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Power Napper
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It depends on the test and the tester.

If that's the test your club uses, the director obviously has his/her head...well, in a dark place let's say. There are plenty of standardized, well documeted protocols with large data bases for comparison that allow a trained tester to perform a sub-maximal test to estimate VO2 max. Now this is not going to be as accurate as a full on max test done under the watchful eye of a MD in an exercise phys lab, but then how many average citizens have access to that kind of testing? The YMCA standard cycle ergometer test gives a good first approximation of VO2 max for the general population. It is relatively easy to learn to do well, and easy to perform.

VO2 max can be improved with training by maybe 10-20% depending on a person's starting fitness level. But like previously stated, it has a large genetic component and is more a measure of potential ability than a predictor of performance.

In recent years Chris Carmichael and others have pretty much established that lactate (or anaerobic) threshold is a much better measure of cycling fitness and predictor of performance. And the good news is that this number responds very well to regular training, of the correct sort. Most cycling training books now have lengthy discussions on LT measurement and LT training.
 
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