VO2 Max Testing

The gold standard assessment for cardiovascular fitness

What is VO2 Testing?

VO2 is the maximum amount of oxygen consumption that your body can use during the most intense exercise that you are able to maintain. This test reflects your ability to use oxygen and is considered to be the best indicator of your cardiovascular fitness and aerobic endurance. During exercise, your body delivers oxygen to your muscles which then allows the muscles to produce energy. When referring to our cardiovascular system, your ability to deliver and use oxygen is what defines how “fit” you are and how well you can perform in aerobic exercise.

As you increase the intensity of exercise, such as increasing speed or power, your body requires additional energy. Your oxygen consumption will also increase in a linear fashion until a point where your body is not able to use additional oxygen. At this point, oxygen consumption has reached a maximum, and we can use this information to calculate your VO2 max. 

We are one of the only facilities in Eastern Ontario with this type of technology. If you are in Ottawa or the surrounding areas, contact us for more info! 

Why test your VO2?

Athletic Advantage

A higher VO2 max is directly proportional to better cardiovascular fitness and physical abilities, hence why this test is considered the best indicator of aerobic fitness and physical abilities. The information you get from our VO2 test will assist you in programming to improve the areas that are plateauing your improvements. Your training protocols should be defined by your limitations and goals. This test is ideal for any young athlete preparing for competition, runners, cyclist, or any endurance athlete. In general, the higher your VO2 max, the larger your potential for producing energy and excelling in your sport.

Longevity and Quality of Life

Research has shown a direct relationship between cardiovascular fitness and mortality. Individuals who improve their cardiovascular fitness from low to below average were shown to decrease their risk of mortality by 50% over a decade [1]. With the results of this test, we can create a unique customized program to improve your heart health and minimize the risk factors for cardiovascular related health problems.

Weight loss

Do you have aspirations to lose weight in a healthy manner, away from fad diets and starvation regimens? Our VO2 device has the capabilities of measuring the source of fuel that your body is using at certain exercise intensities. To maximize weight loss, you should exercise at a unique intensity that prefers to use fats for energy. With this information, we can create customized cardiovascular protocol for you to specifically target your fat burning system!

Effective programming: injury prevention & avoiding burn-out

Your VO2 max will provide you with all the information necessary to efficiently reach your training goals through working smarter rather than harder. An initial VO2 max test will enable proper programming with less fatigue, fewer injuries and higher motivation. This is a great tool for coaches or trainers to maximize the benefits of each training session.

Our VO2 Technology

Mixing chamber

Our device has been equipped with unique sensors to measure oxygen and carbon dioxide directly and accurately. Other VO2 devices use a breath-by-breath approach which is a mathematical calculation with a higher percentage of error. At Ottawa Health, we are adamant on using the same technology used to publish the research supporting our services [2].

Multi-sensory technology

We’ve invested additional resources to upgrade our device to hold separate and independent sensors for measuring oxygen and also carbon dioxide. By accurately knowing the amount of these two gasses during exercise, our device can calculate the amount of calories used during exercises, and how much of these calories came from fat or carbohydrate fuel sources. We can also calculate your basal metabolic rate, which is the amount of calories that your body requires to maintain essential function.

Cleanliness and disease transmission prevention

This was at the top of our priorities when selecting the appropriate device. With the mixing chamber technology and large Y-valves, users of our device breathe fresh air every time and expel air through a different valve. This is another added benefit to mixing chamber compared to breath-by-breath devices, which use the same openings to breath in and out.


The Test: Choose your method


The classic treadmill is our most common method of testing as it more easily translates to a wide variety of sports. The treadmill’s intensity can be increased either by increasing speed or inclination. With the report you receive, you’ll be able to replicate the results on any treadmill on the market. This is also the best method to perform the assessment if your goal is weight loss. 

Stages SB20 Smart Bike

Our Stages SB20 indoor bike has all the features of a road bike including power meters on each pedal and virtually any adjustment possible to replicate your outdoor bike set-up. You are invited to bring your bike cleats for the best experience. The SB20 is directly linked to our VO2 technology which allows live recording of your body’s physiology response to the assessment and correlates it with the corresponding power and resistance. You’ll receive all of this data as part of your report, allowing you to reproduce the same type of scenario on your road or indoor bike for maximal improvements.

This is VO2 Testing


1. Complete our physical activity readiness questionnaire

2. A heart monitor will be put around your chest which will measure your heart rate

3. A mask is fitted to your needs and is connected to the VO2 device

4. Begin exercising when instructed. The speed/resistance will gradually increase over a period of 6-20 minutes.

5. Your attending clinician will go over the results after you’ve cooled down

The Results

Click to see sample report:

Summary of results

Graphed raw data 

Stages of effective fat burning



Single test: $199.00 + HST

Package of 3: $500.00 + HST



  1. Mandsager, Kyle, et al. “Association of cardiorespiratory fitness with long-term mortality among adults undergoing exercise treadmill testing.” JAMA network open 1.6 (2018): e183605-e183605.
  2. Korr Medical Technologies Inc. 2002.