The paper presents a review of the interests and limits of oxygen uptake measurement in the functional testing of athletes and disabled people. The validity of the oxygen uptake as an estimation of the oxygen consumption and aerobic synthesis of ATP is discussed in the introduction of the review. The author discusses the interests of oxygen uptake measurements for the study of energy cost in addition to maximal oxygen uptake. The limits of the study of oxygen uptake kinetics at the beginning of exercise are discussed. The methodology of oxygen measurement is mainly focused on the characteristics of the different ergometers and the choice of an exercise protocol. The review ends with short statements related to the current knowledge on maximal oxygen uptake, its limiting factors and the effects of age, gender, body mass, active muscle mass and training.