“Analysts of VO2MAX and Sports efficiency”

Running and cycling are two activities that require a lot of oxygen, but which activity requires more? Graduate student Max Miller sought out to answer that question. 

Miller presented his research, “Analysts of VO2MAX and Sports efficiency”, at the 2022 Piedmont Symposium. VO2MAX is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption measured during incremental exercise. Miller conducted his exercise on the different VO2MAXs of runners and cyclists. “I grew up doing all the endurance sports from running, swimming and biking,” said Miller. “There is a friendly competition between all runners and cyclists on who actually is the better endurance athlete, and I wanted to find out myself.”  

There were several tests that Miller conducted with the eight athletes that participated in the study, all testing each athlete’s oxygen consumption.  

“I was so excited on how different the runners’ and cyclists’ VO2MAX differed between the two sports,” said Miller, “finding out that runners are extremely affected compared to the cyclists not being affected really at all.”  

Each test conducted by Miller proved that cyclists were less affected than the runners, proving that they have better oxygen consumption. “I was excited to see the VO2 values that our athletes achieved,” said Gregory Ryan, associate professor of health sciences. “Runners tend to underperform on the bike compared to the treadmill, while cyclists do not usually see the same decline.” 

With Ryan’s help, Miller is planning to publish his study in the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). The plan is to add this study to the ACSM journal next year, which will be a huge accomplishment for both Miller and Ryan. “Research coming out of the master’s program at Piedmont University shows how well the program can be for a student’s future,” said Miller. “The health and human performance master’s program is only 2 years old, and it would be really good for a student like myself to help put the program on the map.”  

Ryan credits Miller with taking on the bulk of the study. “Max did the vast majority of his project,” said Professor Ryan. “I helped him become familiar with the metabolic cart and apparatus for his testing, but he collected all of his data.” 

Miller has been working on his presentation for two years and he is happy that he is done with it. “It has been a long and hard road here at Piedmont,” said Miller. “I’m just glad that I finally got to show others all the work that I had been doing and really happy that everyone appreciated my challenging work.” 

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