How Did VO2 Max Booster Program Work You?

2 months ago I published a training program designed to increase your VO2 max in only 14 days. I promised you a higher VO2 max if you completed the training program as scheduled and I’ve already heard from several readers who have made significant improvements.

Now I want people who have completed or almost completed the VO2 max Booster Program to enter their before and after VO2 Max power outputs and comments about the training program. I will use your feedback to make an optimized edition of the training program. Thanks in advance.

PS. The VO2 Max Booster Program is a part of my e-book Time Effective Cycling Training. Read more here.

27 comments… add one
  • Jai Watson

    What feedback have you received from your readers regarding the VO2 max booster programme?
    It would be useful to make this information available. I am planning on implementing this 14 day programme into my own training scheme shortly as an end-of-season peak to improve my race form for the final few weeks of racing.

  • Hi,

    I tried your VO2 max program as well. I do not really have a powermeter but I can say, that my threngh definitly increased.

    However, I changed your program a bit and did a full rest day all 3 days instead of your shorter 30min intervall days as I felt really exhausted on these days and I recover even faster without doing recovery rides. In addition, I think you have to know your body quite well as over-reaching/training is a thin line when adopting this program especially when your race season has already started. I also increased the amount of recovery liquits in order to recover even faster during that time. Otherwise, I think I could not have finished that program without failure rates or reaching overtraining.

    I race MTB Races, mainly marathons of 2-3 hours race time and I think this program is even more helpful for Mountainbikers than long distance road cyclists. I would consider it even perfect for a Cross Country training program as this involves a lot of strengh and power output for a shorter race duration.

    The intervalls involved were really interesting and way more exciting than only long and short term intervalls which you know from the literature.

    Thank you for such great training programs.

    greetings from Austria

    Stefan

  • Jai> There have only been positive feedback so far. People get stronger on the VO2 Max Booster Program without discussion. There have also been some useful suggestions that I plan to implement in future training programs here on Training4cyclists.com.

    Good luck with your customized training program! 🙂

    Jesper

  • I’ll post my progress in 10+4-6 days!

    Feeling strong so far and I’ve completed Day 4 today. I on the other hand will not try and change anything in the program, this however will ofcourse depend on how my body reacts after a few more days. When I’m done and when its all evaluated and processed I’ll concider changing stuff to suit me and my goals better. If necessary.

    And I agree with Stefan about this program beeing (on paper) excellent for forrestjunkies, like myself.

  • Thomas

    It was extremely hard and much harder than any training I’ve tried previously. I got a really nice increase in VO2 max power (Before 398W, now 416w)

    You need to be familar with quite high training amount to complete the training as scheduled. I quess riders who train at least 14-15hrs per week could benefit most from this program.

    Still, amazing how this program worked for me even though I only train app. 10 hrs per week.

  • Brian W

    Just started the program yesterday, excited about all the good results Im reading here. This is my second season of riding and hope it will help me keep up with my more experienced stonger buddies. Will get back to ya with my results in a couple of weeks.

  • jeff

    I did the program as well. I have not retested so don’t know what the gain was. I can tell you on my group rides I am much stronger on some parts I used to get dropped. However I did this work out to get ready for a 2+hour hill climb race. I found although I was stronger for a short time I had lost of alot of my fitness and was 15-20 minutes slower (I blew up in the second hour averaging the same watts as before) now then I was before hand. I believe I can get that back quickly or at least I hope. I am going to do workout again but length them to about 1+30 or 1+45 .

  • Jeff, thanks for your report. Sorry to hear that you haven’t made a test after finishing the program. Also it would great if you did a test of your performance at e.g. 20minutes maximum. I think it is very unlikely that you improve your VO2 max significantly at the cost of a significantly reduced aerobic performance after only 14 days.

    Are you comparing your performance with previous years finishing times or finishing times 14days ago?

    I would love to read the power meter files you talk about.

  • Bikeboy

    I also want to start the program today but I have a race in 3 days? Should I wait after this race to start the program? (to be fresh). Or should 3 days of training already get the legs in better shape for a good result???

  • Here is my results:

    Max VO2 Power.
    Before: 362 W. 4,3 W/kg.
    After: 382,4 W. 4,72 W/kg.

    FT.
    Before: 246,5 W. 2,93 W/kg.
    After: 270 W. 3,3 W/kg.

    Body weight.
    Before: 84 kg.
    After: 80,9 kg.

    I’m satisfied with the results, but as always with numbers and tests outside a laboratory you might have to have some faultdifference +/-, but I’m more interrested in knowing if I’m going forward or not, and I think it’s safe to say that I did make progress.

    Total time spent is only 4 weeks of my life. 1 week restitution from previous training and tests before entering program, 14 days executing program, 1 week restitution and tests after program was completed.

    I did one extra thing that was not in the program, and that was one easyride with friends at Day 5. That should not make any difference in either way. Other than that I stuck to the program.

    And also I have to thank the Swedish summerweather for beeing utterly disgusting these 14 days which made it easier to sit inside on my testbike doing this program 🙂

  • Jules

    Hi Jesper,

    VO2 Wattage:
    Before: 266 W
    After: 272 W

    I used a tacx ergo trainer and mainly followed the program, but subbed 1 race day 1 training race day and 1 easy long day.

    I think there was an issue with how I set up the test on the trainer, I think it skewed the results negatively- I had added a small ramp up time which tended to pull the average down.

    Thanks so much for providing this, it was a hard 2 weeks but I definitely learned a new way to train. That tacx has been sitting in my garage and this training showed me how to use it well.

    JF

  • Evan Jardine-Skinner

    Hi,

    I originally started a vo2max boster program that prescribed findign your vo2max eith a 4 min interval and then 3 times a week performing 2.5 min intervals at vo2max power with 4 mins of rest inbetween. THe target was 8 intervals per session, however like others that tried it I could only manage 4 or 5 intervals per session. I did this for about a month but only twice a week then I found your website and the 30 sec intervals sounded like they would be easier. They are easier than 2.5 mins, noticeably the HR was lower, but by the end of each 5x block I could definately feel them working. I started about halfway through your program and continued from there, but fitting the odd time trial, and therefore a day off before the TT, round the program.

    So my results are over about 2 months in total, but I’m happy:

    first vo2max test, 4 mins @ 300 watts, 4.76 watts/kg

    last vo2max test I went too hard so failed to do 5 mins, only 4 but averaged 334 watts (last 45 secs only 318 wats, so i blew badly and achieved a new maximum HR). So I need to do the test again really, but I think I’m just going to start your program again with an “approximate” vo2max of 330 or 5.24 watts/kg

    Thanks for publishing your program, this time I will do it from the beginning 🙂

    Ev.

  • Evan Jardine-Skinner

    Unlike Jeff I haven’t lost any performance at FTP as I just dida 50 mile TT at 258 watts av with the 2nd half at 266 so this was a good improvement for me also 🙂

    Ev.

  • David Avery

    Jesper,

    The VO2 Max Booster programme was great. I really enjoyed the intensity of a hard one hour of work and finish routine. I found each session about right in terms of workload and pace. It always felt like I pushed myself up to but not over the limit. Another important measure I use is how long it takes me to fully recover from an intense session. As you get older recovery gets longer. I was always able to do the next session without being to tired from the previous days activity. Which means that the work was about right. So here is how I did:

    Sex: Male
    Age: 48
    Weight: 90kg (no weight loss during or after the programme)
    Ave score (Watts) for 5 min VO2 Max Test at start of programme: 350w (using Tacx TT)
    Ave score (Watts) for 5 min VO2 Max Test at end of programme: 367w
    Improvement: 4.9%

    Jesper, the obvious question now is, what do you recommend in order to maintain the improvement that has been earned by doing the Booster Programme ?

    Regards,

    David.

    PS: My Astrandtest score is 55 (see link to Taxc web site below. The test measures aerobic endurance capacity)
    (http://www.tacx.com/beleef+tacx.php?language=EN&lvlMain=18&lvlSub=47&lvlSubSub=88&ttop=Astrandtest)

  • Radek

    Thanks for great training plan. I have incorporated it as a beginning of my last 4-week preparation to the last race in this season. I did also some changes since I am training for 75 miles hilly Road Race. Seventh and last day I replaced with 2 and 3 h race pace group ride.This plan really works! I improved my power output from 380watt (5.27 Watt/kg) to 401watt (5.56 Watt/kg) – 5% increase.

  • Hi, Im a XC mountain bike racer from FL, USA.. I’m a cat 1 upgrading to PRO this year…. I’m also a level 3 coach…. I like to try new things when it comes to training.. But when first saw this training and the workouts for the 14 days, It kind of look weird, going against of what I have learned.. but I was definitily going to give it a try..

    Here is my info…

    Sex: Male
    Age: 25
    Weight: 170lb – 77K

    Dec. 15 was one of my 5 min. VO2 max test and my result was 386W and FTP was 338W

    I did my own training for the next three weeks and I re-test on Jan. 5 which was the day that I started the 14 days VO2 program producing a power output of 409W. ( I have not had a chance to tesy my FTP, but I will do it at the end of the programs after getting some good recovery)

    Today is my 5th day of this program and so far its been good,my legs are feeling good, intervals were good but what’s coming for the rest of the program looks hard just by reading it…. I will post final results at the end of the program.

    Safe riding.

  • Ok, here is my experience of this 14 days VO2 Max booster program..

    I’m really familiar with Intervals, so It was not too hard for me to perform these intervals..

    The first 5 min test my power output was 409W. The good thing about this program is that allow you to recover faster since most of the workouts are about 1 hour. Also To really see result Power device is a must.

    I felt really good every single day except day 9 and day 10th. I was still able to perform the workout on day 9, but it was really taking a lot from me, I was pushing to my limits, my legs were feeling fatigue too soon. Day 10 was a recovery day which my legs were feeling really tired but I still complete the 30 min with the intervals… By day 11, I was feeling stronger again.

    In the days that I was the one to decide when I’ve got enough with interval sets… I did one more set. I could have done more, probably one more but I didnt want to over push it.

    For me the hardest intervals to perform during this program were the one to hold your power for longer than 3 min, but the 30 sec.were not too hard.

    To me I did not find these interval hard to perform, they were not that hard, there were internse, now when you add all the intervals for the 14 days, yes you have accummulated a quite load if it….

    After the 14 days, I took one day off and the next day I did an easy ride. The third day I performed another 5 min test and my NEW power output was 427W. A 18W improvement .. I also lost 2 pounds in these 14 days, eating the same amount.

    I think its great….

    But I’m pretty sure that after getting a good week of recovery my 5 min should be higher, the reason is because for the past few months I have been training really hard with noe enough recovery, and after this program I did not allow enough recovery… During the 5 min test, I felt good but during the last 1:30 min. my power drop big time and I was feeling really tired…. I will perform abother test next week, I couldnt do it this week, since I have a race this weekend….

    I really liked this program, and after reading some of the many good articles from Jesper I will definitely incorporate this program as part of my training and also I will making some changes to try a different type of training for this season.. I will be taking s risk by doing it but we will see what happens…

    Thank you Jesper

  • Dickie Blench

    Hi Jesper

    I have not yet done your program but intend to this year. My question is: How long should I wait after the program for the benefits to come through? So that I can use it to peak effectively for a target race?

    thanks for the site and ebook

    Excellent

    Dickie Blench

  • Hi Dickie,

    You will see a better VO2 max performance from 4 days after finishing the VO2 Max Booster Program. Doing one or two cycles in the last 6 to 8 weeks before an event could be fine. Though, for peaking purposes, I would rather use the tapering protocol in the 16 week training program in my e-book.

    Kind regards,

    Jesper

  • Brett

    I adapted this program for inline speedskating and used it has final preparation for my biggest race of the year.I arrived at the start line in great shape and skated times I had not achieved in many years.
    I am now adapting some of your other plans into my next years training
    and plan on attending the masters world championship.Thanks for all the great info!

  • Martin Overgaard

    Hi all,

    I just completed the program today and wanted to comment on it. Some people mentioned that day 12 was the hardest day of them all, that is not the case for me. I found that the 3 sets of 6 x (40+20sec) training on day 4 very challenging, I was so close to faliure but got through the final set of intervals. I have allways been a great fan of ? x 3+3min for my vo2max training, so it has been fun with some other intervals for variation.

    Normally I would not do this kind of training program mid season, but I had hit a training plateau for allmost 1½ months, so I had to try a different approach to get further with the training. I’m looking forward to make the new 5 min test in 5-6 days to see how much this program has boosted my vo2max. I’m sure it has helped, but how much is the exiting part ;o)

    I’ll be back with the before and after results next week ;o)

    /Martin

  • Martin Overgaard

    Hi all,

    As promised a week ago here is my test result.

    Before
    Rest heart rate : 42 bpm
    Morning weight : 75 kg
    5 min max. test : 302 watt

    After
    Rest heart rate : 40 bpm
    Morning weight : 76 kg
    5 min max. test : 318 watt

    An improvement of 16 watt (5.29%) in 14 days, i’m happy ;o)

    /Martin

  • Steve Heaton

    Hi,

    I’m 4wks before National Mtn bike race. I live at sea level and my race is at 5700ft.
    What do you think about me starting the program now 4wks before. i will arrive 2wks before at altitude. This give me 2wks to adapt to VO2 program and altitude.
    What do you think?

  • Phil Gram

    Hi, I’m 60 and really just got into cycling this spring I’m ROAD RIDING ABOUT 60-80- miles per week right now but i want to ride more often. I’m riding because I love to ride and its great on for my head and body. I’m in good physical condition and getting better weight dropped and I’m at 200 now from 235…so how much can I ride..and can someone give me a website to go to for those of us that are 60 going on 40 and want to really kick this up with good advice…also what is VO2? Any help will really be appreciated, Phil in Traverse City, Mi

  • adynata

    i gained 5% using the program and i feel noticeably stronger on the bike.

    this is a pretty effective way to spend two weeks. this routine is going into my winter plan now… thanks a lot!

    by the way, the “? @ 30+30″… for me the “?” on day 7 was like 30 some-odd minutes. is this normal for the rest of you?

  • Andrew

    So what is recommended after this program to hold on to gains or possibly focus on another area, such as FT?

  • Daniel S

    Did the programme exactly as prescribed, with the following comments:
    * All intervals at a slightly higher (3-4%) average power than required
    * Day 1-3 took some pushing to do the sessions, then momentum made it much easier psychologically
    * Day 3 3×5 @ 90% definitely one of hardest – heart rate at 195bpm+ for a lot of it
    * Swapped Day 5 and Day 9 to fit in with local velodrome race training session (both followed by Active Recovery day anyway)
    * On Day 7 only did 10 for the ??x30/30sec 100/50 as I felt exhausted – it came at just the right time to allow a little recovery as it was followed by a couple of easier days
    * Day 12 was a highlight, first time I ever used long 400W intervals in a session which has been a personal goal for me for several months, managed 410W average for both. The last minute of the second interval was very hard, my legs were screaming to stop but I made it.
    * On Day 14 I went deep and did 22 for the ??x30/30sec 100/50 and the feeling of completing the programme was probably the most satisfying thing I’ve done training wise this year.

    I think it’s a perfectly balanced programme, I almost never do back to back sessions and I didn’t think you could do several interval sessions in a row, never mind 14!

    Only did two rides – an easy 2×20 and a big Strava hill climbing session (2 KOMs!) – between finishing and retesting 7 days later:

    Original: 396W HR 191avg, 200max, cadence 91, 24C
    New test: 439W HR 192avg, 201max, cadence 96, 24C – improvement 43W or 10.9%.
    My weight stayed the same (74kg) but I got visibly leaner so I think I packed on more leg muscle.

    It almost seems to good to be true, the only mitigating circumstance might be that I underperformed slightly on my first test, but I felt on the limit so that might only account for 10W at most. Did a fresh Tacx calibration for each test, same tire pressure etc. and the power ramps were very similar for both tests. Both tests were at around 8pm on a weekday evening.

    All in all I’m extremely happy with the dramatic improvement and will focus on my threshold a bit for a month or so and then attempt the program again.

    Many thanks to you Jesper!

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