The Talk Test
Phil Block, M.S. and Len Kraviz, Ph.D.
Persinger, R., Foster, C., Gibson, M., Fater, D.C.W., & Porcari, J.P. (2004). Consistency of the talk test for exercise prescription. Medicine & Science Sports & Exercise. 36 (9), 1632-1636.
Aerobic exercise is a decisively important component of any fitness program. However, establishing and maintaining ideal workout intensities for the most effective and safe workouts can prove to be a challenge for both exercisers and fitness professionals alike. In designing the cardiorespiratory exercise prescription, it is meaningful to consider that many people engage in aerobic exercise to control weight, improve their health status or reduce their disease risk. Knowing your clients goals and purposes for doing aerobic exercise helps to best determine the intensity, frequency, duration and progression of the exercise prescription.
Traditionally, aerobic exercise programs have been developed around accepted standards of percentages of maximum heart rate and oxygen consumption (VO2). For instance, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends between 55-90% of maximum heart rate or 40-85% of maximum oxygen uptake for most individuals (ACSM 1998). Although the success of these techniques has been consistently demonstrated, many fitness enthusiasts find the necessary objective monitoring, such as continuously checking heart rates, to be difficult and sometimes tedious.
Recent studies have helped validate an easier way to stay on track the Talk Test. This method appears to be a simple way of maintaining recommended exercise intensities, while avoiding the problems of the more involved practices of heart rate and VO2 assessment (Persinger et al., 2004).
How the Talk Test Works
The Talk Test was developed to be an informal, subjective method of estimating appropriate cardiorespiratory exercise intensity. The method entails maintaining an intensity of exercise at which conversation is comfortable. When an exerciser reaches an intensity at which he or she can just barely respond in conversation, the intensity is considered to be safe and appropriate for cardiorespiratory endurance improvement. The newest research supports the usefulness of the Talk Test and highlights its ability to closely reflect actual heart rate and VO2 levels (Persinger et al., 2004).
The Purpose of the Study
This study examined the consistency and effectiveness of the Talk Test as a tool for exercise prescription on the treadmill and cycle ergometer, hypothesizing that the ability to vocalize correlates positively with aerobic exercise intensity on both of these modes of exercise. Thus the researchers were specifically interested in the consistency of the Talk Test for intensity monitoring on a treadmill and cycle ergometer.
Ten male and six female participants (average age = 24 yrs) volunteered to participate in this study. All subjects were considered to be healthy and moderately active. Participants were pre-screened for contraindications to exercise testing prior to the study.
All participants performed four separate exercise tests, completing two assessments on a treadmill and two on an electronically braked cycle ergometer. These tests were performed on different days, at the same hour each day. The order of testing was randomized.
The exercise protocol was designed to best meet each participants individual exercise capacity. To accomplish this, the treadmill speed was set at a pace that the subjects subjectively felt they could comfortably exercise virtually indefinitely, which was either walking or jogging. Intensity was then increased with grade (incline) increments every 2 minutes. The initial cycle ergometer power output was 25 watts, increasing by 25 watts in two-minute stages. Participants who weighed less than 60 kg had a starting power output of 20 watts, increasing by 20 watts in two-minute stages.
One cycle ergometer and one treadmill test was performed to exhaustion by each participant. During these tests, respiratory data was collected using open circuit spirometry and heart rate was monitored throughout the test using radio telemetry (a heart rate monitor). The other two tests involved a Talk Test, with each subject reciting the Pledge of Allegiance during the last 30 seconds of each two-minute exercise stage. After recitation, the participants were asked if they could speak comfortably. The subjects were permitted to answer, yes or no. However, if they responded in an uncertain manner, they were considered to be equivocal (meaning unclear or questionable), and not able to comfortably speak. When the answer was no, the exercise test was terminated. Actual measurements of VO2, ventilatory threshold, and heart rate were compared to the responses made during the Talk Test. See Side Bar 1 for a brief discussion of ventilatory and lactate threshold.
What They Found
The results of this study are extremely interesting. There was a close correlation between the Talk Test, VO2, ventilatory threshold, and heart rate on both the cycle ergometer and the treadmill. This denotes the usefulness of the Talk Test as a simple way of determining appropriate exercise intensity on both of these modes. It appears that by just using the talk test, one can achieve the proper intensity of exercise without having to rely on more invasive or difficult procedures. When comfortable speech is just barely possible (the last stage of exercise where the researchers received a yes answer or the equivocal stage), the exercise intensity was within the suggested guidelines for exercise prescription based on their VO2 and heart rate data. However, when comfortable speech was no longer possible, the exercise intensity was greater than what is normally recommended for exercise intensity and above the ventilatory threshold. Therefore, ventilatory threshold was highly correlated with the last positive and equivocal stages of the Talk Test.
The Bottom Line
The most practical application of this research is for establishing and maintaining ideal exercise intensities without the demand of expensive laboratory equipment or confusion with pulse check counting. It allows the exerciser and his or her trainer to make use of a subjective intensity assessment permitting a quick, easy and accurate evaluation of exercise intensity. Although no specific guidelines the Talk Test yet exist, we recommend using it in a manner similar to heart rate monitoring, at least once every 15 minutes of aerobic exercise. During group exercise conditions, the Talk Test may be particularly useful. The instructor can readily have students subjectively monitor their exercise intensity by having them cite the Pledge of Allegiance. For international students from different cultures, we recommend exercisers cite a popular nursery rhyme they are familiar with, as it has been our experience that most cultures have nursery rhymes that exercisers readily know. Remember, if the aerobic participants are able to talk the talk while walking the walk (with a little challenge or difficulty), it is likely that the appropriate exercise intensity is being achieved.
Side Bar 1: Ventilatory vs. Lactate Threshold
Exercise physiologists have long used ventilatory and lactate thresholds as laboratory indicators of exercise performance and intensity. Ventilatory threshold describes a non-linear increase in respiration that corresponds with higher levels of exercise intensity. Until ventilatory threshold is achieved, respiration increases fairly linearly with intensity. However, as soon as ventilation breaks from this progressive linear increase, ventilation threshold has been established. Contrariwise, lactate threshold refers to a point during exercise of increasing intensity at which blood lactate begins to accumulate above resting levels. This occurs when the bodys ability to clear lactate is surpassed by its accumulation. When the ventilatory and lactate thresholds are surpassed, exercise performance quickly slows downs, so there is a great interest in training strategies to delay the onset of the lactate and ventilatory thresholds. Although many fitness professionals think of these thresholds as being synonymous, they are in fact very different and can occur at substantially different exercise intensities in the same individual. The most recent research supports the use of the lactate threshold as the best predictor of endurance performance (Dalleck and Kravitz, 2003).
American College of Sports Medicine. (1998). The Recommended Quantity and Quality of Exercise for Developing and Maintaining Cardiorespiratory and Muscular Fitness, and Flexibility in Healthy Adults. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 30(6), 975-991.
Dalleck, L.C. & Kravitz, L. (2003). Optimize endurance training. IDEA Personal Trainer, 14(1) 36-42.
(Last Updated On: April 14, 2019)
The most accurate way to determine exercise intensity is to measure a person’s ventilatory threshold, but this isn’t practical unless you’re exercising in a lab. For this reason, some fitness professionals recommend a low-tech way to monitor exercise intensity – the exercise talk test.
- What is the Talk Test?
- How Effective is the Exercise Talk Test?
- Use It to Monitor Your Exercise Intensity
- The Bottom Line?
- Should You Use the Talk Test?
- Talk-Test Pros and Cons
- Tips for Achieving Optimal Exercise Intensity
- How to measure to exercise intensity
- What is the “talk test” and is it accurate to measure exercise intensity?
- The “Talk Test”
What is the Talk Test?
The principle behind the exercise talk test is that it’s hard to speak in complete sentences when you’re working out at a higher intensity. If you’re able to speak comfortably, you’re working out at a moderate intensity or lower. Another way to measure exercise intensity is to calculate your maximum heart rate and use a heart rate monitor to tell you what percent of your maximum heart rate you’re reaching. If you’re working out at a moderate intensity, your heart rate should be between 60 and 75% of your maximum heart rate.
How Effective is the Exercise Talk Test?
The exercise talk test has its advantages. It’s an easy way to measure exercise intensity without the need for equipment, but how accurate is it? A new study carried out by the University of New Hampshire recently validated the effectiveness of this simple tool.
Researchers had a group of healthy adults recite the Pledge of Allegiance while they worked out while measuring their exercise intensity. They found when the participants could no longer comfortably talk; they were approaching their lactate threshold. The talk test seems to be a simple way to tell you when you’ve reached the high intensity zone.
It’s also a way for beginners to monitor whether they’re working too hard. When you first start out, it’s best to exercise at a moderate intensity for a few weeks until you’ve built up a certain level of fitness. Once you’ve reached a baseline fitness level, training around the lactate threshold for periods of time can boost fitness levels more and give more of an after-burn where your metabolism is revved up for hours and even days after your workout is finished.
Use It to Monitor Your Exercise Intensity
When you’re doing interval training and want to exercise at a high intensity for short periods of time, use the talk test to see if you’re working hard enough. If you can’t say a sentence without stopping to take a deep breath, you’re approaching your lactate threshold.
There’s more of an emphasis on training at higher levels of intensity using techniques such as interval training because of the additional fitness and because you can work out for a shorter period of time and still get benefits. Pushing yourself to the point where you’re unable to pass the talk test can pay off with greater fitness gains. Just don’t do it until you’ve worked out for at least a few weeks at a moderate intensity.
The Bottom Line?
If you don’t have a heart rate monitor, use the talk test to gauge how hard you’re working. It’s simple, and it works.
Science Daily. “New Data Tests the Exercise Talk Test”
NY Times Blog. “Rethinking the Exercise Talk Test”
Related Articles By Cathe:
The Talk Test: A Low-Tech Way to Measure Exercise Intensity
How Do You Know if You’re Working Out Hard Enough?
High-Intensity Interval Training: How Intense Does It Have to Be?
5 Biggest Myths about Female Strength Training
Exercise Intensity: How Good Are You at Judging How Hard You’re Exercising?
6 Ways to Keep Working Out Fun
Using Maximal Heart Rate to Measure Exercise Intensity – Is the Formula Flawed?
4 Benefits of Wearing a Heart Rate Monitor During Exercise
Should You Use the Talk Test?
If you go to the gym three times a week, but you’re not really breaking a sweat, you could be selling yourself short when it comes to both weight loss and fitness. Research shows that exercise intensity, and not necessarily length, might be the key to better fitness and overall health. For example, a study at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. recently found that aerobic exercise to the point where it’s difficult to hold a conversation is the key to maximizing calorie burn during — and after — a workout. Similarly, a new study published in Journal of Applied Physiology found that a shorter, harder workout can help patients more effectively manage type II diabetes than a longer, more moderate sweat session.
So if you’re wondering whether you’re working hard enough, measuring intensity doesn’t get much easier than the talk test. Simply put, the talk test is this: If you exercise at an intensity level that still enables you to carry on a conversation, it is a good and safe intensity for you. If you can’t carry on a conversation, then you may want to tone it down a notch until you can. If you find that speaking doesn’t leave you the least bit winded, it might be time to dial up your intensity (though you should check with your doctor before starting an exercise routine).
“This type of measurement is great because it requires no equipment or need to figure out or measure your heart rate,” says Debra Gray, a fitness expert in Omaha, Neb. “It has been shown to be accurate by the American College of Sports Medicine.”
Talk-Test Pros and Cons
Timothy J. Quinn, PhD, a professor of kinesiology at the University of New Hampshire, has conducted extensive research on the talk test in recent years. He has found that it has several pros and cons when it comes to measuring exercise intensity and overall fitness levels.
“The pros are that it’s simple; you can dial up or down the intensity easily. It works in every environment, including heat, cold, and altitude, and almost every population — cardiac patients, pregnant women, diabetics, and people who are overweight — can use it,” Quinn says. “The cons are that it’s not tremendously specific, so fine applications aren’t always clear. It’s hard to determine gradations, and not everyone wants to talk while exercising.”
In Quinn’s most recently published study on the talk test, he discovered that in study participants who weren’t particularly active, it yielded higher heart rates than did other methods of gauging exercise intensity. In more active participants, the talk test did not get heart rates high enough to provide an optimal workout.
Nonetheless, the talk test still managed to keep the most participants well within the safe range of exercise. Plus, Quinn and his team found it to be a safe method for prescribing exercise for the group that was studied. They concluded that the test might be more effective for beginning or noncompetitive exercisers, rather than those who are training toward specific fitness goals.
Tips for Achieving Optimal Exercise Intensity
Although the talk test may not be the most accurate way to measure exercise intensity, experts agree that it certainly holds value as a simple method for the average person to keep his or her exercise routine at a safe level.
If you want to measure your intensity more precisely, there are other strategies to keep you working hard enough:
- Use a heart rate monitor. Quinn says a heart-rate monitor is the most accurate option for gauging your exercise intensity level at home. When using this electronic device, you want to hit your target heart rate, which is 50 to 85 percent of your age-based maximum heart rate while resting. To avoid risks like heart attacks or other cardiovascular events, stay within this healthy range — and don’t exceed it.
- Listen to your body. As you start to exercise more, Gray says, you will start to get a feel for the results of the “talk test” by simply being more aware of your own exertion level. She suggests you ask yourself how you feel post-working, and note whether you’re perspiring or sweating. She adds, “When your heart rate and core temperature are elevated, your body will sweat to cool itself.”
- Vary the intensity. To keep your workout safe while still adding some intensity, you can try interval training, or ramping effort up for a short time period and then slowing back down. “Try varying the intensity with short bursts of high intensity (30 seconds to 1 minute) and low-intensity recovery mode (1 to 2 minutes),” Gray says.
- Do what you like. “Any kind of intense cardio is going to burn fat, whether it’s sprinting, running, biking, jumping, or plyometric exercise,” Rich Gaspari, a personal trainer and owner of Gaspari Nutrition, says. “If your heart rate is up, then it is considered cardio and you will burn fat.”
The most important thing,” Gaspari adds, “is staying dedicated, being consistent, staying motivated, and lastly, having fun!”
For more fitness, diet, and nutrition trends and tips, follow @weightloss on Twitter from the editors of @EverydayHealth.
How to measure to exercise intensity
To get the most from your workouts you need to learn how to gauge how hard you’re exercising, i.e. exercise intensity. If you’re going to work out, you want to know you’re getting the best results that you can for the effort, time and sweat you’re putting into it.
Exercising at the right intensity will prevent you from exercising too hard or not hard enough. Check out this article Exercise intensity: how hard you should exercise?.
So what’s exercise intensity? Exercise intensity is related to how hard an activity feels to you. More specifically exercise intensity is determined by heart rate, but also by how hard you’re breathing, whether you’re sweating, and how tired your muscles feel.
There are a quite few ways in which you can measure or guesstimate exercise intensity, and most of them are pretty simple. Just pick the one that works for you.
1. BREATHING PATTERN
When you perform aerobic exercise such as jogging or rowing, your muscles use more oxygen and produce carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide levels are monitored by chemoreceptors in your blood vessels which send messages to your lungs via your brain to increase the speed and depth of your breathing.
As you increase the intensity of your workout, you switch from nose breathing to mouth breathing. This is (or was because now you’ll be looking for it!) an automatic response to the increased demand for oxygen and occurs at around 60% of your maximum heart rate. Bottom line – if you are breathing through your nose when doing your cardio, you’re probably in your recovery training zone.
Like a bad gambler, you have an exercise “tell”. You may go red, sweat at a certain exercise intensity, develop an intense “thousand yard stare”, clench your fists or a host of other signs that happen when you hit your training sweet spot. Once you know what your “tells” are, you can use them to monitor the intensity of your workout. This method, like breathing above, is a subconscious indicator of how you are feeling. But now, because you are aware of it, you need to relax and just “let it happen”.
3. TALK TEST
Talking is reliant on your ability to breathe — specifically exhale. When you exercise your breathing rate increases as your need for oxygen increases. The faster your breathing rate, the harder it is to talk. Next time you are working out, try chatting to a friend and monitor your speech patterns. If you can tell them where you are going for your holiday, what you are going to pack, the time of your flight, who you are traveling with, what you are hoping to see and the color of your swimsuit without pausing for breath you probably aren’t working hard enough! If, however, you are reduced to monosyllabic words and grunts, you are probably working too hard…certainly beyond your aerobic training zone.
One or two breaths per sentence would suggest that you are working aerobically and will get plenty of benefit from your workout.
4. HEART RATE
Heart rate is a great way to determine exercise intensity, because it’s not subjective. Your heart drives blood around your body. The harder you exercise, the greater the demand for oxygenated blood, and therefore the higher your heart rate will be. Because your heart responds to exercise in a very predictable way, you can use your heart rate to monitor exercise intensity. You can measure your heart rate by using a heart rate monitor, taking your pulse at your wrist or neck, or using the sensors built in to cardio exercise equipment.
5. RATING OF PERCEIVED EXERTION (RPE)
Attributed to Swede Gunner Borg, the rating of perceived exertion scale, or RPE for short, is a method of monitoring intensity based on how you feel while exercising. Borg’s original scale runs from 6 to 20 which may seem a little odd but Borg was working with very fit athletes who, on average, had a resting heart rate of around 60 bpm and a maximum heart rate of 200 bpm. By “knocking off” a zero, he devised a scale that was linked to heart rate but didn’t actually require his athletes to monitor their pulses. Instead of working at, for example 140 bpm, Borg would have his athletes exercise at level fourteen.
With practice, using Borg’s scale can be very precise but some users find the concept of a 6-20 scale off putting and, as a result, a modified version of Borg’s scale emerged. Many users find this modified 1-10 scale far more logical and user friendly.
The main disadvantage with perceived exertion is that it doesn’t take into account exercise discomfort tolerance. If you find a particular activity uncomfortable, you will probably perceive that you are working harder than you actually are.
To get this scale clear in your mind, imagine level one is equal to being sat at home, feet up, watching TV whilst level ten is sprinting after a bus that just won’t stop. By combining the talk test, observing breathing patterns and using RPE, you should be able to accurately estimate how hard you are working and get yourself into the appropriate heart rate training zone without having to use a heart rate monitor.
Now you know how to measure exercise intensity, read this to figure out at which exercise intensity you should be working out.
How to measure to exercise intensity was last modified: August 20th, 2015 by the team
What is the “talk test” and is it accurate to measure exercise intensity?
The biggest problem with individuals and cardiovascular training is how to determine the intensity you should train at. There are many ways to do this but all of them have their flaws. The talk test is one way to determine your exercise intensity. In theory, if you can still talk while exercising you are in an aerobic state (using oxygen to create energy for your muscles). Once you can’t talk any longer, your breathing rate has increased past a point which is called, ventilatory threshold or anaerobic threshold. Now your body is creating energy from stored systems in your body such as muscle glucose, creatine or ATP (directly in the muscle). The talk test helps determine which energy system you are using to create energy in the body, aerobic or anaerobic. The best way to really determine what energy system you are using is to do a treadmill or bike test while ventilation is measured through a mask. Using this data, the test administrator can determine the actual break point between the two systems. This type of testing is becoming more popular and is more affordable for fitness centers. If this test is not available to you, then the talk test is a good start. The most important factor is that you are listening to your body and trying to use different energy systems. Make sure you do some workouts during which you can maintain a conversation throughout and others where you are working at a higher level which pushes you into using the higher energy systems. The key to effective cardio training is utilizing a variety of intensities.
The “Talk Test”
Aerobic exercise is a decisively important component of any fitness program. However, establishing and maintaining ideal exercise intensities for optimally safe and effective workouts can prove challenging for both exercisers and fitness professionals.
In designing cardiorespiratory exercise programs, it is meaningful to consider that many people engage in aerobic exercise to control weight, improve their health status or reduce their disease risk. Knowing your client’s goals and purposes for doing aerobic exercise helps to determine the appropriate intensity, frequency, duration and progression of the exercise program.
Traditionally, aerobic exercise program intensities have been developed around accepted standards of percentages of maximum heart rate and oxygen consumption (VO2). For instance, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 55%–90% of maximum heart rate or 40%–85% of maximum VO2 for most individuals (ACSM 1998). Although the success of these techniques has been consistently demonstrated, many fitness enthusiasts find the necessary objective monitoring (e.g., continuously checking heart rates) difficult and sometimes tedious.
Recent studies have helped validate an easier way to stay on track: the “talk test.” This method appears to be a simple way of maintaining recommended exercise intensities while avoiding the problems of the more involved practices of heart rate and VO2 assessment (Persinger et al. 2004).
The talk test was developed to be an informal, subjective method of estimating appropriate cardiorespiratory exercise intensity. The method entails maintaining an intensity of exercise at which conversation is comfortable. When an exerciser reaches an intensity at which he or she can “just respond in conversation,” the intensity is considered safe and appropriate for cardiorespiratory endurance improvement. The newest research supports the usefulness of the talk test and highlights its ability to closely reflect actual heart rate and VO2 levels (Persinger et al. 2004).
The study by Persinger et al. examined the consistency and effectiveness of the talk test as a tool for exercise program design on the treadmill and the cycle ergometer. The researchers hypothesized that the ability to vocalize would correlate positively with aerobic exercise intensity on both of these modes of exercise.
Ten male and six female participants (average age = 24 years) volunteered to participate. All subjects were considered healthy and moderately active. Participants were prescreened for contraindications to exercise testing prior to the study.
All participants performed four separate exercise tests, completing two assessments on a treadmill and two on an electronically braked cycle ergometer. The tests were performed on different days, at the same hour each day. The order of testing was randomized.
The exercise protocol was designed to best meet each participant’s individual exercise capacity. To accomplish this, the treadmill speed was set at a pace at which participants subjectively felt they could comfortably walk or jog “virtually indefinitely.” Intensity was then increased with grade (incline) increments every 2 minutes. Likewise, the initial cycle ergometer power output was 25 watts (W), increasing by 25 W in 2-minute stages. Participants who weighed less than 60 kilograms (approximately 132 pounds) had a starting power output of 20 W, increasing by 20 W in 2-minute stages.
Each participant performed to exhaustion one cycle ergometer test and one treadmill test. Throughout these tests, the researchers monitored heart rate using radio telemetry (a heart rate monitor); they also collected respiratory data using open-circuit spirometry.
Each of the other two tests involved a talk test, with subjects reciting the Pledge of Allegiance during the last 30 seconds of every 2-minute exercise stage. After recitation, the participants were asked if they could “speak comfortably.” They were permitted to answer yes or no. However, if they responded in an uncertain manner, they were recorded as being “equivocal” (meaning unclear or questionable) and not able to speak comfortably. When they answered no, the exercise test was terminated. Actual measurements of VO2, ventilatory threshold and heart rate were compared to the responses made during the talk test. (See “Ventilatory vs. Lactate Threshold,” above.)
The results of this study showed a close correlation between the talk test, VO2, ventilatory threshold and heart rate on both the cycle ergometer and the treadmill. This denotes the usefulness of the talk test as a simple way of determining appropriate intensity for both of these exercise modes. It appears that by using just the talk test—without relying on more invasive or difficult procedures—one can achieve the proper intensity of exercise. When comfortable speech was just barely possible (the last exercise stage where researchers received a yes answer or the “equivocal” stage), the exercise intensity was within the suggested guidelines for exercise program design based on the subject’s VO2 and heart rate data. However, when comfortable speech was no longer possible, the exercise intensity was greater than what is normally recommended for exercise intensity and above the ventilatory threshold. Therefore, ventilatory threshold was highly correlated with the last positive and equivocal stages of the talk test.
The most practical application of this research is for establishing and maintaining ideal exercise intensities without the demand of expensive laboratory equipment or confusion with pulse check counting. It allows an exerciser and his or her trainer to make use of a subjective intensity assessment, permitting a quick, easy and accurate evaluation of exercise intensity. Although no specific guidelines for the talk test yet exist, we recommend using it in a manner similar to heart rate monitoring—at least once every 15 minutes of aerobic exercise. During group exercise conditions, the talk test may be particularly useful. The instructor can readily have students subjectively monitor their exercise intensity by having them cite the Pledge of Allegiance. For students from other cultures, we recommend asking them to cite a familiar nursery rhyme, as it has been our experience that most cultures have nursery rhymes that exercisers readily know. Remember, if the aerobic participants can “talk the talk while walking the walk” (with a little challenge or difficulty), it is likely that they are achieving the appropriate exercise intensity.
The Talk Test (TT), used to prescribe exercise intensity based on subjective measurements, has been widely studied, but never in children. This study evaluated the relationship between the TT and physiological changes, to determine if the TT is an appropriate measurement of exercise intensity in children. Thirteen healthy children were recruited for this study. The first exercise test was the TT, in which subjects read a passage containing over 100 words, and responded whether they could speak comfortably. The second test measured the maximal exercise capacity while also measuring gas exchange, which was used to identify each subject’s ventilatory threshold (VT). Results from the last positive (LP), equivocal (EQ), and negative (NEG) stages of the TT were compared to the subject’s VT. There were significant differences (p<0.05) between VO2 at VT and at the LP stage, in HR at VT and HR at the EQ and NEG stages, and a significant difference between RPE at VT and the LP and NEG stages. We concluded that subjects should exercise at a point where it is difficult for them to speak, below their VT. Thus, the TT is a valid tool to subjectively measure exercise intensity in children.