The Breath Sound Check and Exercise at or about the Ventilatory Threshold

  • Robert W. Mertens
  • Harold J. Bell
  • Robert C. Goode
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 499)


There is a scarcity of information on the control of exercise intensity using ventilation and/or breathing sounds. We have reported6, 7 that when a subject while jogging can “hear your breathing” that subject is at or near their Ventilatory Threshold (VT1). The VT1 has been described by Plowman and Smith15 as “the first breakpoint in volume expired per minute.” The use of heart rate and/or perceived exertion does not always indicate the metabolic intensity at which the subject is operating1. There is evidence that exercising at the VT1 is beneficial for cardiac transplant patients12, asthmatics16, diabetics13, obese subjects14, and young and older populations5, 10, 8. At the exercise intensity of the VT1 cardiovascular and respiratory improvements occur. Measurement of aerobic power (VO2 max) is often employed as an indicator of the effectiveness of an exercise program, however, significant increases in VT1 can occur with minimal changes in VO2 max and can result in health benefits9, 10.


Exercise Intensity Anaerobic Threshold Ventilatory Threshold Lactate Threshold Metabolic Intensity 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert W. Mertens
  • Harold J. Bell
  • Robert C. Goode
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and Exercise Science UnitFaculties of Medicine and Physical Education and Health, University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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