Thirty-eight children (mean age 12.2 ±3.6 yrs) were tested to (a) compare the training heart rate (HR) and oxygen uptake (V̇O2) computed from commonly used exercise prescription methods to the heart rate (HRAT) and V̇O2 (ATge) at the gas exchange anaerobic threshold, (b) compute the range of relative HRs and V̇O2s (% HRmax and % V̇O2max, respectively) at which the ATge occurred, and (c) discuss the implications for prescribing exercise intensity. The ATge occurred at a V̇O2 of 20.9 ml · kg−1 · min−1 and an HR of 129 beats·min−1. The training HR and V̇O2 computed using 70 and 85% HRmax, 70% of the maximal heart rate reserve (HRR), and 57 and 78% V·O2max, were significantly different (p<.05) from their corresponding ATge values. To compute training % HRmax, % V̇O2max, and % HRR values that would not significantly differ from the ATge, then 68% HRmax, 48% V̇O2max, and 41% HRR would need to be used for the current population.
The authors are with Cardiac Rehabilitation, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA 17822.