
|82.7||Gary Tuttle||US runner|
|82.0||Kip Keino||runner||Olympic 1500 champion|
|81.1||Craig Virgin||distance runner||twice World cross country champ|
|81.0||Jim Ryun||runner||US miler WR holder|
|Norwegian professional soccer player||listed in an article on www.fasterskier.com.|
|80.1||Steve Scott||runner||US miler 3:47|
These are just a few VO2max scores (in ml.kg.min-1) that have been found for females. Most likely many there are more scores that can be added to this list. As with the above male top score list, not all these values have been verified, and the accuracy of these values may vary.
|78.6||Joan Benoit||distance running||1984 Olympic Marathon Champion|
|76.0||Flavia Oliveira||Cycling||Oliveira is a Brazilian National Team road cyclist and climbing specialist. This result was recorded during testing with Felicia Gomez at Pinnacle Training Systems in Fresno, California on Jan 21, 2012. (with thanks to Nathan Parks, Jan 2012)|
|74||Charlotte Kalla||XC-skier||achieved at only 2O years of age|
|72||Toini Rönnlund||XC-skier||achieved in the sixties sometime.|
|71.2||Ingrid Kristiansen||distance running||ex-Marathon World Record Holder|
|67.2||Rosa Mota||distance running||Marathon runner|
- procedure for VO2max Testing
- VO2max results for athletes.
- more Fitness Testing Records and other Sporting Records
- More Records? I scan the internet for the latest athlete results. If you know of something I have missed, it would be great to hear from you.