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VO2 Max Test

Does anyone know of a VO2 max test that can be done on a treadmill that can go from 0-12mph and from a 0-15% incline? I am aware of the Bruce Protocol but this uses a grade that is out of this range so I was hoping for another option! Thanks for any input!


The Balke VO2 max test would probably be the next best thing. To get completely accurate results, someone (such as an exercise physiologist) should be administering a test like this. This one is nice because the grade does not climb as much as with the Bruce protocol.

Here is what the Balke calls for, for active and sedentary men:
Speed 3.3 mph; 0% grade 1st minute, 2% increase at start of minute 2, elevation increases 1% each minute thereafter

I, like the original poster, am curious about my Vo2 Max.

I know very little about the test that you describe. However, a few years back on my 45th birthday I decided to take a “stress test,” this included a treadmill which inclined and went faster every 1:30.

I rode the treadmill for over 20:00 and my heart rate rose to 175 BPM by the end of test. I could have gone on longer, but the doctor stopped the test because he stated that he had all the information that he needed.

The elevation was up around 18-19 if I remember correctly. The speed only at 5.5 mph.

It was an interesting experience. I never found out what my Vo2 Max was since it was a typical stress test to see my chances of a heart attack (which by the way was zero).

The workout was like doing high rep squats with little or no weight. It was difficult, but I think I could have gone another minute or two if I had to.

I mention this as I would like to know if I can figure my own Vo2 Max from the above test.

Thanks for the tip!

I looked up the Balke test and all that I was able to find was a protocol where you run around a track. I wouldn’t mind this myself, but I am working in a corporate fitness site and want to start doing some type of VO2 Max testing that could be done on a treadmill. Do you remember the exact protocol for the Balke test that can be done on a treadmill?

Thank you!

If you’re that interested it may be worthwhile contacting an Exercise Physiologist about a full test. A university should be able to help. A true VO2 max results in you puking from exhaustion, while the gases you expire are measured.

An exercise EKG is a good idea too, for other reasons.