Heart Rate versus %V̇O2max: Age, Sex, Race, Initial Fitness, and Training Response - HERITAGE

James S. Skinner, Steven E. Gaskill, Tuomo Rankinen, Arthur S. Leon, D. C. Rao, Jack H. Wilmore, Claude Bouchard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Purpose: In the HERITAGE Family Study, heart rate (HR) associated with various percentages of maximal oxygen intake (V̇O2max) was used to prescribe exercise intensity. When fitness improved, HR at the same power output (PO) decreased, and PO was increased to produce the prescribed HR. Although we assumed that subjects were again working at the same %V̇O 2max, there were no studies with a large heterogeneous population to determine whether this was correct. Methods: Therefore, 653 subjects with complete data were classified by age, sex, race, initial V̇O2max and V̇O2max response after 20 wk of training. Results: All groups had a significant increase in V̇O2max and a significant decrease in HR at the same absolute PO after training but no difference in HR at the same relative intensity. Conclusions: Training does not affect HR at a given V̇O2max in a heterogeneous population of men and women, blacks and whites aged 17-65 yr with different initial V̇O2max values and different responses to training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1908-1913
Number of pages6
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2003


  • Absolute intensity
  • Relative intensity


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