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sterumbelow

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 15, 2010
253
192
Hi, everyone.

What’s your experience like with the Apple Watch and Health’s reporting of your V02 Max (Cardio Fitness)?

Im on the latest version of WatchOS and iOS, and I’m using an Apple Watch S6.
My values seem incredibly low, usually around 43, for my fitness level.

I cycle 4-5 times per week, for around 5 hours total and I’m doing a workout plan at the moment that’s very intense. I also do daily walks, climbing, and other fitness related things. My resting HR is mid-40s and decreasing, and my recovery after a hard workout is quick

To be fluctuating between the ‘below average’ category, or just into the ‘above average category’ seems absolutely absurd to me.

You can roughly calculate V02 Max with age and resting heart rate (definitely less accurate than a proper test, but it’s a guide) and they all come out at over 55, depending which one I use.

I’d be happy just to be at the top of the ‘above average’ category (up to 52) but the watch is showing me waaay below that.

It’s also worth noting that mine was reported at 47 on the Series 4 Watch, and dropped to 40 when I got the S6 in September.

Does anyone else find this?
 
Last edited:

antbob

macrumors member
May 12, 2020
98
44
From what I have read so far this feature appears kinda half baked similar to hand wash. I cannot even get it to work with either of my Watches despite going thru all sorts of troubleshooting advise floating around, neither show up as datasources. I'm sure Apple will sort it out eventually.
 

JonnyBlaze

macrumors 6502
May 5, 2008
266
220
UK
Mine reports this very strangely. Started off at around 40 when I first got an Apple Watch. Over the year it climbed and plateaued at around 46-47. When I updated to watchOS 7 that dropped to 38-39 and hasn’t really moved since. since the os update I have re-paired the watch, and reset the calibration data, but it hasn’t changed much. Clearly the watch can’t record this accurately for the moment, whatever my actual vo2max is.
 

SaSaSushi

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2007
4,147
539
Takamatsu, Japan
VO2 Max seems to be accurate to me and if anything, not low. I run 5 miles every day and just hit 50.0 VO2 Max.

According to Apple this is at the high end of the high range for my age. (I'll be 56 in January)
 
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sterumbelow

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 15, 2010
253
192
Mine reports this very strangely. Started off at around 40 when I first got an Apple Watch. Over the year it climbed and plateaued at around 46-47. When I updated to watchOS 7 that dropped to 38-39 and hasn’t really moved since. since the os update I have re-paired the watch, and reset the calibration data, but it hasn’t changed much. Clearly the watch can’t record this accurately for the moment, whatever my actual vo2max is.
Yep, that’s what happened to me too.
 

sterumbelow

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 15, 2010
253
192
Don’t put too much stock in the VO2 Max Watch reading. If you want accurate, you need to have a stress test done.
I do agree that these sorts of features should be taken with a pinch of salt and should never presumed entirely accurate.

At the same time, there should be some level of accuracy (like we get from the HR monitor and ECG, for the most part) to give you confidence. Suggesting I’m below average feels insulting!
 

philstubbington

macrumors regular
Seems pretty accurate for me - settling at about 46 on my Apple Watch S6, 45 on my Garmin 735XT. Running about 3,261k this year (although no races, of course). I'm mid-fifties, resting heart rate has been as low as 39 this year, and 54 in December. I don't log runs on the Apple Watch as I already use the Garmin for that, but obviously sync to Apple Health.
 

SaSaSushi

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2007
4,147
539
Takamatsu, Japan
Seems pretty accurate for me - settling at about 46 on my Apple Watch S6, 45 on my Garmin 735XT. Running about 3,261k this year (although no races, of course). I'm mid-fifties, resting heart rate has been as low as 39 this year, and 54 in December. I don't log runs on the Apple Watch as I already use the Garmin for that, but obviously sync to Apple Health.
Great numbers! I'm at 2632k on the year. I don't do races either.

You reminded me that I also wear a Fitbit Charge 4 on my left wrist (Apple Watch on my right) and I use both for tracking runs. The Fitbit has my VO2 Max at 51 so its another reason to believe they're both in the neighborhood. RHR at 53 currently. My low was 51.
 
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philstubbington

macrumors regular
Great numbers! I'm at 2632k on the year. I don't do races either.

You reminded me that I also wear a Fitbit Charge 4 on my left wrist (Apple Watch on my right) and I use both for tracking runs. The Fitbit has my VO2 Max at 51 so its another reason to believe they're both in the neighborhood. RHR at 53 currently. My low was 51.
Thanks :) We’re clearly both in good shape. Only problem I have is that I need to stand up slowly otherwise I feel like I’m on the verge of keeling over! Low blood pressure ain’t all good ;)
 
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philstubbington

macrumors regular
Great numbers! I'm at 2632k on the year. I don't do races either.

You reminded me that I also wear a Fitbit Charge 4 on my left wrist (Apple Watch on my right) and I use both for tracking runs. The Fitbit has my VO2 Max at 51 so its another reason to believe they're both in the neighborhood. RHR at 53 currently. My low was 51.
Garmin on the left, Apple on the right for me BTW, and I’m right handed. Used to be FitBit on the right until I finally gave in to Apple after 6 iterations of the Watch....
 
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yurc

macrumors 6502a
Aug 12, 2016
814
971
inside your DSDT
If you cycling, quality of power meter attached on bike + heart rate sensor is dictated the result of VO2 max estimates better rather than AIO watch solution.

I find Garmin Edge VO2 estimated is close with my expectations, whenever I grinding more over HIIT near my lactate threshold or deliberately slowing my pace into zone 3.

AIO watch is only good to getting data for running only, but for cycling it won't help since lack of other parameters from power meter.
 

sterumbelow

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 15, 2010
253
192
How on earth can you calculate VO2 max from a walk – ridiculous. Run 10-15 minutes hard and then see what it says!
Very true. I wish it didn’t, to be honest. At least then I wouldn’t need to be wondering why it was so low! 😆
 

ssmed

macrumors 6502a
Sep 28, 2009
752
316
UK
Very true. I wish it didn’t, to be honest. At least then I wouldn’t need to be wondering why it was so low! 😆
Garmin have stopped this estimate for many activities which include walking and trail running - leaving running & cycling.
 

richxps

macrumors 68000
Jun 9, 2008
1,640
187
Hi, everyone.

What’s your experience like with the Apple Watch and Health’s reporting of your V02 Max (Cardio Fitness)?

Im on the latest version of WatchOS and iOS, and I’m using an Apple Watch S6.
My values seem incredibly low, usually around 43, for my fitness level.

I cycle 4-5 times per week, for around 5 hours total and I’m doing a workout plan at the moment that’s very intense. I also do daily walks, climbing, and other fitness related things. My resting HR is mid-40s and decreasing, and my recovery after a hard workout is quick

To be fluctuating between the ‘below average’ category, or just into the ‘above average category’ seems absolutely absurd to me.

You can roughly calculate V02 Max with age and resting heart rate (definitely less accurate than a proper test, but it’s a guide) and they all come out at over 55, depending which one I use.

I’d be happy just to be at the top of the ‘above average’ category (up to 52) but the watch is showing me waaay below that.

It’s also worth noting that mine was reported at 47 on the Series 4 Watch, and dropped to 40 when I got the S6 in September.

Does anyone else find this?

Hi I’m curious if your using an app similar to the Whoop to determine recovery ? Or are you just going by feel ?
 

Toonartist

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2017
391
344
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Seems to match, follow the same readings as my Garmin Fenix.

I'm 49 and it has a VO2 max between 52.7 and 53.1 over the last week or so. Resting HR varies between 39-41 and I mainly run, hike and walk. Normally between 3-4 times a week.
 

sterumbelow

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 15, 2010
253
192
Hi I’m curious if your using an app similar to the Whoop to determine recovery ? Or are you just going by feel ?
Not using an app but you can get an idea of fitness/recovery just by self-monitoring how quickly your HR drops after exercise. I can tell mine is dropping far more quickly than ever before.
 
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Knowlege Bomb

macrumors G3
Feb 14, 2008
8,645
5,968
Madison, WI
I’m still below average even after my 5+ mile run today. I’m running faster and easier than I have since I left the military back in ‘05 so I’m not real sure what else I can do.

41F1DA1C-F0E6-4B78-B435-3EFF919F97DC.png
 
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SaSaSushi

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2007
4,147
539
Takamatsu, Japan
Hi I’m curious if your using an app similar to the Whoop to determine recovery ? Or are you just going by feel ?

I was unfamiliar with Whoop but I see their "Recovery" is a proprietary metric based on HR Recovery, Heart Rate Variability, Resting Heart Rate and Respiratory Rate data from their fitness bands.

Apple's Health app shows HR recovery data for workouts in Workouts Highlights.

Alternatively, it is accessible in the Fitness app by swiping left on Heart Rate in individual workouts.

You can, of course also get HRV and RHR readings from the Apple Watch in the Health app. The Apple Watch doesn't appear to offer Respiratory Rate readings yet, although it is in the list of metrics in the Health app.
I wonder if this will be added via updates. The Fitbit Charge 4 measures it and there are currently apps in the Apple Watch App Store that claim the ability to measure it.

IMG_5508.PNG
 
Last edited:

kitenski

macrumors 6502
Jan 30, 2008
345
115
Leeds, UK
I’m still below average even after my 5+ mile run today. I’m running faster and easier than I have since I left the military back in ‘05 so I’m not real sure what else I can do.

Isn't the watch just reporting you are lower now than you were at the start of the screenshot you posted?
 

JonnyBlaze

macrumors 6502
May 5, 2008
266
220
UK
Mine reports this very strangely. Started off at around 40 when I first got an Apple Watch. Over the year it climbed and plateaued at around 46-47. When I updated to watchOS 7 that dropped to 38-39 and hasn’t really moved since. since the os update I have re-paired the watch, and reset the calibration data, but it hasn’t changed much. Clearly the watch can’t record this accurately for the moment, whatever my actual vo2max is.
Additionally, mine continues to drop. Neither my actual health, nor my exercise levels have changed, this drop just coincides with the watchOS7 update. Really odd.

2B139B54-A9FB-45B5-A0E4-ACE2F566D762.jpeg
 
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