Difference between Vo2 and Vo2max intervals

Hi all,

I saw this video from Phil Gaimon WorldTour Workouts: VO2 Intervals, How to Improve Your VO2 Power - YouTube

Can someone explain the difference between Vo2max work and Vo2 work? What is the difference in performing 3-5 VO2max vs VO2. With VO2max i go 3x5min max…

Phil talk about with VO2 you looking for (example) 3x3min sustainable power but also max…
What is the difference in physically adaption?

Vo2 max is max oxygen consumption, vo2 is is the volume of oxygen. If you want to increase the vo2 max you have to work at higher oxygen demand levels (let’s say 90% vo2 max). So by definition, it is not vo2 max workout but vo2 workout with high O2 demand. It is rather a case of nomenclature. Of course, there is a slow component so when you are training at submaximal levels of vo2 max you can theoretically reach the vo2 max with time (but it is mirrored by lowered muscle efficiency that underpins vo2 slow component)


Thanks. So when i will do vo2max workout i can better do a higher rpm and trying going fast as i can above 95% max HR. When i will train VO2 i can better choice a lower cadans (around 90) so i can reach the highest possible power output?

VO2max is more for cardiovasculair response, VO2 is more power development? I know that in real there is no hard line between…

It is the same. By lowering the cadence you put more strain on your muscles, with higher cadences - less strain but usually lower power output. With hard starts and higher cadence you will increase oxygen demand faster

Hence you will spend more time in this higher oxygen demand zone. With lower cadence you will get more power and probably increase your power output more as a result.

Just simply rip the intervals - everything ends in the same place - increasing max oxygen consumption.

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I just watched the video and don’t think there is any difference at a practical level. What he calls ‘VO2 power’ I interpret as the power when the body is in a physiological state of VO2max. And his protocol for improving power at VO2max is pretty much the same as ‘traditional VO2max’ intervals: Some number of 3-5min intervals as hard as can be sustained across the entire set. It almost seems like a distinction without a difference to me. I’m guessing Phil doesn’t have an exercise physiology background (to be fair I don’t either.)

To nitpick, he says VO2max isn’t trainable. I don’t think the research supports that. There is a genetic component but I thought there was research showing it can be increased with training (even basic endurance training) and also losing weight can improve VO2max since it is normalized by body mass.

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Vo2max is definitely trainable. To throw him a bone, by the time you’re an elite athlete, you probably don’t have much more room to train it, so maybe you could say that depending on your vantage point, both statemetns can be true