Validity and reliability of combining three methods to determine ventilatory threshold

S. E. Gaskill, B. C. Ruby, A. J. Walker, O. A. Sanchez, R. C. Serfass, A. S. Leon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

318 Scopus citations


Purpose: This research was undertaken to validate a combination of methodologies to determine ventilatory threshold (VT). Methods: Three methods were used individually and then combined to determine VT as follows: 1) ventilatory equivalencies, 2) excess CO2 production, and 3) a modified V-slope method. Three groups of participants - endurance athletes (N = 132), healthy, aerobically active adults (N = 31), and healthy, sedentary/low-active adults (N = 22) - were independently evaluated for VT and compared with the criterion standard lactate threshold (LT) defined as the first rise in blood lactate with increasing intensity of exercise. Results: VT and LT were significantly correlated using the combined VT method within each study group (r = 0.98, 0.97, and 0.95, respectively; P 〈 0.001). Mean V̇O2 values at VT and LT were not significantly different between the three groups (P 〉 0.20). The combined method improved the determination rate of VT and reduced the standard deviation of the LT-VT difference by 80-170% over the individual methods. During test-retest procedures V̇O2lt and V̇O2vt determined by the combined method met criteria demonstrating further reliability. Conclusion: The combined method to determine VT is valid and reliable across a wide fitness range in healthy individuals and improves the determination rate and accuracy of VT determination over the use of single methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1841-1848
Number of pages8
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2001


  • Lactate threshold
  • V-slope
  • Ventilatory equivalent


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