A new approach for the determination of ventilatory and lactate thresholds

Int J Sports Med. 1992 Oct;13(7):518-22. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1021309.


In order to determine the ventilatory threshold (VT) and the lactate threshold (LT) in a reliable way, a new method is proposed and compared with conventional methods. The new method consists of calculating the point that yields the maximal distance from a curve representing ventilatory and metabolic variables as a function of oxygen uptake (VO2) to the line formed by the two end points of the curve (Dmax method). Male cyclists (n = 8) performed two incremental exercise tests a week apart. Ventilatory/metabolic variables were measured and blood was sampled for later lactate measurement during each workload and immediately after exercise. No statistical differences were observed in the threshold values (expressed as absolute oxygen uptake; VO2) determined by the Dmax method and the conventional linear regression method (according to O2 equivalent; EqO2) and venous blood at the onset of blood lactate (OBLA), while VT assessed with the conventional linear method (according to the slope of CO2 output; Vslope) yielded significantly lower threshold values. Similar results were obtained from the reproducibility test. Thus, the Dmax method appears to be an objective and reliable method for threshold determination, which can be applied to various ventilatory or metabolic variables yet yield similar results. The results also showed that breathing frequency can be used to determine VT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anaerobic Threshold*
  • Bicycling / physiology*
  • Exercise Test*
  • Humans
  • Lactates / blood
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Respiration*


  • Lactates