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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002 Sep;34(9):1419-27.

Relationships between HR and (.)VO(2) in the obese.

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  • 1School of Human Movement Studies, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.



To enable more targeted exercise prescription for the obese, the purpose of this study was to consider relationships between relative indices of (.)VO(2peak), (.)VO(2)R, HR(peak), and HRR in a sample of obese adults. In particular, the study aimed to determine whether %HRR was equivalent to %(.)VO(2peak) or %(.)VO(2)R. A further aim was to evaluate whether the %(.)VO(2peak)-%HR(peak) relationship defined by the ACSM holds in the obese population, or whether there is a deviation in this relationship as is noted in individuals with low functional capacity. Finally, the study aimed to determine the degree of variability in relative workload relating to lactate threshold (LT).


Thirty-two sedentary obese adults, 17 women and 15 men (42.1 +/- 9.6 yr; 37.4 +/- 5.7 kg.m) attended a testing session each week for 3 wk. The three sessions involved 1) familiarization with testing protocols; 2) graded treadmill tests to evaluate submaximal and peak cardiorespiratory capacity; and 3) assessment of body composition via deuterium dilution, and resting HR (HR(rest)) and oxygen consumption ((.)VO(2rest)) collected during assessment of resting metabolic rate (RMR) via a ventilated hood system.


The primary findings were that in the obese: 1) the %HR(peak)-%(.)VO(2peak) relationship was significantly greater than the ACSM recommendations, 2) the %HRR was equivalent with (.)VO(2)R not %(.)VO(2peak), and 3) exercise prescription at fixed percentages of (.)VO(2peak) or HR(peak) corresponded with wide ranges of exercise intensities in relation to LT.


The relationships between cardiorespiratory parameters defined in normal weight populations differ to some degree in the obese, and this has implications both for optimizing exercise intensity for weight loss and exercise adherence in obese adults.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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