A few years ago, best watch for vo2 max was something that only professional athletes bothered to track and obsess about. Today, it’s part of the fitness furniture – Fitbit has made it the basis for its Cardio Fitness score in the Charge 5 and Versa 3, while Garmin gives VO2 Max estimates to many of its sports and running watches like the Fenix 6.
To give you a rough idea of how fit you are, your VO2 Max score uses a formula that estimates your maximum oxygen capacity by looking at your resting heart rate and measuring your heart rate as you run to exhaustion on a treadmill or outdoor route. But while the VO2 Max estimations on these wearables get pretty close to accurate, they’ll never replace laboratory testing if you want the real thing.
Elevate Your Fitness Game: Unveiling the Top Watches for Monitoring VO2 Max in Style”
The best VO2 Max estimate for your wrist comes from a watch with a built-in GPS. That’s typically required to have a good, reliable signal so your VO2 Max measurement isn’t influenced by things like the positioning of your wrist or how much you’re sweating. It also helps that you wear a chest strap rather than just relying on the optical heart rate sensors in your watch.
Most of the sport and runners’ watches we recommend – including the Amazfit Stratos, Polar V800 and Suunto Ambit 3R – use external chest or arm straps to measure your heart rate so their VO2 Max estimates are as accurate as possible. That’s important because a chest strap is more precise than the optical heart rate sensor in most wearables, and it delivers more consistent measurements throughout a workout compared to wrist-based heart rate sensors.