Does cycling improve vo2 max—is it the best method?

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Written By Samarjit Sinha

Working out for 10 years | Has a home gym | CPD (UK) Certificate holder in Fitness

Does cycling improve vo2 max, or should you do something else!

Join me on a cycling journey to boost your VO2 max. Cycling efficiently elevates oxygen utilization, with HIIT tailored for cyclists yielding a 10.3% increase. Discover classic 3-7 minute VO2 max cycling intervals and the impact on performance. Unravel the nuances of training frequency and experience a 14.3% surge in VO2 max, emphasizing the significance of max aerobic intervals for superior fitness.

My goal is to increase Vo2 max with a spin bike at home. I am not training for a cycling race, and I am not a pro. I have collected ideas and information from many pro cycling website, so you can get some ideas and make your own Vo2 max training routine to do at home.

This allows you to go faster on a bike and improves your performance/ aerobic capacity.

Key Takeaways!

  • Cycling enhances VO2 max, optimizing oxygen use during exercise.
  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT) for cyclists results in a 10.3% increase in VO2 max.
  • Classic VO2 max cycling intervals (3-7 minutes) on spin bikes prove effective for indoor training.
  • Differentiate intensive (short, high-intensity) and extensive (long, low-intensity) intervals for tailored VO2 max training.
  • VO2 max significantly impacts cycling performance, emphasizing sustained power generation.
  • Studies recommend 6-12 weeks of training, at least 10 minutes per session, to improve VO2 max.

high aerobic intensity interval trainingOne study on cyclists shows that high aerobic intensity interval training increase their Vo2 max by 10.3%.

So if you are a cyclist, you should train with high intensity interval training method to increase your vo2 max.

And it is very obvious that more aerobic activity will make your body adapt to make you use O2 effectively.

I remember when I could not speed up my cycling and running, but HIIT training 2-3 times a week helped me.

But I did not train in that way for long, I feel it is getting in between my mass gain goals.

What Is VO2 Max?

VO2 max is a measure of the maximum amount of oxygen that a person can utilize during exercise. It is often considered to be the best way to measure aerobic power. This is because it defines the size of your engine- the amount of power that can be produced from this energy system.

Training ideas and info on using Cycling to increase Vo2Max

Do the Classic VO2Max Cycling Intervals!

It can be really tough to maintain an all-out effort for 5 minutes straight, so many cyclists will use max aerobic intervals, which fall in the classic 3-7 minute range.

I can only last for 2 minutes max though—so you need to build up at least 5 minute with extreme intensity.

This allows you to go hard without having to hold back for too long.

Spin bikes are great for this if you are training indoors.

Does cycling improve vo2 max

Use Intensive vs. Extensive Intervals

There are two types of interval training-intensive and extensive.

Intensive interval training involves shorter durations and higher intensities in order to increase your peak power at VO 2 max.

Intensive training intervals—2 minutes of all our assault.

Extensive intervals—15-20 minutes.

This video below is a good source on increasing your vo2 max!

The goal is to increase your peak power from 300watts to 320watts.

[You will need a coach for all these]

Extensive interval training utilizes longer durations at lower intensities in order to increase your maximum capacity.

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Impact of VO2 max on cycling performance

All about Vo2 max

VO2 max is the maximal amount of oxygen that a person can consume per minute.

Vo2 max is widely considered the best measure of someone’s aerobic fitness and has a large impact on cycling performance.

The aerobic system is better than the anaerobic system because it produces fewer by-products and can sustain for longer periods of time.

However, it is a time-limited system.

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How long should you train VO2 max?

Studies shows that you might need 6-12 weeks of training and at least 10 minutes put into each training to increase your Vo2 max.

VO2 max can be increased through training with a high load and sufficient adaptation.

A high intensity, varied program that includes different aspects each day of the week is ideal for further performance gains.

Varying your training allows for more engaged and motivated athletes, while avoiding training more than three days in a row without a recovery day helps to ensure optimal performance.

Below video presents some good ideas to train vo2 max at home which is my goal as well.

[Can you do strength training before breakfast?]

Less boring workouts are always helpful.

At first, when you are trying to improve your vo2 max, any endurance training will have a positive effect.

As you get better, however, gains come more slowly, and you have to train at a higher level in order to see continued improvement.

This routine below seems useful!

Many running coaches recommend working at around 90-95% of your maximum heart rate in order to achieve the best results.

Otherwise, you might feel that there is no room to improve.

Does cycling improve vo2 max—is it the best method? 1Is cycling or running better for VO2 max?

There are a few different ways to improve your VO2 max, but which one is the best?

Well, it depends on what you are looking for.

Cycling has been shown to be better for sustainable power, while running is quick to deliver energy.

However, runners tend to fatigue more quickly than cyclists.

For cyclists, high VO2 Max allows them to sustain hard efforts for longer and experience other benefits such as improved maximal lactate steady-state, maximal steady-state power, and recovery from hard efforts.

Spin biking has shown improvements in vo2 max.

In general how to increase vo2 max?

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends various aerobic activities like running, cycling etc activities at 40-50% for 3-5 days per week with 20-60 minutes per session.

But it is commonly known that going as far as 90% Vo2 max is a sure shot way of increasing your capacity faster.

For general fitness, you can go for the extensive style of aerobic HIIT workout to increase your stamina.

Studies like this tell us that even if you do resistance training, you will increase your Vo2 max along with muscle hypertrophy and functional ability.

heart rate measurement test

VO2 max is a measure of the maximum amount of oxygen that a person can utilize during exercise.

It is determined by a variety of factors, including genetics, age, and fitness level.

The more fit a person becomes, the more intense their training sessions need to be in order to improve specific abilities.

Does exercise improve your vo2 max?

VO2 max is a measure of the amount of oxygen your body can utilize during exercise. It is often used as an indicator for someone’s overall fitness level. There are a number of ways to improve your VO2 max, but one of the most effective is through interval training. This means that you’ll need to become more focused with your workouts after a while and push yourself harder in order to see results.

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Does a higher VO2 max make you faster?

A high VO2 max is important for cyclists because the aerobic system is the most sustainable way to generate power.

In cycling, anaerobic power production (sprinting) is often used in short bursts, while the aerobic system provides the majority of power over long distances.

Aerobic power production is more sustained and efficient than anaerobic power production.

This means that a cyclist with a higher VO2 max will be able to produce more power over a longer period of time before becoming fatigued.

Additionally, higher VO2 max results in fewer fatiguing by-products, which leads to faster recovery from hard efforts.


The conclusion that I’ve reached from the research is the claim that the best method to increase VO2 Max for cyclists is by using max aerobic intervals. This will increase their VO2 Max by 14.3% and increase there sprint speed by 22%. This additional meta data for a marathon shows that the max aerobic intervals method is optimal over a 6 hour block of time. These results show that max aerobic intervals are the best thing to improve your VO2 Max for cycling.

About The Skinny Author


Working Out for 10 years | Owns a home gym |Certificate course done on Improving Aerobic Fitness, Diet | CPD (UK) Accredited Certification on Fitness

Yo Friends, this is Samarjit! A skinny guy who is building his tiny home gym.

I have successfully gained 10 kgs in 10 months going to commercial gyms. And I have been working out on and off for about 10+ years now.

I have gone swimming, done martial arts, Olympic lifts and body-building-type workouts!

I canceled the gym subscription as I was more into making my home gym for workouts. And getting ready, then getting my cycle and ride to the commercial gym seemed a drag after 10 hours in the office.

Thus, I needed a home that I could access at any moment!
And I started building my home gym!

I had to research a lot to build my home gym and decided to share effective, budget-friendly home gym machines, and nutrition to buy as per your goals here in

If you have question then contact me here

Ps: The author is highly experienced with making small workout routines, understanding and guiding people to get gym equipment, and setting up the home gym as per their Fitness goals.

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