VO2 Max and body weight

Hey there,

Is it easier for a light shorter cyclist to have a higher vo2 max than and taller heavier cyclist?

I’m 198cm and 83kg, just curious.

@joechambz VO2 max can be expressed in two different manners. L/m or ml/kgm. It is no more difficult for one body shape over another to have the same VO2 max L/m, but can be very different once expressed as a relative term using body weight, which is ml/kgm,

It also comes down to how much extra weight that is not contributing to the measurement, i.e fat being carried around. There are no studies that I am aware of that show being shorter, hence lighter, is more difficult to have the same VO2max when you are taller and as a result, heavier. The caveat is the fat being carried, so if both have the same relative muscle mass contributing to the consumption of the oxygen then there wouldn’t necessarily be a reason two people couldn’t have the same measured vO2max.

@joechambz, you can also think in terms of muscle mass. The more muscle mass available, the greater the potential for a higher absolute (just oxygen uptake, no body weight factored in) VO2max, and the more muscle involved, the greater that potential again, e.g., Nordic skiing vs swimming vs running vs pedaling. But that muscle mass gets ‘costly’ when it’s not employed in the activity which is why grand tour riders carry muscle in their legs and not a whole lot anywhere else. Then when bigger riders and smaller riders have dead-even relative (body weight is accounted for) VO2max values, it comes down to muscle recruitment patterns, fiber-type composition, race tactics, etc., that then determine how that equal VO2max is employed and performance is affected.