New ideas on limitations to VO2max

Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2000 Jan;28(1):10-4.


VO2max indicates maximal oxidative metabolic capacity (unfit subjects) or maximal O2 supply (athletes). The latter reflects integration of all transport steps from air to cytochromes. Every step contributes something; the importance of each contribution varies with conditions. Cardiac output seems most important at sea level; at higher altitudes, lung/muscle diffusion are more critical.

MeSH terms

  • Altitude
  • Cardiac Output*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Physical Endurance / physiology
  • Pulmonary Diffusing Capacity*