Peak V02 max refers to the highest value of V02 attained on a particular exercise test. Max V02 refers to the highest value of V02 that is deemed attainable by an individual. Despite this difference, peak V02 and max V02 are often mistakenly used interchangeably.
Peak V02's shortcoming is that it does not clearly indicate the level of performance an athlete is capable of reaching. V02 max is consequently considered the best indicator of a person's cardiovascular fitness and aerobic endurance. V02 max also should not be confused with the lactate threshold or anaerobic threshold, which refers to the point at which lactate builds up in muscles during exhaustive exercise. Max V02 tests are typically performed with the subject on a treadmill or stationary bicycle.