August/September 2021 - 8

VO2 Max: assisting coaches in optimizing
workouts for anaerobic threshold
At the professional and Division I levels, VO2 Max
testing is an important piece of the puzzle, used to
optimize workouts that will then raise the aerobic
threshold for each unique athlete. It's a measurement
that helps coaches understand how effective
personalized workouts are and how to improve upon
them, allowing the strength and conditioning team
to best support student-athletic development and
progression. It also measures the rate at which oxygen
is consumed as exercise increases in intensity.
Ruben Cisneros, MS, CSCS, NSCA, USAW, assistant
strength and conditioning coach at Rutgers University,
works with soccer athletes and uses VO2 Max several
times a year to optimize their workouts. Cisneros first
learned about the testing during his undergraduate
studies in exercise and sport science at University
of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He completed internships
with DePaul and the Chicago Fire Football Club. After
completing his M.S. in Sports Management and working
as a graduate assistant, he worked at Loyola (MD)
University before taking his current position at Rutgers.
With experience as a strength and conditioning
coach at nearly every level of soccer from youth to
professional, Cisneros banks on VO2 Max to provide
actionable data that helps him enhance the workouts he
is giving to each student-athlete.
VO2 Max is especially important for sports where
aerobic capacity plays a large role, such as soccer,
tennis and track, and research at all levels points to the
benefits that athletic programs can get from the testing
of athletes in this category. " (VO2 Max is) a reliable and
valid method of testing aerobic capacity that allows me
to measure progress and compare to current research
out there of the same population I am working with, "
Cisneros said.
Cisneros uses the results from VO2 Max to quickly
and easily assess his athletes and adjust training
protocols as needed as well as to compare them to
athletes previously successful in their programs.
Without this type of testing, strength and conditioning
coaches are losing out on an important set of data they
need to help student-athletes get the most they can out
of their workouts and to take their athleticism to the
next level. It's especially important to those who are
preparing for the next level of their sport, whether that's
collegiate, professional or even Olympic training.
How VO2 Max works
VO2 Max works by assessing precise target heart rates
for individuals, allowing coaches to optimize workouts,
which in turn allows athletes to have fewer injuries and
less fatigue. In studies, VO2 Max was shown to bring
sedentary people up to speed aerobically faster, by
allowing them to train at 75% of their aerobic power for
8 | Training & Conditioning | August/September 2021
half an hour three days a week for six months, which
brought about an increased VO2 Max of 15-20%.
In addition to VO2 Max testing, Rutgers also utilizes
heart rate monitoring, tracking aerobic and anaerobic
thresholds and maximum heart rate, all of which can
be tracked with the CardioCoach equipment he uses for
VO2 Max.
For those already in strict training regimens, VO2
Max testing can allow them to improve past any plateau
and increase the anaerobic threshold and maintain
it for a longer period of time, in turn enhancing
cardiovascular performance and improving endurance.
It also determines the number of calories burned, which
helps the team's nutritionist ensure that the athlete is
consuming enough calories to keep up their performance.
If a program isn't currently using VO2 Max testing,
Cisneros says they're missing out on reliable and valid
methods of assessing progress in student-athletes " I see
the VO2 Max testing as the golden standard for Aerobic
Capacity Testing. Also, an opportunity to further
individualize their conditioning needs through all the
valuable information that can be taken from performing
this test, " Cisneros said.
For schools and facilities thinking about investing
in VO2 Max, the investment isn't one that will show up
as a budgetary line item every year or even every other
year; it's also something many programs can use to their
benefit, enhancing the workouts of most athletes on
About KORR Medical Technologies
KORR 's CardioCoach puts the high tech training
tools of VO2 Max and Anaerobic Threshold detection
into the hands of fitness trainers at every level of
expertise. The results of all tests are presented in a
format that will help educate and motivate the client.
To learn more about KORR, visit
ADVERTISEMENT | © 2021 KORR Medical Technologies

August/September 2021

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