VO2 MAX vs Lactate Threshold

How many watt can a cyclist typically do on his LT pulse?

  • An untrained cyclist: approx. 60% of VO2 MAX
  • A trained cyclist: approx. 65-80% of VO2 MAX
  • An elite cyclist: approx. 85-95% of VO2 MAX

May I introduce you to Bob and Tot. They have been friends since childhood, and both have a passion for workout on a bike now they have become adults. They weigh the same and are have equal height.

Bob has a high VO2 MAX but a medium LT power output. Tot has a medium VO2 MAX but a high LT power output. Who comes first to the top of Alpe d 'Huez? ... Tot makes it to the top first!

It is important to understand that the watt you can do at your LT heart rate is crucial to how strong you are as a cyclist. You must try to increase your VO2 MAX and at the same time increase your LT power output to be as close VO2 MAX as possible! This will make you a mean lean power machine ;o)

It is possible to train and increase both your VO2 MAX and your AT watt with the right trainingplan! Both your oxygen intake and your strength is crucial for your performance, that is why I always recommend you to do cycling weight training in your secondary season.

VO2 MAX is an important message to you about how many watts you are creating at your maximum performance and it is an important metric for the serious cyclist. But the most important metric is how many watt you can do at your LT heart rate, also called your LT watts.


You must train seriously to improve your VO2 MAX as it sets the upper limit of your maximum performance. That is why your weight is crucial and must be included in your training- and nutritionplan. In addition, it is important that you train seriously to increase the number of watt you can create at your LT heart rate. Together, these actions make you a significantly stronger cyclist!



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