The Astrand Cycle Test is a submaximal cycling test that was developed by the Swedish Per-Olof Åstrand. Åstrand assumed there was a connection between the heart rate and the maximum oxygen consumption. These two values say something about someone’s physical condition (endurance).


The test consists of the following components:

  • Warming up
  • Cycling for six minutes (130-170 hf)
  • Cool down

Look for the wattage to start with in the the below:


Age Wattage
< 25 125
35 – 55 115
> 55 85


Age Wattage
< 25 115
35 – 55 85
> 55 60


At the end of the six minutes, the resistance (in wattage) and steady heart rate are recorded. Subsequently, the VO2 max value can be read from the table specifically developed for that purpose. When determining the result of the test, a person’s maximum heart rate also needs to be included. The maximum heart rate decreases with age (220-age). The age-correction table corrects this.


  1. Set the cycle to the right height (seat at hip height);
  2. Start the warming up of approximately two or three minutes at low wattage;
  3. Once the test starts, the test person should keep the rotations between 50-60 RPM;
  4. Start at 50 watts and increase the resistance in steps of 25 watts (women) and 50 watts (men), so the heart rate increases to 130;
  5. The heart rate is then recorded every minute;
  6. During the final two minutes, the heart rate is recorded every fifteen seconds;
  7. A steady state heart rate should occur in the final two minutes (i.e. no more than 5 sl/min difference between 140-145 sl/min);
  8. If a steady state heart rate does not occur, use the average heart rate of the final two minutes.

Calculate VO2 Max

Astrand table

Required equipment

For this test you need the following:

  • Cycle ergometer
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Test forms

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