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What is the IPC and how does it work?

MPK - maximum oxygen consumption. To make it easier to understand what it is, we give an example. Suppose you need to quickly run into the sixth floor. The first few floors are made easily and quickly, about the third you feel discomfort and run in the same rhythm, you are getting difficult for you. On the fifth you suffocate, heartbeat and pulse are rapidly, and in order to get to the goal, namely - to the sixth floor, you have to stop and "translate the Spirit." At this point, you reached your IPC level. This is due to the fact that with increasing physical activity, not trained muscles quickly cease to absorb the required amount of oxygen, the decay of carbohydrates necessary for emission of energy is not fully formed, milk acid is formed, which leads to fatigue, muscle pain, as a result What are you forced to stop moving. With the increased level of the IPC - on the same sixth floor you will give up with a sufficiently high speed, not choking and without making five-minute breaks on each floor. In this case, the carbohydrates will work as it should, therefore, the emission of lactic acid will occur much slower, endurance will increase. The IPC level can be calculated. There are many formulas and a variety of equipment to identify the IPC. In a physically healthy person who does not suffer from serious chronic diseases, the blood pressure of which is located within the normal range that does not have ischemic and other ailments associated with the cordially vascular system, the norm of the maximum - the minimum limit of the IPC is considered: in men this indicator - 42 ml / min / Men kg, in women - 35 ml / min / kg. In many fitness centers, you will easily explain and help you know your IPC level. The high or low level of the IPC is not given to us from birth and for life. It can be enhanced by physical activity. It does not matter whether these are simple aerobic exercises or power loads - the more intense you will train, the higher your IPC level will be. It is clear that it is impossible to train at the maximum limits and is not necessary. Therefore, for the most comfortable and fruitful classes, you can use the most elementary formula 220 (extremely permissible level of the pulse in the min.) Minus your age, from the resulting number you need to take - 65 - 80%, this will be a high intensity pulse to increase the IPC designed for your age. For example, if you are 30 years old, then 220 minus 30 is obtained 190 strokes - your maximum intensity. 190x65% and 190x80% = 125 -150 strokes per minute - Comfortable intensity of heart rate (heart rate) and respectively pulse, and should be observed during the training process. It is from the very high PCC of a person and is defined as far as he hardening and how long will be able to withstand the limit load and do not get away from the distance.

The IPC indicator and the concept of oxygen debt first voiced by the English physiologist Archibald Hill, and in 1922 he received the Nobel Prize for this discovery. Maximum oxygen consumption (IPC or VO2MAX) is an indicator of performance and aerobic endurance of the body. It is important for most cyclic sports, and especially in running from 800 to 5000 m and in similar loads of disciplines. Since 2016, the American Cardiology Association uses the IPC to assess the condition of the cardiovascular system.

What is and why do I need an indicator of the IPC?

The maximum oxygen consumption (IPC or VO2MAX) is the maximum volume of oxygen, which the body can consume from inhaled air in 1 minute at maximum load. The amount of oxygen is measured in ml per kg of body weight per minute: ml / kg / min. An indicator of aerobic performance and total endurance of an athlete. In other words, the IPC determines how efficiently the heart, light and vessels provide an oxygen body during long loads.

The higher the IPC - the more oxygen enters the muscles and more energy is produced. On the IPC, you can track the dynamics of the training process: if the indicator grows - the physical form becomes better. If the indicator falls - it is worth reconsider the training plan.

It is important to understand that the IPC is not directly related to the results at competitions. This is a relative indicator in which you can track the efficiency of training. There are many examples when an athlete with lower IPC wins the holder of high IPC. Sometimes the body includes limiters that do not allow to use all the possibilities and to reach the maximum consumption of oxygen. In this case, you need to look for the cause of muscles, technique, blood composition, the verge of anaerobic metabolism (pano), etc. It happens that the main limiter is the brain and the nervous system that do not give "to postpone" due to the instinct of self-preservation.

what is the IPC and how to measure it

Measurement of the IPC on the gas analyzer. Source:

What does the IPC depends on?

Physical training

Under it implies important physiological indicators: the volume of the lungs, the size of the heart, the elasticity of the vessels and the capillary network, the level of hemoglobin and the volume of blood, the amount of mitochondria and the activity of muscle enzymes, processing oxygen into energy, fat and muscle body weight, the stress resistance of the central nervous system. The better these indicators, the higher the IPC.

The incredited adult man of the IPC is approximately 45 ml / kg / min, the MPK of the amateur runner lies in the range of 50-60 ml / kg / min. All this is much lower than the IPC of the professional athlete - it can reach a level of 80-90 ml / kg / min.

MPK and lactate threshold



Scientists came to the conclusion that the limit indicators of the IPC and the ability of its development are inherited. That is, everyone has its own MPK plan, which is asked by nature. But it is possible to get to the genetic plank only to the world-class athletes, amateur athletes even high levels does not limit. It is genetic features that explain the fact that in the training group some athletes quickly increase the IPC, and others - no. For the development of the IPC, an individual approach is needed, depending on the body's reaction to the load.

The weight

Body weight is easy to estimate with the body mass index (BMI). According to research published in Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, a high body mass index is associated with lowered MPK . Read as Determine your BMI and the percentage of fat in the body.

Age and floor

On average, MPC men are 20-30% higher than women. This is explained by genetic features: the percentage of fat, hormones, hemoglobin, heart volume and lungs.

The IPC level can grow up to 35 years. Then the maximum oxygen consumption is reduced, decreasing by 65 by about 30%.

Maximum oxygen consumption (IPC) in untranslated people

MPK of untrained people depending on the floor and age. Source:

How to measure the IPC?

  1. Study in the sports medical center on the gas analyzer - a special apparatus for analyzing the composition of the air. The level of oxygen is measured on the breath and exhalation, the difference between these indicators is measured and there is oxygen consumption. The test is carried out on a treadmill or exercise bike under load, gradually increasing which can be determined by the IPC.
  2. Running test. Join the distance 1500-3000 m at the maximum of the capabilities. Immediately after the finish, fix the heart rate and the tempo - this will be approximate indicators of the IPC level. True, without values ​​in ml / kg.
  3. The easiest and most affordable way to measure the IPC is using a sports gadget. The pulsometer with the VO2MAX function can calculate the IPC based on the indicators of several workouts.

How to enhance the IPC: Examples of training

Under an increase in IPC usually understand the improvement of indicators within their natural ceiling. The genetic maximum of the IPC to move almost impossible, but you can get closer to it. Elite athletes are already working close to the biological maximum, then the improvement in the results is due to the improvement of technology, an increase in the strength and increase in the capillary network in muscles, reduce the percentage of fat and other factors.

Beginner athletes The IPC level can be improved using regular aerobic workouts on a low pulse. They develop the heart and vessels, set up metabolic processes and "teach" the body correctly use their resources.

Advanced athletes to raise the IPC helps running through the hills, tempo and interval training. Performed at the level of the IPC.

Examples of workouts to increase the IPC

Example of training to increase the IPC in a trained person: 5 intervals of 4-5 minutes on the intensity above an anaerobic threshold. Next Recovery to the pulse 65% of the heart rate. Intervals can be divided into shorter with short breaks. For example, 30 seconds of fast running after 15 seconds of rest. The total volume of intensive intervals should not be less than 4 km and more than 8 km at a time. Such a workout is enough to spend 1 time per week.

The restorative run time between the intervals is very important in such training - the "Run / Recovery" proportions should be 1: 1 or 2: 1. The body needs to be recovered to work out the next segment to work. At the same time, too long rest between the segments can also spoil the training. The essence of such work in the set of kilometers at the IPC level, with too much rest you will need to display the body to the desired state. For example, with optimal recovery in the next segment, the body will be released into the working area at the beginning of the segment and the entire interval will pass with benefit. A too rested athlete will be released on the IPC only by the end of the segment.

Examples of workouts to increase the IPC:

Length interval Number of intervals Total distance
600 M. 7-10. 4200-6000 M.
800 M. 6-10. 4800-8000 M.
1000 M. 5-8 5000-8000 M.
1200 M. 4-6 4800-7200 M.
1600 M. 3-5 4800-8000 M.

Here are general recommendations that will help to increase the IPC:

  • Strengthen the muscles with the help of strength exercises
  • reduce body weight and increase muscle, staying within normal weight
  • Make special running exercises to improve running technique
  • Cut the regular continuous training in the aerobic area to develop the cardiovascular system
  • 1-2 times a week spend high intensity training in the developing area: tempo, interval or running

Suren Harutyunyan about training MPK

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The maximum oxygen consumption rate (IPC) worries those who want to improve the results and show their sports maximum. If you regularly run more than 5 km and participate in different starts, then the abbreviation of the IPC is exactly familiar with you.

What should be the IPC (VO2MAX) at the runner, is it possible to increase it and how to do it correctly, tells MSMK on flight athletics and the coach on the run Elena Sokolov.

Maximum oxygen consumption: from which it depends and how affects the results in running

What is the IPC and what it is important for an athlete

The IPC or the maximum oxygen consumption is how much oxygen from the inhaled air your body can consume and recycle on critical, limit velocity or power. That is, from the inhaled air, your body can take a certain amount of milliliters of oxygen in order to subsequently convey it with a blood current to working muscles and there is a cascade of biochemical processes to turn it into the energy that you implement in the form of the same limit speed.

The body's ability to absorb oxygen is determined by our physical and physiological parameters. This includes the volume of light (or the life capacity of light), the heart size and its ability to push a large amount of blood for one reduction, elasticity of blood vessels, blood quality (level of erythrocytes, hemoglobin, iron carrying this oxygen to muscles), mitochondria (cell energy stations) , as well as a strong CNS, which is capable of withstanding critical speeds. The floor, age and existence of excess weight also define the level of the IPC.

The paradoxotility of this indicator is that it is measured in the conditions of the limit work of the body, and reflects our aerobic abilities or endurance, including common, that is, not very limiting opportunities. In turn, the number of workouts at the IPC level is inversely proportional to the duration of the distance. That is, in the marathon and supermaraphon, the training of workout on the IPC does not have such a value as in running on average distances (800 m, 1500 m).

In general, the theoretical logic of this indicator is such that what it is higher in a particular person, the higher the speed he can show at the distance. In addition, the higher the maximum oxygen consumption, the better endurance, the easier the long-term aerobic works are given.

Is it possible to develop your IPC

The IPC of the average healthy trained person can reach 60-65 ml / kg / min. But it is believed that the indicator of the IPC is the value given to a specific person from nature, although it is still possible to develop it to a certain level. And you can quite a long time and successfully develop the body itself at a certain level of the IPC and grow in the results.

In our working muscles, not all muscle fibers are involved in the work. The body is not an enemy to themselves to spend a 100% muscle fiber bullets, and also to "feed" their energy.

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So if you periodically "pull" the body with limit loads (as well as by force training), the number of working muscle fibers will increase, and, therefore, their nutrition will increase. That is, the body will be forced to adapt and expand its limits of speed and endurance with a constant IPC, especially if you have reached its natural limit.

The IPC is not important in itself, but how you use it in training, that is, what speed you have at the level of this indicator, and how to increase it. In running, this indicator is very important and reflects the performance of an athlete and its potential at the average distances of 1500-5000 meters.

The higher the level of the athlete, the higher its IPC. However, with equal values ​​of the IPC, it is not at all necessary that the athletes run equally. And with unequal values ​​of the IPC, it does not mean at all that an athlete with a higher indicator will be faster than the other. It can depend on the muscular system and from the nervous, from vascular and other factors.

What should be the maximum oxygen consumption

Do not dwell on this notorious MPK digit. It is much more important to train certain qualities that are needed on a particular distance, and the growing (or not growing) IPC as a definite control point of your training (or not trained) functionality will be one of the quality beacons.

Qualities for the body of a particular distance are indicators such as running efficiency, special endurance, power stamina, high-speed endurance, speed, etc. It is from the training of workouts to these qualities (and they are all measurable) is your result. This is a stunningly voluminous work!

How to develop stamina in running

That is, in improving the result on a certain distance, many parameters go in a bundle, and so one depends on the other that it would be strange to hear from the coach or athlete - and this also happens - such a phrase: "We train the IPC today." Or: "How do you work on improving the IPC?"

Much more logical was the production: "Today we make segments (interval training) at the IPC level to improve high-speed endurance in the semi-maralphon. And the IPC, in turn, we measured in the laboratory, and now we can rely on this data in order to develop your own body. "

And if we talk about beginner runners, then the IPC indicator is not at all objective for them and approaches the level of panano - the anaerobic exchange threshold. Developing the body with basic training (crosses at a low pulse, strengthening target muscles, joints and ligaments), we are in parallel developing all the indicators, including the IPC, so it is not necessary to carry out special interval training.

The highest rates of the IPC

  • Horse - 180 ml / kg / min
  • Oscar Svendsen (cycling rates) - 97.5 ml / kg / min
  • Bjorn Delhi (Ski) - 96 ml / kg / min
  • Matt Carpenter (Runner) - 92.0 ml / kg / min
  • Joan Benua (1984 Olympic champion in the marathon) - 78.6 ml / kg / min
  • Bente Skari (ski racing) - 76.6 ml / kg / min
  • Oliveira Flavia (cycling) - 76.0 ml / kg / min

What is measured by the IPC

There are so-called absolute and relative values ​​of measuring the maximum oxygen consumption. The absolute indicator is expressed in milliliters per minute, that is, it is the largest amount of oxygen in milliliters, which a person can consume in 1 minute. The average healthy person who is not engaged in sports consumes 3200-3500 ml / min, the Sports MPK reaches 6000 ml / min.

The absolute indicators of the IPC are in direct dependence with the sizes of the body (weight) of the person. Therefore, the highest rates of the IPC have rowers, swimmers, cyclists, skaters. And it is precisely in these sports that absolute indicators of the IPC have the greatest importance for physiological assessment.

The relative indicators of the IPC in highly qualified athletes are in the inverse dependence on body weight and are expressed in milliliters per kilogram of body weight per minute (ml / kg / min). The fact is that when running and walking, the vertical movement of body weight is performed, and, therefore, with other things being equal, the larger the weight of the athlete, the more work performed by it. Therefore, runners on long distances are relatively small body weight. So sometimes to increase the IPC and, as a result, it is enough to lose weight for improving performance, especially if the weight is clearly superfluous.

The magnitude of the IPC in men and women

MPC values ​​in women are on average lower than in men, due to higher fat reserves and lower hemoglobin levels. Since the IPC is expressed regarding body weight, the presence of fat stocks in women associated with physiology puts them in this sense at a disadvantageous position. Hemoglobin transfers oxygen to tissues. Less hemoglobin is less oxygen per unit of blood. The IPC level of well-trained women on average 10% lower than that of well-trained men.

  • Male 35 years old, leading sedentary lifestyle - 45 ml / kg / min
  • Woman 35 years old, leading a sedentary lifestyle - 38 ml / kg / min
  • Runner for 5 km of world level - 79 ml / kg / min
  • Runner on 5 km of world level - 70 ml / kg / min
  • World-class marathonet - 73 ml / kg / min
  • World Marathon - 65 ml / kg / min

Effect of age at the IPC

According to some data, it is growing up to 25 years to 25 years, its stabilization falls on 25-35 years, after which the decline begins. Other studies argue that the stabilization period falls at the age of 30-40 years, after which the decline begins. However, to maintain a certain level can always be and necessary.

How to define your IPC

There are several ways to determine their IPC. For example, you can run at the stadium of 1500 m in full force. The result in numbers and will be the indicator of your functionality at the IPC level. In the process, you can also track your pulse when running. And further repel from this data in training.

However, this method is not suitable for everyone. For example, if you just start running, then, most likely, the indicators will not be completely adequate: it's not so easy to force yourself to escape almost 4 circles in the stage at the maximum. This is not only the work of the muscles, hearts, lungs. Mainly, this is the work of the nervous system, and if it is not accustomed in a good way to endure, then through some very short distance you simply cannot maintain a high pace, that is, the appropriate efforts.


Another way to determine the IPC is relatively simple. Today, all the "smart" sports hours are capable of issuing this value, based on the calculations of your sex, age, pulse and workouts performed. But it is unlikely that it is necessary to completely trust this data without a prior laboratory study and comparing the analysis received from hours and research.

Therefore, the best option will be a load study in the laboratory, the so-called functional test with gas analyzes "to failure".

How does this happen? You put on a mask on your mouth and nose, connect to the computer sensors, and you run on the treadmill or twist the exercise bike. The load increases steps in speed / power and tilt or only by speed with a constant slope. Where you said "Stop", and your IPC indicator, which, in turn, corresponds to a certain pulse and blood lactate level.

The fact is that there is a definite correlation between the data of the IPC, Pano and the pulse zones, as well as your races at the level of these indicators. For example, at the IPC level, your rampage paced is 5 minutes / km, and your heart beats at this speed with a frequency of 180 beats per minute. This means that at this speed and on this pulse you theoretically you can run the same 1500 m in the stadium. However, there is a mass of reservations: for example, are your muscles ready and the same nervous system to such a load, albeit one?

How to increase the IPC.

It is possible to increase the IPC using interval training. Interval training at the IPC level is perhaps the most complex, first of all for the nervous system. They require a fairly good physical form and recovery time after. And despite the fact that in marathon preparation such training is not very frequent, they are still present. We increase the ability of the body in the absorption of oxygen, as well as raise the indicators at the Pano level.

Definitely, training should be personified and built into the general training plan, based on the goals and distances on which you plan to perform.

For example, it is possible to vary the training from 2 to 8 minutes 4-8 repetitions at the IPC level or slightly below (90-95%), depending on the length of the segment, but in speed it will reflect your running by 3000-5000 m. Recreation interval - 2-4 minutes coward.

In general, the best training on the increase in the IPC, if we so want to increase it, is the competitions at medium distances (all the same 3000-5000 m).

How does the IPC affect the speed of running

At first glance, the dependence of the run speed from the IPC is straight. That's just a question - what speed we are talking about. For example, the speed at the level of anaerobic metabolism is much more important for the development of speed at the marathon. And the speed at the IPC level can manifest itself in this case in the finish spur. Conversely - the shorter the distance, the immediate contribution of the IPC indicator.

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