VO2 Max is defined as the maximum amount of oxygen that your body can take in, deliver, and use in one minute. It is limited both by the amount of oxygenated blood the lungs and circulatory system can process, and by the amount of oxygen the muscles can extract from the blood. It is estimated that VO2 Max decreases about 1% per year.
The objective of The Cooper Endurance Test (Dr. Kenneth Cooper, author of “Aerobics”) is to help you determine VO2 Max with reasonable accuracy, and without the need of expensive equipment. A more accurate test might cost you hundreds of dollars, and this is good enough for the purpose of determining roughly in how good shape is your oxygen processing capacity.
This makes VO2 Max a critical sign of aging, and it is one we can measure and reverse somewhat with proper aerobic training. To do this, Dr. Cooper advises that you must raise your heart rate to between 65 and 85 percent of its maximum through aerobic exercise for at least 20 minutes, three to five times a week.
The test consists of seeing how long it takes you to run 1.5 miles. Record the amount of time it takes you to complete a 1.5 mile run and enter it in the calculator to find out where your VO2 Max stands.