Influence of exercise modality on agreement between gas exchange and heart rate variability thresholds

Felipe A Cunha, R.A. Montenegro, A.W. Midgley, F. Vasconcellos, P.P. Soares, Paulo T.V. Farinatti

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The main purpose of this study was to investigate the level of agreement between the gas exchange threshold (GET) and heart rate variability threshold (HRVT) during maximal cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) using three different exercise modalities. A further aim was to establish whether there was a 1:1 relationship between the percentage heart rate reserve (%HRR) and percentage oxygen uptake reserve ( %V˙O2R ) at intensities corresponding to GET and HRVT. Sixteen apparently healthy men 17 to 28 years of age performed three maximal CPETs (cycling, walking, and running). Mean heart rate and V˙O2 at GET and HRVT were 16 bpm (P<0.001) and 5.2 mL·kg-1·min-1 (P=0.001) higher in running than cycling, but no significant differences were observed between running and walking, or cycling and walking (P>0.05). There was a strong relationship between GET and HRVT, with R2 ranging from 0.69 to 0.90. A 1:1 relationship between %HRR and %V˙O2R was not observed at GET and HRVT. The %HRR was higher during cycling (GET mean difference=7%; HRVT mean difference=11%; both P<0.001), walking (GET mean difference=13%; HRVT mean difference=13%; both P<0.001), or running (GET mean difference=11%; HRVT mean difference=10%; both P<0.001). Therefore, using HRVT to prescribe aerobic exercise intensity appears to be valid. However, to assume a 1:1 relationship between %HRR and %V˙O2R at HRVT would probably result in overestimation of the energy expenditure during the bout of exercise.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalBrazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2014


  • Aerobic exercise
  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Heart rate reserve
  • Oxygen uptake reserve
  • Poincare plot
  • Ramp protocol

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