VO2max Calculator for Indoor Rowing | Concept2

VO2max Calculator

Enter the information below and press Submit to see your estimated VO2max.

Body Weight

Please enter a weight

Best 2000m Time

Please enter your best 2000m time


Training Level What does this mean?

0 Your Estimated VO2max

Training Level

In the study, "Highly trained" was used for elite, national team and top college rowers. "Not highly trained" was used for novices who had little to no rowing experience.

If you fall somewhere in between, chose the group that you feel most closely resembles your own level of training. See the FAQs for more information.

VO2max stands for maximal oxygen uptake and refers to the amount of oxygen your body is capable of utilizing in one minute. It is a measure of your capacity for aerobic work and can be a predictor of your potential as an endurance athlete. Although there are many factors that affect your VO2max, it is a commonly accepted measure of cardio respiratory fitness.

Before Using this Calculator

Please understand the following:

  1. This calculator provides an estimate only. For a more accurate calculation, VO2max is best measured in a lab.
  2. This calculator is based on a collection of real data points. Even if the estimates seem unlikely, they are based on real people and the range of variability that exists.
  3. You may see some confusing numbers if you do calculations for both training levels and your weight is right at the point where the formula changes. Again, this formula was derived from a collection of real data points and variabilities. See the FAQs for the formula used.
  4. If you have questions about your calculation or how this calculator was created, please consult our FAQs. Although we generally welcome your emails, we have tried to include all pertinent information in the FAQs and don't have much else to offer beyond what is presented on this page.

Cardiovascular Fitness Calculations

Based on VO2max (mL*kg-1*min-1)

Gender Age Poor Fair Average Good Excellent
Men < 29 < 24.9 25-33.9 34-43.9 44-52.9 > 53
  30-39 < 22.9 23-30.9 31-41.9 42-49.9 > 50
  40-49 < 19.9 20-26.9 27-38.9 39-44.9 > 45
  50-59 < 17.9 18-24.9 25-37.9 38-42.9 > 43
  60-69 < 15.9 16-22.9 23-35.9 36-40.9 > 41
Women < 29 23.9 24-30.9 31-38.9 39-48.9 > 50
  30-39 < 19.9 20-27.9 28-36.9 37-44.9 > 45
  40-49 < 16.9 17-24.9 25-34.9 35-41.9 > 42
  50-59 < 14.9 15-21.9 22-33.9 34-39.9 > 40
  60-69 < 12.9 13-20.9 21-32.9 33-36.9 > 37

These aerobic fitness classifications are based on relative VO2 (ml/(kg*min)) and
are taken from Essentials of Exercise Physiology, 3rd ed., W. D. McArdle, F.I. Katch,
V. L. Katch, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA USA 2006, p.453

Frequently Asked Questions

How was this tool created?
This tool is based on thousands of real data points collected by Dr. Fritz Hagerman of Ohio University. Over the years, Dr. Hagerman performed VO2max tests using gas analysis on many subjects. He also had the same subjects row a max 2000m test piece on the indoor rower. He then correlated the two tests to create the formulae used in this prediction tool.
What should I make of the number I get?
The calculation is an approximation of the oxygen used for a 2000m erg piece of maximum effort, assuming that your level of training is about the same as the subjects used to determine the estimate. It is important to understand that this tool provides an estimate only.

If you test once, train well and get a better time, it is a good indication that your VO2max has improved for rowing. (This should be true regardless of which estimator you are using.)

What factors affect VO2max?
Age, fatigue, anaerobic threshold and familiarity with the rowing stroke can all affect VO2max.

For example, an athlete with a high anaerobic threshold may perform better than another, despite having a lower VO2max. It's possible that this comes into play with untrained individuals: since they lack training, they may depend more heavily on their natural anaerobic capability.

What are some other examples of training level?
If you have been rowing regularly for several years, training at least four days per week, doing a variety of workout types and improving your rowing scores, then we suggest selecting "Highly trained" when using the calculator.

If you consider yourself a fitness rower and don't push yourself very hard or do any hard pieces, then we suggest selecting "Not highly trained."

What is the formula used?

V02 = (Y * 1000) / Weight

Y is determined as follows:

  Female Male
Weight Weight > 61.36kg Weight Weight > 75kg
Training Level: HIGH Y = 14.6 - (1.5 * Time) Y = 14.9 - (1.5 * Time) Y = 15.1 - (1.5 * Time) Y = 15.7 - (1.5 * Time)
Training Level: LOW Y = 10.26 - (0.93 * Time) Y = 10.7 - (0.9 * Time)
  Time is the pace converted to minutes.
How much can I improve my VO2max?
VO2max can be improved with training, but there are limits to how much one can improve. Generally the untrained individual may be able to achieve greater improvement (up to around 20%) than the already well-trained person (perhaps only 3–5%).
What damper setting should I use for my 2000m test piece?
Use the damper setting that enables you to get the best 2000m result. This is how it was done in the study.
How should I adjust the VO2 max calculator for altitude?
Aerobic responses vary depending on the person's exposure conditions. If the person has lived at 5000 ft for a long time, then no allowances have to be considered. However, successful acute altitude adaptations are highly individualized. Some people coming from sea level have no problems at 5,000 ft whereas others have difficulty in adapting.

Dr. Hagerman advises that we lose about 1% of our maximal sea level aerobic capacity for every thousand feet of ascent above 5000 ft. But it is important to understand that generalities or predictions of successful acclimatization to altitude is dangerous.

Why are older age groups not included?
Dr. Hagerman did not have enough data in the older age groups. Apologies!