Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

How to Raise Your VO2 Max (A Key Indicator of Your Physical Fitness)

By Jamie Koonce @charcuterielove

How to Raise Your VO2 Max (A Key Indicator of Your Physical Fitness)

If you find yourself huffing and puffing for air during a yoga class, or feeling winded after climbing a couple of flights of stairs, you would greatly benefit from doing a specific exercise that takes only 20 minutes per week that will increase your VO2 Max.  Simply by doing this special 10 minute exercise 2 times per week, you will improve your life in so many ways, including:

  • Ability to climb several flights of stairs without having to gasp for air or sit down to rest when you reach the top
  • Maintaining a slow, calm ujjayi breath throughout your entire yoga practice, resulting in greater overall relaxation
  • Adventure travel to high altitude locations with greater ease
  • Greater overall physical fitness
  • Increased human growth hormone (HGH), resulting in more youthfulness and better muscle tone
  • Increased post-exercise metabolic rate, resulting in less body fat
  • Reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease
  • Better blood circulation and oxygenation of your entire body
  • Clearer mind and heightened sense of vitality
  • Having more energy even at the end of the day
  • Better quality of sleep
  • Enhanced performance in any athletic activity
  • Not getting hungry during your workouts
  • And countless other benefits you’ll soon discover for yourself!

Even if you already have a high VO2 Max, you will still be able to increase your athletic prowess by doing this simple VO2 Max increasing exercise once a week for 20 minutes.

And the great news is, one week per month, you will skip this exercise entirely.  That’s right!  You get an entire week off from doing this exercise every third week.

So here’s what to do:

Warm up for 5 minutes with a light jog (a brisk walk if you feel too winded during a light jog).  Then for the next 10 minutes of this workout, get ready to sprint and give it all you’ve got!  You’ll need an interval timer and enough space to do a full sprint without being slowed down by traffic lights or pedestrians.  For this segment of the exercise, imagine you are being chased by a wild animal that is about to rip you to shreds!

Set 1: Sprint for 30 seconds as fast as you can.  Then rest for 30 seconds only.  Repeat this three times, for a total if four repetitions.

Set 2: Sprint for 60 seconds as fast as you can.  Then rest for 60 seconds only.  Repeat this twice, for a total of three repetitions.

Set 3: Sprint for 90 seconds as fast as you can.  Then rest for 90 seconds only.  Repeat this once, for a total of two repetitions.

Finally, cool down with a light jog or walk for 5 minutes.

Nine special tips on how to actually put this into your weekly schedule (except for every third week, in which you don’t do the VO2 Max exercise), and really do it instead of putting it off for a fictitious “tomorrow” that never arrives:

1. Plan this workout for a specific time on a specific day of the week, and hold yourself accountable to do it no matter what!

2. Don’t rely on having a workout buddy to hold you accountable because workout buddies often flake out at the last minute, which should be no excuse for you to remain stagnant and never reach your goals.  You are the only person in charge of yourself and your body!

3. Do this workout on an empty stomach, preferably in the early morning before you’ve had breakfast, before checking your email, and before you rush off to work or get tied down by answering phone calls or dealing with other interruptions.

4. Set your alarm to wake you up so that you will have enough time to do this 20-minute workout before rushing into the hustle of your day.

5. Hydrate yourself with at least 1 liter of water (preferably spring water or reverse osmosis water not containing chlorine, fluoride, or recycled prescription drugs).

6. Consume a 50 kcal pre-workout drink consisting of a greens powder and 5 grams of branched chain amino acids.

7. Wear comfortable workout clothing (with layers if appropriate), and lightweight running shoes that fit your feet (Vibram Fivefingers are a good choice).  This is not the time to make a fashion statement. You’re going for functionality here — not the cover of Vogue Magazine!

8. Be sure to make a trip to the restroom before you begin your workout! You do not want to have to take a break during the 20-minute time period to make a pit stop, sip water from your designer water bottle, or munch on a date and nut bar.

9. Hydrate yourself again after your workout, use an electrolyte supplement containing magnesium, chloride, sodium, and trace minerals (NO Gatorade, fruit juice, or sugared drinks!), and take another 5 grams of branched chain amino acids.

I hope you found this helpful.  Please leave your comments below and tell me how your workout progress goes!

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