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How to measure VO2 Max on Vivosmart 3 quick and easy

how to measure vo2 max on vivosmart 3

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Ever since I got my Garmin Vivosmart 3 my fitness experience has been great. I feel inspired to complete my workout routine and reach my daily goals. I love the Connect application and all its features. However, measuring the maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 Max) was frustrating at first. After trying many ways I finally go it! So how can you successfully measure VO2 Max with a Garmin Vivosmart?

The short answer is: Wake up your watch by double-tapping the screen. Hold the touch screen until you see the menu. Then, tap on ‘Vo2’ and then the walking icon. Tap on ‘Test Now’. You can go for a brisk walk or run. This test should take no longer than 15 minutes and you cannot stop while you are doing the test. A very important detail that was never mentioned is that you can measure your VO2Max with a Vivosmart 3 either indoors or outdoors. Also, your heart rate should be 70% higher than your maximum heart rate.

However, I want to share additional tips to help you resolve any issues measuring VO2 max in the simplest way to save you time and frustration. I have put together easy-to-understand step-by-step instructions so that you can successfully use your Garmin vivosmart 3 to get an estimated score.

Recommended reading: Why you should use an HRV monitor now to achieve good health

Although it is not hard to get the fitness level score it is very easy to get confused. Therefore, I am happy to show you an easy and effective way to calculate it using your vivosmart 3.

You will see that it’s easier than you imagined and you will love your Garmin vivosmart 3 even more. For you to become familiar with VO2 max, we will explain what it is and how it works.

What is VO2 Max or maximum oxygen consumption?

Nowadays, fitness watches not only measure heart rate, calories, and other health data but also estimate your VO2 max.
When it comes to fitness, the maximum, oxygen consumption score can tell the maximum volume of oxygen you use during an intense workout. The higher the score the better the cardiovascular fitness level. Garmin fitness watches use heart rate and workout data to measure your maximum oxygen consumption which reflects fitness level and endurance during a high-intensity exercise.

Usually, it is measured in a laboratory while you’re running on a treadmill and hooked up we’re breathing mask. The test will turn into a difficult one because you would be working pretty hard. Then, using the maximum volume of oxygen consumption and body weight, they will tell you how much oxygen you were using during your intense running. This is your VO2 max.

Why is it one of the most important vital signs?

Why VO2 max is so important? Because it reveals your fitness age. For example, a 55-year-old can be fit as a 20-year-old. Unfortunately, when you reach the thirties it starts to decline.

There is a VO2 Max score for women depending on sex, age, etc. If you completed your profile on the Connect application you can see the scores in the main menu, tap on Activities and select VO2 Max. On the right-hand side corner of the screen tap on ‘Help’ and you will see the scores and percentages.

According to Firstbeat. Our vo2max starts to decline by 10% each decade. That’s why it’s very important to improve it.

The American Health Association states that a low fitness level means an increased risk of heart disease. In addition, there is a higher risk of certain cancers. Besides, this metric can even predict the risk of early death better than some factors such as gaining extra pounds or having high cholesterol.

The higher the VO2 Max the better. If you have a lower fitness level you will need to add more intensity to your physical activities.

Later on, we will share some tips on how to boost your VO2 max and improve your cardiovascular fitness.

Why do many users still have issues measuring VO2 Max with a Vivosmart 3

I tried several times to measure VO2 Max either by walking or running but my Vivosmart 3 fitness watch continued measuring. After almost two hours I had to stop the test because it was not going anywhere. I am very sure you had the same annoying experience.

Although there are videos and instructions available on how to estimate your cardiovascular fitness using a vivosmart 3 many users still have problems using this feature.

I even contacted customer service and searched online but there were no specific solutions. Then, I followed the instructions on a Youtube video (see the Garmin channel tutorial here). However, it doesn’t specify if the test can be done indoors or outdoors. In addition, it doesn’t tell you that you should go for a brisk walk and that you can run either.

As a result, returning my fitness watch and getting a refund was gonna be my decision. However, I liked my Vivosmart 3 so much that I had to find a solution and share it with you. Finally, I tried many ways and ideas came into my mind until I got it.

For those who are starting to use this fitness watch, it’s important to know that you can perform the test not only outdoors but indoors as well. If you have a spacious room like a living room or basement, you should be able to perform this test with no problem. If it worked for me it can work with anyone. Keep in mind that for your vivosmart 3 to calculate your VO2 max you need to go for a brisk walk.

How to brisk walk correctly either at home or outdoors

Walk with elbows bent about 90 degrees while swinging your arms and loosely clenched hands. Do not cross the centerline of your body. Next, relax your shoulders and keep your back straight. Do not twist your back from side to side to avoid any injuries.

Keep in mind that your foot should roll off from your heel toward your toes. Push off from the balls of your feet. When you’re walking up the slope bend your body a bit forward for more balance and when you are walking down a slope bend your knees a bit. Look straight and enjoy your walk!

How to estimate VO2 Max for a better fitness level

To automatically measure your VO2 Max, you should have a recorded activity. Then every time you complete a timed walking or running this metric will be updated.

However, If you have not done so the daily average heart rate will be used instead.

The fact that you can perform the test indoors was never mentioned or suggested before.

However, to calculate your VO2 Max, keep in mind the following helpful steps:

  • Tap twice your Vivosmart 3 and press until you see the menu.
  • Scroll either up or down until you see ‘ VO2’
  • Then tap on “Test Now”

Note: If you have measured it before you will see the most recent number. Then scroll until you see “Test Now”

  • Tap two times to start testing.
  • Go for a brisk walk either indoors or outdoors. Make sure you are moving your arms as you are running. It worked for me. Go as faster as you can.
  • The test should take around 15 mins more or less.

How to improve your VO2 Max using your Vivosmart 3 fitness watch

If you have a Garmin vivosmart 3 Fitness watch you have probably measured your VO2 max. If you had a low score, no worries! We will show you how to improve your cardiovascular fitness. This fitness level score reflects, not only your fitness level but your health in general.

The following helpful tips will help you increase your VO2 max score and improve your endurance Using your vivosmart 3 Fitness watch.

  • Always track your stress level and use the relaxation timer to help you chill and improve your breathing I need it. Keep in mind a lower stress level will help boost your VO2 max.
  • Stay active and keep moving. Monitor your progress and health data to help you adjust your program. The more active you are the more you will improve your cardiovascular fitness. make sure you reach the intensity minutes goal to optimize your fitness level.
  • Try to practice cardio or any sports to help you improve endurance and aerobic performance capacity. You review your stats in the insight section of the Connect application.
  • Focus on improving your VO2 max to decrease The risks of suffering from heart disease, colon cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Practice a workout routine regularly to boost your fitness level, build muscle, improve memory, and keep your bones strong.


We hope our useful tips on how to successfully measure VO2 max with a vivosmart 3 have helped resolve the issue. Keep in mind that leading an active life will help you improve your fitness level which will boost your health in general. Use the features to help you stick to an effective fitness plan, keep you motivated, and reach your goals.

I still love my Garmin Vivomart 3 because it has helped me stay active and know how I am doing.

However, if you want to get more, the Vivosmart 4 has the same features plus monitors your blood oxygen saturation levels which tell you how well the oxygen is distributed in your cells. View this stylish and cool fitness for more details.