World Best VO2max 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-1.min-1)
Wikipedia lists VO2max levels for the average young untrained male of about 3.5 liters per minute or 45 ml.kg-1.min-1. 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-1.min-1, and occasionally a few may exceed 90 ml.kg-1.min-1. The average young untrained female will score about 2.0 liters/minute or 38 ml.kg-1.min-1 compared to world class female endurance athletes which a few may exceed 70 ml.kg-1.min-1. 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-1.min-1) 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-1.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.|
|93.9||Brett Aitken||Track Cycling||Australian Olympic track cyclist. From testing done at the South Australian Institute of Sport in 1991. (see comment below)|
|93.0||Kurt Asle Arvesen||Road Cycling||a Norwegian professional road bicycle racer for Team Sky. Figure taken from an article published on www.syklingensverden.com, said to be from 1997 (link no longer available).|
|92.5||Greg LeMond||cycling||US professional cyclist|
|92.0||Kilian Jornet||Ultr-endurance runner||There are many online references to a score of 92, though his website lists his VO2max of 85-90. He scored 89.5 from a test in 2012 by Daniel Brotons Cuixart, a sports specialist at the University of Barcelona.|
|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|
|88.0||Miguel Indurain||cycling||professional cyclist|
|88.0||Anders Aukland||cross country skier||achieved 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||achieved 2005, listed in an article on www.fasterskier.com.|
|86.6||Mark Tarnopolsky||Ski-orienteering / winter triathlon||Canadian athlete. Result from lab testing at McMaster University Kinesiology|
|86.4||Edvad Boasson Hagen||road cyclist||from Norway and Team Columbia-HTC. Figure taken from article on www.syklingensverden.com, said to be from 2008 (link no longer available).|
|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||achieved 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-1.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. 1984 Olympic Marathon Bronze - 1988 Olympic Marathon Champion|
- 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.
Commenting is generally closed on this page, though past commnets and sellected new comments may be added.
- I read your top Vo2 tests - I have represented Canada in Ski-orienteering and winter triathlon and have won over 50 trail races, orienteering, XC ski and adventure races and have had my VO2 tested over 10 times (4 over 80) at McMaster University Kinesiology when they were certified by CSEP (CASS at the time) - highest was 86.6 (have record and Barrie Shepley (Canadian Triathlon Coach who ran the test to verify as well. (from Mark Tarnopolsky, Feb 2022)
- I only googled this because I was watching a documentary on tv about it. I scored 93.9 ml/kg/min at the South Australian Institute of Sport in 1991 and 93.6 ml/kg/min in 1989 and wanted to know if it was the highest ever recorded. I went on to win Olympic Gold in Sydney 2000 in the Madison Cycling event 'drug free'! If Chris Barnes had done his research he would have seen that Stuart O'Grady and Brad McGee (also in cycling) had tested above 92 at SASI under the sports scientist 'Neil Craig' who also worked under the AIS in the 90's. Brett Aitken (2013)
- Jonathan Panoff to Brett Aitken (2014)
Hey Brett. I rode against you in 1986-1990 and I can verify personally you rode clean and you were a cycling machine. Your progress was consistent with increased training loads as you matured year after year.
- Bruce to Brett Aitken (2017)
Just stumbled across this content. Out of interest, Callum Watson is put forward as the highest ever VO2 max recoded at the AIS. It was 90. something and done in the last few years. Callum is an Australian Cross-country ski racer. Just wondering about how Vo2 max was measured at the SAIS in the 90s versus recent times at the AIS in Canberra and if there are variations over time in measurement technology and technique.
- JFRA24 Brett Aitken (2020)
How old were you?
- Munchma Quchi Brett Aitken (2018)
I'll ask David Martin and he'll know precisely what the highest V02s at the AIS are.
- Wake Brett Aitken (2013)
Brett - I wouldn't give a lot of veracity to score significantly higher than yours. Neither would I believe that highly trained Olympic grade cyclists, sprinters or distance runners could show any significant improvement from "performance enhancing drugs".
- Tim (2013)
hahaha these commentors are a joke. There's kids posting here saying they have (80+) ml*kg scores for max tests. You have either no idea what you're talking about, or the "universities" you got tested it are a complete joke.
Average of NCAA D1 distance runners (the highest known average VO2 for any college sport) is around 70-74. I run at University of Oregon and mine was tested last year as 72.8 (tested by the same human physiology department that is funded by both Nike and Columbia - both company founders went to the university of oregon.) If you think you have higher than this, go run a mile flat out, try and run a mile close to at least 4:20 pace. If you cant, don't waste people's time here commenting about your simply outrageous non-accurate Vo2 max scores.
- Di Tim (2013)
If somebody cannot run a 4.20 mile, that does not mean they are wasting anybody's time, it just means they cannot run that speed!
- NewportPersonalTraining.co.uk Di (2013)
think the point he is making is that people are crazy! If your not a professional standard at a sport relying heavily on fitness (less skill involved) then you prob did not get over 80! but i agree a cyclist will never run 4:20min per mile (which is national standard), maybe a rugby player or footballer it would be applicable too, but its the same as asking mo farah to swim or cycle fast, if he cant then he is rubbish and lying about being fit
- Joey GF NewportPersonalTraining.co.uk (2014)
A football player no way or rugby for that matter. Cyclists know how to suffer. Football players are jokes.
- Joshua Landvatter Joey GF (2015)
Ultra-Distance runners know how to suffer as well ;)
- GE NewportPersonalTraining.co.uk (2015)
Your logic is nonsensical. One does not have to play a sport to achieve a high V02 max. One only has to consistently train in a manner that best increases V02 max. Needing to be "a professional standard at a sport" has to do with exactly nothing.
- Daniel Di (2017)
Hi body , there is lot of people who can run a 4min 20 pace / mile. When i was at universitty we were 12 guys over 15 who were running under 4min /mile including John halvorsen who was in out team. I score myself at 82 and John score 92...
- Tj Tim (2013)
I stand with you... vo2 max without a correlated measurement of extraordinary performance means very little. I think its funny seeing Armstrong with a 84 at the bottom of the list, clearly one of the worlds best known endurance athlete, trained under medical supervision to maximize his lung capacity, lactate/vo2 max performance for nearly 20 years. Maybe we should consider the inconsistencies in the test environments. What test instrument was used, were they different manufactures? What movements were tested: running, cycling, skiing swimming? what equipment was used -Example: personal bike or a spinning bike? how well did the (bike) setup match the individuals race bike configuration. What was the altitude of the test? Anyway, my point is these number should not be compared against each other because other than the name of the test, there is no consistency or control. At best these test could be used as a personal reference point for the individual taking this test multiple times over their career.
- John Coyle tj (2017)
What is missing here is that different sports tend to have different VO2 measurements. the more isolated a muscle group, the lower the VO2 - hence cross country skiers will score higher than cyclists or runners. The notion posted above that it is a joke that someone who can't run a sub-4 minute mile couldn't possibly have a higher VO2 misses that point. I'm pretty certain that there are exactly zero sub 4 minute milers that could finish even a single TDF stage or ride at 31mph for an hour, but that's not to diminish their amazing capacities. By all rights I have no business to be a world class athlete with a silver medal in the olympics with my almond sized lungs and a VO2 of 52... but I do. Because it is just one of many metrics. I generate and process lactic acid efficiently, so under a steady load my Aerobic Threshold (AT) on the bike is about 220 watts, BUT i often finished races that averaged in excess of 300 watts... because I was pulsing out short segments of 800 or 1000 watts or more and then resting. I've heard, but not corroborated that motorcyle motorcross racers have the highest measured V02's because they exercise every muscle in the body in a push, pull, AND twist and that no other sport uses every muscle in such a consistent way. As for Lance - I was there when he did his V02 test and it was an 84. He was 18 I think, which brings up the final element - if you are in excellent shape then your V02 is essentially genetic - it won't change much / if at all as long as your body weight is consistent. I took the V02 3 times and scored the same all 3 times...
- James Page tj (2016)
Armstrong was a good athlete. His first TdF was average (44th place I believe).He became "great" only when he started a sophisticated doping regimine, using EPO, blood transfusions HGH, Cortisone, Testosterone etc. In other words, he's a fraud. If you want to talk about great cyclists, see Greg Lemond/Bernard Hinault/Eddy Merckz. All did it clean. Any three of them would have cleaned Armstrong's clock in a straight up competition without doping.
- Martin Christensen James Page (2017)
Why do you think they did it clean, that seems very naive to asume since not only were doping widespread back then as well as Merckz being tested positive 4 times in 8 years, pretty much proves your comment wrong (punishment were less severe back then).
- Varus James Page (2017)
He was the world champion at 21 prior to any doping.
- Munchma Quchi Varus (2018)
Armstrong started doping at the OTC.
- Lance12 Lance Munchma Quchi (2018)
when you started?
- Munchma Quchi lance12 Lance (2018)
Are you stalking me?
- Jacek Kapela James Page (2017)
Let me remind you that Hinault was suspended for one month for avoiding the doping tests. Eddy Merckx was kicked out of Giro for failing doping test. They are as clean as Marco Pantani who was never cought but was suspended for exceeding 50% rule for hamatocrit. I don't believe knowing cycling history, that any (inluding LeMond, Froome, Wiggins and son on) cyclist won TdF clean on pan and aqua. BTW my 13-year old son just took up his firs tests. His sustained VO2 max @ 275W was 66 while peak was 69 @ 300W.
- Daddyfunshine Tim (2017)
Part of the disagreement here is due to a misunderstanding of what VO2 max means and it's relationship with performance level. VO2 max is simply a measure of how rapidly a person can use oxygen, not how efficiently they can cover distance. Picture it like an economical car verses a fuel guzzler. Obviously the ability to utilise oxygen is vital in endurance sports but so is efficiency, which accounts for the lower uptake in the high cadence styles of Froome and Armstrong. Cross country skiers use more oxygen due to their requirement to recruit more mucle groups. Furthermore it should be noted that VO2 max is largely genetic and affected no more than 10 per cent by training. The fluctuations in trained athletes' VO2 max scores are largely accounted for by changes in body weight, not total oxygen consumption.
- JFRA24 Daddyfunshine (2020)
Do you have citations? I want to learn more.
- Jefferson Luis Melchioretto Daddyfunshine (2017)
I had a 20% vo2 increase this year. Vo2max comes from training as well but limited to genetics.. nobody is born at its top level.
- Daddyfunshine Jefferson Luis Melchioretto (2017)
Where on earth did you get that data from, a fitness watch? Armstrong only varied around 15% from his peak to his near death bed. If that figure is genuine you could make a fortune from advising people on how you did it. If you had a dramatic weight loss (ie 20%) then as I stated in the original comment, that would explain it. But there's no way you can change maximal oxygen uptake that significantly.
- Jefferson Luis Melchioretto Daddyfunshine (2017)
XC skiers have their huge vo2 max for the muscle use in the sport, surely, but some mountain bikers are doing xc ski to increase their vo2 and excell at their sport as well.. this is why I believe vo2 is trainable..
- Jefferson Luis Melchioretto Daddyfunshine (2017)
If you could measure his vo2 when he was 18 and to the top of his career how much it would have changed? I do believe 20% increase is trainable in absolute values..
- Jimmy_Tan (2013)
Norwegian cross country skiers were doped from head to toe in the past two decades, period. We do not need to prove it. All we need to do is to look at footage and observe how inhumanly superior they were (kinda like DDR back in the 70s/80s). It's laughable.. Why Lance is still on this list is beyond me. And when it comes to the rest of cycling dopers, Contador and Schlecks, they shouldn't be allowed to race anymore.
- JPVan Jimmy_Tan (2013)
Slurring in a pseudo-authoritative way is unbecoming. Before you spout off, watch the Cross Country Skiing Men Team Sprint Free Complete Event Final at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and tell me it's not the most demanding cardio/aerobic competition going. Then explain how the silver and bronze medalists were so close together and why the entire field, except for one laggard, was well-bunched. Lastly, to hone your infinite wisdom and back up what you say, let the readers know how these teams managed to get around Olympic doping tests.
- Alternatively, recognize that this particular athletic discipline employs all muscle groups and is a combination of speed and resistance exercise at high altitude.
- As an NSCA-certified personal trainer with an athletic and academic background, were I to design a program for someone to chase the VO2 Max record, I would alternate cross-country skiing with swimming (where anaerobic fitness also comes in).
- Mountain Goat Jimmy_Tan (2013)
You are what in society we like to call an idiot. Go ahead... make assumptions, but The Schlecks do not appear to use any drugs. Franck was partially excused, i undersatnd that. Andy while a superb cyclist is not at the top, if he was using drigs he would be able to time trial decently. Which we all know he struggles with(why he has only won 1 tour).
- AndersMN (2016)
And the reason x-country skiers are so high on the list is because in their sports the use the whole body for propulsion, not just legs like cyclists or runner. Rowers would be up there for that reason, but they are too heavy to score well. The top result skiers mostly are the smaller lighter ones.
- Bruce BNE (2020)
There's not much competitiveness in an endurance cyclist with a VO2max of 70ml/kg/min if his lactate threshold is 60%VO2max. A cyclist with VO2max of 55ml/kg/min, and LT of 95%VO2max should beat the former. If both weigh 75kg, the former has LT of 0.6*5.25L/min=3.15L/min. the latter 0.95*4.1L/min= 3.9L/min
- JFRA24 Bruce BNE (2020)
Can you clarify where these equations come from? Thank you.
- Bruce BNE JFRA24 (2020)
Lactate threshold is usually expressed as a % of one's VO2max.
However, to compare the lactate threshold of 2 people of similar/same bwt, LT must be normalized as ml/kg/min. To attain this, one simply multiplies VO2max by the LT%. The point of my post above is that of 2 cyclists of same bodyweight, the one who burns more O2 per minute will have a higher power output, and therefore will be superior in competition.
- Chaser2 (2019)
I think the results shown are somewhat an indication of actual VO2 max by far from objective. It's a pretty good bet that the top V02 max would not vary more than a percent or 2 between the very top athletes. We know from experience that max O2 uptake is when you are around 26 to 27/years old. For results to be so far different and many years away from 27 makes me think the Measuring techniques and equipment varies a great deal.
- Melena Ballou (2017)
This is outdated, Kilian Jornet tested 92 in 2017.
- Rob Admin Melena Ballou (2017)
thanks, I've updated the list
- Bruce (2017)
Oskar is at the top of the list. No idea about the validity of his score. While he is put down as a Cyclist, he is a Norwegian and look at town he comes from!! I am sure, like me, many others reading this have raced cross-country skiing in Lillehammer/Nordesetter and know it as a key world cross-country racing 'hot' spot. I reckon he would have raced cross-country skiing through his primary and secondary schooling years as a matter of course; hence the massive score at a young age, Or maybe, I am very wrong?
- Neal (2016)
Medicinal mushrooms can improve lung oxygen absorption as well as the time it takes to recover from training.
- AndersMN (2016)
Sven-Åke Lundbäck, x-country skier and world champion, was measured at 93 in the early seventies. That was the highest recorded score for many years
- Pete_CSCS (2015)
When I was taking exercise science in college, we were taught in 1992 that the highest VO2 maxes ever recorded were: Male - 92 and Female 88 both done by cross country skiiers. In subsequent years looking up the records on the internet, I found the same 2 values listed. Neither of these is listed here.
- Also in Lance Armstrong's autobiography, he states that he was tested at the Cooper Institute when he was 16 and scored the highest VO2 max they ever recorded (I think it was 91). The Cooper Institute should have a record of that claim if true. That also isn't listed here.
- Jonathan Panoff (2014)
The reason why cyclists have such a high VO2 max is that they are usually lighter than most other athletes like footballers.
- Stuart Jonathan Panoff (2015)
Yeah but runners are ever lighter and have to be more efficient in oxygen consumption per kilo of body weight not specifically to power in legs like cyclists who don't fight gravity like runners do.
- Carlos Helms (2014)
LOL....I didn't do squat athletically but was a guinea pig for a physiology lab for more than a year. My predicted VO2Max was 80. I actually tested out on a velodyne at 66...at 40 years old. Nobody rewrote the protocols to cover the discrepancy. VO2Max appears to be a crapshoot.
- John Mandrake (2014)
Makes sense the cyclists have the highest scores. A little surprised at cross country skiers though making multiple entries on the table. Maybe I should pick it up.
- Steve Flint (2014)
I had a max Vo2 test back in 1982 which came out at 89.5 ml/kg/min which my explain why I never ran more than 60 miles per but managed the following times having taken up the sport of running at 14 years of age 1.52 / 800m @17 , 23.52 / 5 miles @ 18 and 49.00 / 10 miles and 3.58 mile @ 19 . . as well as representing England at XC . . . before an Achilles injury ended my short career . . . but I could be wrong ! :0)
- Eric (2013)
I just scored a 54 VO2 max off just 20-25 miles a week of running for the past couple months. I'm 34 and just started back running from a long lay off of doing hardly anything. My 5K PR is 16:24 at 25 years old again with very little training maybe 30 miles a week tops. Upping my mileage to at least 40+ a week and doing internals should bring my VO2 Max up to closer to ~65- 70 I would imagine. I've never consistently ran more like ~ 40 miles a week as a runner. Thinking if I do I may achieve a VO2 Max of 70+.
- TS Eric (2013)
Train, Train, Train. You will get faster, but your V02 max won't go up significantly unless you drop a lot of weight. (remember there is a "/kg" at the end of that equation) High VO2 max is a gift. It is THE gift that Pre spoke of. We all received a gift, it's just that some are more gifted. Keep training though, you will become more efficient, stronger, and more psychologically fit...and faster too.
- Eric TS (2014)
So about 6 weeks later and upping my mileage gradually to 35 per week I've achieved a V02 Max of 60 (up 6 points) and I don't think I'm even remotely close to maxing out. If I gradually up my training to 60+ miles a week, etc. I'm pretty confident I can post a V02 Max closer to 70 possibly a bit above.
- The degree at which an individual has potential to improve in this regard I believe varies hugely from person to person. Some folks start off really high and can barely improve no matter what. Others start off moderately high but can improve tremendously with the correct training.
- Right now I'm 5'9 / 140lbs. with a 5K time of 16:30. I would wager that once I get that down to 15:59 or better my V02 Max will be at least 63-65. Not sure how much I can improve after this but I'll see. I don't think a ~70 V02 Max is out of the question though.
- ASU Student Eric (2014)
The younger you are, the higher your potential VO2 max is to a point as your maximum HR is higher than a 34 year old (220 - Age). It is also not necessarily how far you run per week but how intense the volume of work is! Walking 150 miles a week will not improve your VO2max as much as running at .99 RER for 20 miles a week!
- Dd Eric (2013)
great topic...I is a fit NON PRO 25yr ...have VO2max of 64ml/Kg. (PR 1:59 800m) 950Watt ave 2minute cycle). but surely using LARGE muscles allows greater taxing of heart... hence cross coutry skiers having max VO2max....this makes perfect sense... Cyclings' limiting factor is not the heart but local muscle fatigue...---when moving all limbs in largest range possilbe the heart - and hence muscle o2 uptake - is trained and taxed most...
- Steve dd (2013)
950 watts average for 2 minutes on a bike, that is beyond almost any pro cyclist I've ever heard of, and I've been a competitive cyclist for years. Training on a computrainer 700 watts for a minute weighing 175lbs is very very high. If that number is from a generic exercise bike then its simply not accurate at all.
- John Coyle steve (2017)
For your weight DD I've not seen 950 for two mins. Most world class Kilo riders come in a little below that figure for a one minute effort. That aside I can assure you that if your results are directionally correct you actually have a pretty good V02 for what your natural capabilities are - you are a sprinter, and almost always there is an inverse correlation between V02 and anaerobic power. The only exception I know of was Eric Heiden who managed to win both the shortest event in speedskating at the olympics (36 seconds effort) and the very longest (12 mins) - this is sort of like asking Usain Bolt to win the 200m and the 10K - it just shouldn't be possible...
- I'm a professional jockey and recently did my first VO2maxtest at Liverpool University by Dr George Wilson PhD (www.wilsonhealth.co.uk) I scored 89.0 ml/kg/min Good enough to get me on your world record list, 1st jockey to make it? Kind regards Wilson Renwick (Apr 2014)
- It's too bad that many of the comments here are ignorant. Norwegian sports science and testing is among the best in the world, if not the best, and cross-country skiing will drive up one's (already high) VO2 measurement. I also think the list is incomplete, since just three or four years ago another young Norwegian skier tested at 96 at the end of the World Cup season. I also wouldn't be surprised to find out that 2013 world champion Petter Northug's VO2max is up there as well, given the way he's able to put on sprints never before seen at the end of distance ski races. (from Roger Matthews, Mar 2013)
- They must have trick tests in Norway LoL!! No way those Lollies have a VO2 higher than Armstrong or Prefontaine. ... Is xc skiing really even a sport? (from Whithey, Mar 2013)
- I'm a competitive runner and swimmer & just had my VO2max measured at Duke University Hospital in the Cardiac Diagnostic Unit. My VO2max was 105.8, so apparently I should be added to the top of the above list. (from David Dunson, Mar 2013)
- What documentation do you need to make the list? At our Olympic training center I had one test at 90 and a few tests in the high 80's. This was back in the early 1980's. I was an Olympic silver medalist in team pursuit in 1984 and in 1981. I set the world record for average pace in races over 100 miles. This was on the 10th stage of a 12 day stage race. 107.5 miles in 3h 33m 25sec for an average of 30+mph. That record stood for about 15 years (pro or amateur). Thanks for the info. (from Brent Emery, Feb 2013)
- It is common knowledge that Lemond in fact was also doping. Transfusions and epo were both used during his career along with Cocaine. (from Tren, Feb 2013)
- All it proves is the huskies are doped up on EPO up to their ears, perhaps their fur is a side effect. (from jbooyy, Feb 2013)
- Mine is 83, 17 years old, untrained athlete ... Genetic advantage I guess? Btw I was tested at a university (from Boss, Jan 2013)
- Yes, let's delete the Lemond reference, as one more small corrective after all the nonsense directed at him Trek and Armstrong. (from letshavesomeintegrity, Jan 2013)
- Lemond? Doping? EPO? Seriously some people here? You can't be blamed for not knowing everything but you can be blamed for writing about what you haven't got a clue of. It must be so hard to search before writing something like that; Wikipedia even has a full article named "Greg Lemond anti-doping stance and controversies"! (from Luis Fernando, Dec 2012)
- I come to this while considering Lemonds argument that VO2 may be a good way to baseline legal performance. There are suspicions about numbers that rise or fall over time. (from nonspec, Nov 2012)
- Do you have any VO2max records by age? I'm interested in learning highest VO2max for male of age 70+. (from Jim Turner, Nov 2012)
- There are some sources placing Kilian Jornett in the 90+ spectrum. Recent test (from m_d, Oct 2012)
- The highest documented VO2max for Lance Armstrong is 81.2 (September 1993), and his VO2max ranged from 66 to 76, so it is likely that his VO2max was in the mid 70s. The number 85 is a pure estimate, using a bodyweight of 72kg (post cancer). However this is not documented either, since LAs bodyweight was nearly 80kg in 1997 and 1999. The source of both the undocumented (purely estimated) high VO2max and also the fairly mediocre and documented VO2max is: "Improved muscular efficiency displayed as Tour de France champion matures" by EF Coyle - Journal of Applied Physiology, 2005 - (from Arne Solli, Oct 2012)
- I have a recorded VO2 max from 1998 at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine of 77.6 at the age 32 for cycling. (from Tammy Jacques, Oct 2012) - if accurate that would put her 2nd on the female list
- Oskar Svenden from Lillehammer just scored 98. He is 18 years old (from Jostein, 3 Sept 2012)
- Oskar Svendsen just scored 97.5, not 98. But to all of you who can't or won't believe it; I've known this kid for ten years, and every test he has ever had has been amazing, he was at 87.7 at the age of 17. I can't speak for any other guys, this kid is the only one I know in person (plus I know his mother, who is awesome, and there is no way in hell he'd do drugs, she would freak out :P) (from Norwegian21, Sept 2012)
- Norwegian and Swedish XC skiers have been systematically doing blood doping already for decades. As well as Finns, Russians. Björn Dählie was one of the real good examples on that. Dählie competed on a time that there was no possiblity to get caught on Epo and blood transfusion. Also Leirem was there efficiently protecting them. Natural values could probably stop on 80 on men, over that will need all the help available. (from Kari Pekka Kyrö, 28 Aug 2012)
- Who the hell are you claiming that "Norwegian and Swedish XC skiers have been systematically doing blood doping already for decades."?! Give some proof of that statement instead of trying to explain why you cannot achieve better yourself. "I am sure you have been using doping substances as well" would be as relevant to claim - poor you who cannot argue on a decent level. (from Anders Svenningsson, 6 Sept 2012)
- Greg Lemond is a great example of an athlete who used doping methods to improve his VO2max. (from Uomo Del Ghiaccio, Aug 2012)
- I think you should delete the reference to the false claim Lemond doped. What has been documented many different times from many different journalists is that he avoided doping/needles at every turn. In 2012, there is no online reference for the claim. (from channel_zero, Sept 2012)
- There was absolutely no epo or oxygen vectors around when Lemond won his tours. Lemonds integrity among cycling community is undisputed. He was clean, there is no doubt or suspicion about that (from brian, 8 Sept 2012)
- My VO2max at 88.3 ml/kg/min was in 1980 at the Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas. This figure was from a 1 min (60 second) sample was confirmed by Larry Gettman, PhD, Director, rather than typically used 20 sec sample used in a clinical setting. The lab's highest reading was Tom Morino at 88.6 ml/kg/min. (from Kyle D Heffner, Aug 2012)
- One of my exercise physiology classmates was a 20 year old state champion cross country runner. He produced a VO2max of 80 on a treadmill and 76 on a cycling ergometer. His peak heart rate was 213bpm during the run. (from bananabender, July 2012)
- I have difficulty believing some of the posted VO2 max estimates - either you put on the mask at sea level and have real results, or you are cheating (breathing pure oxygen, EPO, blood transfusion/doping. I agree that many athletes would post estimates that are very inflated to psych out opponents, and so I go back to was it in the lab. My hemocrit stays naturally at around 45-48 (20 years of army medical records show this). As a coach I know this is a little high - some struggle to stay above 40. I take iron supplements and nothing else besides hard work and genetics. My VO2max max is 67 - good for an amateur athlete, so I have to wonder how much blood is circulating in a system that generates a VO2max of 90. Miguel Indurain was noted for his 1.5x normal lung capacity, yet only has a max of 88 - doesn't that suggest some form of cheating that was not yet detectable in that time? (from Brent Otter, May 2012)
- I'm guessing the highest a normal person can get, fully trained, is something in the 60's? Or mabye low 70's at best. Those above that are probably genetically advantaged in the endurance department. (from Toby, April 2012)
- If only it were possible to cross-breed with husky dogs athletes might get closer to the 240 of these amazing animals ... (from Ed Tarwinski, March 2012)
- This list either proves that VO2max does not mean anything, or that Norwegian measurements often are wrong. Because: 1. only one of the first 7 Norwegians were world class athletes at the time the tests were done. Thus, there is no connection between VO2max and endurance, or the measurements were wrong. 2. Greg LeMond, Harri Kirvesniem and Miguel Indurain have a similar training log as the Norwegians however, they used EPO or other kinds of drugs. Thus, we can assume that EPO don't work, or that the Norwegian measurements are wrong. My guess is that we (I'm Norwegian) overestimate our VO2max scores, and that many top athletes doesn't tell their real scores! (from Olav, Feb 2012)
- In response to the comment from Olav, Feb 2012. As the testing procedure isn't stated, it is hard to make comparisons. If a cross-country skiing ergometer was used, it is possible to obtain the quoted of VO2max results. A larger muscle mass is used in this movement and therefore a greater level of aerobic metabolism is taking place. Treadmill tests are second, followed by bicycle tests, in terms of muscle mass used. (from Stephen, Feb 2012)
- To Olav, news to me and probably most of the world knew that Greg Lemond used EPO or other kinds of drugs. Speculation? (from S Aimon, March 2012)
- Not sure Lemond could have used rhEPO since it was not really around until the 90s. (from Sam, May 2012)
- To Olav, 90% of your cross country elite skiers suffer from terrible asthma ... that is why they have such high VO2max scores..:))) and yes you are right epo doesn't work, sterides are so much better ... :))) ha? (from macias, July 2012)
- Okay, will stop bragging because this makes me look stupid (from bauwens jean-pierre senior, Oct 2011)
- My VO2max was measured by an Olympic sports trainer and athlete at 70 ml.kg-1.min-1 while I was playing premier Rugby league at a weight of 94kg. However now I have had three knee operations and am struggling to get fit again. Date 22/02/1996. (Paul Ruakere)
- We have thousands of VO2max scores from the past 20+ years from elite athletes for mainly Olympic sports. As far as I am aware, no one has ever tested over 86; but the numbers you give for best in different sports seem generally much too low. Those over 90 seem like IQ tests over 200 - unlikely! (from Chris Barnes - Australian Institute of Sport, Oct 2011).
- Latest test from my son, jean-pierre bauwens, a junior boxer from Belgium. VO2max 80.5. Performed at the Ghent University Hospital 7/04/2011. It is a recognized sports medicine center (from bauwens jean-pierre senior, April 2011)