Oxygen uptake, heart rate, and blood lactate responses during and following karate training

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1999 Feb;31(2):342-7. doi: 10.1097/00005768-199902000-00019.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine whether each exercise and an entire karate training session can achieve: 1) accepted training intensity thresholds for effective aerobic capacity training, 2) energy expenditure (EE) thresholds for total body mass and fat weight loss, and 3) elevation in excess postexercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).

Methods: We investigated physiological responses during five types of karate training: basic techniques without (S-Basics) and with (M-Basics) movements, sparring techniques without (TECH I) and with (TECH II) an opponent, and kata.

Results: The mean percent of maximal oxygen uptake (%VO2max) and HR (%HRmax) for S-Basics were below the accepted threshold (60% of HRmax or 50% of VO2max) and for M-Basics, TECH I and TECH II were above the threshold for increasing VO2max. For kata and the entire 70 min of karate training, the mean %HRmax were slightly above the threshold, and %VO2max were slightly below the threshold. The mean EPOC measured for 5 min immediately following 70 min of karate training did not differ from the resting VO2. The mean EE resulting from 70 min of karate exercise and EPOC were 2355.4+/-316.3 kJ and 38.8+/-32.7 kJ, respectively.

Conclusions: Although the training intensity of karate exercises studied was moderate and the effects of karate training on EPOC were minimal, the mean value of EE was well above the accepted threshold for total body mass and fat weight loss.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Calorimetry
  • Exercise Test
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid / blood*
  • Male
  • Martial Arts / physiology*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*


  • Lactic Acid