anaerobic threshold


Summary: The oxygen consumption level above which aerobic energy production is supplemented by anaerobic mechanisms during exercise, resulting in a sustained increase in lactate concentration and metabolic acidosis. The anaerobic threshold is affected by factors that modify oxygen delivery to the tissues; it is low in patients with heart disease. Methods of measurement include direct measure of lactate concentration, direct measurement of bicarbonate concentration, and gas exchange measurements.

Top Publications

  1. Simões H, Moreira S, Moffatt R, Campbell C. [Methods to identify the anaerobic threshold for type-2 diabetic and non-diabetic subjects]. Arq Bras Cardiol. 2010;94:71-8 pubmed
    In spite of Anaerobic Threshold (AT) to be widely used on exercise evaluation for different populations, there are few studies comparing methods to identify AT for individuals with type-2 diabetes...
  2. Sakharov D, Maltseva D, Riabenko E, Shkurnikov M, Northoff H, Tonevitsky A, et al. Passing the anaerobic threshold is associated with substantial changes in the gene expression profile in white blood cells. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012;112:963-72 pubmed publisher
    ..To increase our knowledge of the nature of this process, we investigated the effects of passing the anaerobic threshold (AnT) on the gene expression profile in WBCs of athletes...
  3. Hopker J, Jobson S, Pandit J. Controversies in the physiological basis of the 'anaerobic threshold' and their implications for clinical cardiopulmonary exercise testing. Anaesthesia. 2011;66:111-23 pubmed publisher
    This article reviews the notion of the 'anaerobic threshold' in the context of cardiopulmonary exercise testing...
  4. Ciammola A, Sassone J, Sciacco M, Mencacci N, Ripolone M, Bizzi C, et al. Low anaerobic threshold and increased skeletal muscle lactate production in subjects with Huntington's disease. Mov Disord. 2011;26:130-7 pubmed publisher
    ..was normal in HD subjects but notably the HD patients and presymptomatic mutation carriers had a lower anaerobic threshold than the control subjects...
  5. Lai C, Minto G, Challand C, Hosie K, Sneyd J, Creanor S, et al. Patients' inability to perform a preoperative cardiopulmonary exercise test or demonstrate an anaerobic threshold is associated with inferior outcomes after major colorectal surgery. Br J Anaesth. 2013;111:607-11 pubmed publisher
    Surgical patients with poor functional capacity, determined by oxygen consumption at anaerobic threshold (AT) during cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET), experience longer hospital stays and worse short- and medium-term survival...
  6. Fernandes R, Sousa M, Machado L, Vilas Boas J. Step length and individual anaerobic threshold assessment in swimming. Int J Sports Med. 2011;32:940-6 pubmed publisher
    b>Anaerobic threshold is widely used for diagnosis of swimming aerobic endurance but the precise incremental protocols step duration for its assessment is controversial...
  7. Di Michele R, Gatta G, Di Leo A, Cortesi M, Andina F, Tam E, et al. Estimation of the anaerobic threshold from heart rate variability in an incremental swimming test. J Strength Cond Res. 2012;26:3059-66 pubmed publisher
    This study aimed to evaluate, in swimming, the agreement between the anaerobic threshold (AT) as determined from the analysis of blood lactate concentration ([La]) and from a new method based on the heart rate (HR) variability (HRV)...
  8. Dourado V, Banov M, Marino M, De Souza V, Antunes L, McBurnie M. A simple approach to assess VT during a field walk test. Int J Sports Med. 2010;31:698-703 pubmed publisher
    ..05; 95%CI: -0.30-0.20 ?L/min). Thus, the VT can be assessed during the ISWT using a simple heart monitor. The ISWT may be a useful tool to assess exercise capacity and prescribe walking programs. ..
  9. Marques Neto S, Maior A, Maranhão Neto G, Santos E. Analysis of heart rate deflection points to predict the anaerobic threshold by a computerized method. J Strength Cond Res. 2012;26:1967-74 pubmed publisher
    ..deflection points (HRDPs) during incremental exercise tests, because of their strong correlation with the anaerobic threshold. The aim of this study was to evaluate the profile of the HRDPs identified by a computerized method and ..

More Information


  1. Laursen P. Training for intense exercise performance: high-intensity or high-volume training?. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2010;20 Suppl 2:1-10 pubmed publisher
  2. Skorski S, Faude O, Urhausen A, Kindermann W, Meyer T. Intensity control in swim training by means of the individual anaerobic threshold. J Strength Cond Res. 2012;26:3304-11 pubmed publisher
    ..responses during swim training bouts with intensities prescribed by reference to the individual anaerobic threshold (IAT)...
  3. Assis M, Silva L, Alves A, Pessanha A, Valim V, Feldman D, et al. A randomized controlled trial of deep water running: clinical effectiveness of aquatic exercise to treat fibromyalgia. Arthritis Rheum. 2006;55:57-65 pubmed
    ..Patients were trained for 15 weeks at their anaerobic threshold. Visual analog scale of pain, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), Beck Depression Inventory, Short ..
  4. Friedmann B, Bauer T, Menold E, Bartsch P. Exercise with the intensity of the individual anaerobic threshold in acute hypoxia. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2004;36:1737-42 pubmed
    The aim of the present study was to find out if the determination of the individual anaerobic threshold (IAT) during incremental treadmill tests in normoxia and acute normobaric hypoxia (FiO2 0...
  5. Nikooie R, Gharakhanlo R, Rajabi H, Bahraminegad M, Ghafari A. Noninvasive determination of anaerobic threshold by monitoring the %SpO2 changes and respiratory gas exchange. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23:2107-13 pubmed publisher
    The purpose of this study was to determine the validity of noninvasive anaerobic threshold (AT) estimation using %SpO2 (arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation) changes and respiratory gas exchanges...
  6. Ritti Dias R, de Moraes Forjaz C, Cucato G, Costa L, Wolosker N, de Fátima Nunes Marucci M. Pain threshold is achieved at intensity above anaerobic threshold in patients with intermittent claudication. J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev. 2009;29:396-401 pubmed publisher
    ..However, the relationship between these methods and anaerobic threshold (AT), which is considered one of the best metabolic markers for establishing training intensity, has not ..
  7. Faude O, Kindermann W, Meyer T. Lactate threshold concepts: how valid are they?. Sports Med. 2009;39:469-90 pubmed publisher
    ..The presented framework may help to clarify some aspects of the controversy and may give a rationale for performance diagnosis and training prescription in future research as well as in sports practice. ..
  8. Mezzani A, Agostoni P, Cohen Solal A, Corra U, Jegier A, Kouidi E, et al. Standards for the use of cardiopulmonary exercise testing for the functional evaluation of cardiac patients: a report from the Exercise Physiology Section of the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2009;16:249-67 pubmed publisher
    ..The full potentialities of CPET in the clinical and research setting still remain largely underused and strong efforts are recommended to promote a more widespread use of CPET in the functional evaluation of cardiac patients. ..
  9. Jurimae J, Hofmann P, Jurimae T, Maestu J, Purge P, Wonisch M, et al. Plasma adiponectin response to sculling exercise at individual anaerobic threshold in college level male rowers. Int J Sports Med. 2006;27:272-7 pubmed
    ..5 km (approximately 30 min) at the individual anaerobic threshold (75.2+/-2.9% of VO2max). Adiponectin was unchanged (p>0.05) immediately after the exercise...
  10. Kothmann E, Danjoux G, Owen S, Parry A, Turley A, Batterham A. Reliability of the anaerobic threshold in cardiopulmonary exercise testing of patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms. Anaesthesia. 2009;64:9-13 pubmed publisher
    b>Anaerobic threshold (AT), determined by cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET), is a well-documented measure of pre-operative fitness, although its reliability in patient populations is uncertain...
  11. Gondim F, Zoppi C, Pereira da Silva L, de Macedo D. Determination of the anaerobic threshold and maximal lactate steady state speed in equines using the lactate minimum speed protocol. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2007;146:375-80 pubmed
    Maximal blood lactate steady state concentration (MLSS) and anaerobic threshold (AT) have been shown to accurately predict long distance events performance and training loads, as well, in human athletes...
  12. Lobo T, Morgan J, Bjorksten A, Nicholls K, Grigg L, Centra E, et al. Cardiovascular testing in Fabry disease: exercise capacity reduction, chronotropic incompetence and improved anaerobic threshold after enzyme replacement. Intern Med J. 2008;38:407-14 pubmed publisher
    ..Mild improvement in anaerobic threshold was seen in the first year of ERT (14.1 +/- 3.0 to 15.8 +/- 3.0, P = 0...
  13. Crisafulli A, Milia R, Lobina A, Caddeo M, Tocco F, Concu A, et al. Haemodynamic effect of metaboreflex activation in men after running above and below the velocity of the anaerobic threshold. Exp Physiol. 2008;93:447-57 pubmed publisher
    ..start of recovery from running bouts at a velocity of 30% above (PEMI-AV(AT)) or below (PEMI-BV(AT)) the anaerobic threshold previously assessed. Control exercise recovery tests at the same intensities were also conducted...
  14. Hettinga F, de Koning J, Meijer E, Teunissen L, Foster C. Biodynamics. Effect of pacing strategy on energy expenditure during a 1500-m cycling time trial. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007;39:2212-8 pubmed
    ..The assumption that anaerobic work is a constant value, independent of pacing strategy, seems valid in the range of different strategies that are currently simulated in the energy flow models. ..
  15. Carvalho V, Bocchi E, Guimaraes G. The Borg scale as an important tool of self-monitoring and self-regulation of exercise prescription in heart failure patients during hydrotherapy. A randomized blinded controlled trial. Circ J. 2009;73:1871-6 pubmed
    ..self-regulate exercise on land or in water (hydrotherapy) by maintaining the heart rate (HR) between the anaerobic threshold and respiratory compensation point...
  16. Bortolini M, De Agostini G, Reis I, Lamounier R, Blumberg J, Espindola F. Total protein of whole saliva as a biomarker of anaerobic threshold. Res Q Exerc Sport. 2009;80:604-10 pubmed
    ..We investigated whether the total protein concentration of whole saliva (TPWS) would reflect the anaerobic threshold during an incremental exercise test...
  17. Cottin F, Medigue C, Lopes P, Lepretre P, Heubert R, Billat V. Ventilatory thresholds assessment from heart rate variability during an incremental exhaustive running test. Int J Sports Med. 2007;28:287-94 pubmed
  18. Cottin F, Lepretre P, Lopes P, Papelier Y, Medigue C, Billat V. Assessment of ventilatory thresholds from heart rate variability in well-trained subjects during cycling. Int J Sports Med. 2006;27:959-67 pubmed
    ..In addition it shows that HF.fHF provides a more reliable and accurate index than fHF alone for this assessment. ..
  19. Karapetian G, Engels H, Gretebeck R. Use of heart rate variability to estimate LT and VT. Int J Sports Med. 2008;29:652-7 pubmed publisher
    ..05). The data suggest the heart rate variability threshold coincides with lactate threshold and ventilatory threshold during graded exercise and can be used for the detection of lactate threshold in healthy adults. ..
  20. Racinais S, Bishop D, Denis R, Lattier G, Mendez Villaneuva A, Perrey S. Muscle deoxygenation and neural drive to the muscle during repeated sprint cycling. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007;39:268-74 pubmed
    ..In this experimental design, our findings suggest that the ability to repeat short-duration (6 s) sprints was associated with the occurrence of both peripheral and central fatigue. ..
  21. Higa M, Silva E, Neves V, Catai A, Gallo L, Silva de Sa M. Comparison of anaerobic threshold determined by visual and mathematical methods in healthy women. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2007;40:501-8 pubmed
    Several methods are used to estimate anaerobic threshold (AT) during exercise...
  22. Cordova C, Silva V, Moraes C, Simoes H, Nóbrega O. Acute exercise performed close to the anaerobic threshold improves cognitive performance in elderly females. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2009;42:458-64 pubmed was to compare the effect of acute exercise performed at different intensities in relation to the anaerobic threshold (AT) on abilities requiring control of executive functions or alertness in physically active elderly ..
  23. Bentley D, Newell J, Bishop D. Incremental exercise test design and analysis: implications for performance diagnostics in endurance athletes. Sports Med. 2007;37:575-86 pubmed
    ..Sports scientists and coaches should consider these factors when conducting incremental exercise testing for the purposes of performance diagnostics. ..
  24. Myers J, Goldsmith R, Keteyian S, Brawner C, Brazil D, Aldred H, et al. The ventilatory anaerobic threshold in heart failure: a multicenter evaluation of reliability. J Card Fail. 2010;16:76-83 pubmed publisher
    ..6%. Inter-laboratory variability was 21.4%, with a CV of 7.7%. Inter-observer, intra-observer, and inter-site variation in determining the VT should be considered when using the VT as an end point in clinical trials of heart failure. ..
  25. Binder R, Wonisch M, Corra U, Cohen Solal A, Vanhees L, Saner H, et al. Methodological approach to the first and second lactate threshold in incremental cardiopulmonary exercise testing. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2008;15:726-34 pubmed publisher
    Determination of an 'anaerobic threshold' plays an important role in the appreciation of an incremental cardiopulmonary exercise test and describes prominent changes of blood lactate accumulation with increasing workload...
  26. Aisbett B, Le Rossignol P, McConell G, Abbiss C, Snow R. Effects of starting strategy on 5-min cycling time-trial performance. J Sports Sci. 2009;27:1201-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Blood lactate and pH were similar between the three trials. In conclusion, performance during a 5-min cycling time-trial was improved with the adoption of a fast- rather than an even- or slow-starting strategy. ..
  27. Neal C, Hunter A, Galloway S. A 6-month analysis of training-intensity distribution and physiological adaptation in Ironman triathletes. J Sports Sci. 2011;29:1515-23 pubmed publisher
    ..Our results suggest that the effects of intensity distribution are small over short-term training periods and future experimental research is needed to clarify the potential impact of intensity distribution on physiological adaptation. ..
  28. Ramirez Lechuga J, Muros Molina J, Morente Sánchez J, Sánchez Muñoz C, Femia Marzo P, Zabala Díaz M. [Effect of an 8-week aerobic training program during physical education lessons on aerobic fitness in adolescents]. Nutr Hosp. 2012;27:747-54 pubmed publisher
    ..An extra session of intense exercise for week is a greater improvement in girls, but do not produce such effects in boys. ..
  29. Kamijo K, O Leary K, Pontifex M, Themanson J, Hillman C. The relation of aerobic fitness to neuroelectric indices of cognitive and motor task preparation. Psychophysiology. 2010;47:814-21 pubmed publisher
  30. Vaughan D, Huber Abel F, Graber F, Hoppeler H, Fluck M. The angiotensin converting enzyme insertion/deletion polymorphism alters the response of muscle energy supply lines to exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2013;113:1719-29 pubmed publisher
  31. Wiedemann M, Bosquet L. Anaerobic Work Capacity derived from isokinetic and isoinertial cycling. Int J Sports Med. 2010;31:89-94 pubmed publisher
    ..73). This lack of agreement led us to the conclusion that AWC measures obtained during 30-s all-out tests performed on an isoinertial or an isokinetic bicycle ergometer are not necessarily similar and cannot be used interchangeably. ..
  32. Noordhof D, Vink A, de Koning J, Foster C. Anaerobic capacity: effect of computational method. Int J Sports Med. 2011;32:422-8 pubmed publisher
    ..05; P<0.01) and 4?-?Y ( P<0.001; P<0.01) MAOD procedures. Therefore, the 4+Y MAOD procedure and GE method are preferred for estimating AnC, but as individual differences exist, they cannot be used interchangeably. ..
  33. Draper N, Dickson T, Blackwell G, Priestley S, Fryer S, Marshall H, et al. Sport-specific power assessment for rock climbing. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2011;51:417-25 pubmed
    ..According to the present findings the narrow grip variation of the powerslap test is a useful sport-specific power test that is related to climbing performance. ..
  34. Losnegard T, Myklebust H, Hallen J. Anaerobic capacity as a determinant of performance in sprint skiing. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012;44:673-81 pubmed publisher
    ..In a group of elite skiers, the difference in roller ski treadmill sprint performance is more related to differences in anaerobic capacity than maximal aerobic power and O? cost. ..
  35. Malone J, Coughlan G, Crowe L, Gissane G, Caulfield B. The physiological effects of low-intensity neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) on short-term recovery from supra-maximal exercise bouts in male triathletes. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012;112:2421-32 pubmed publisher
    ..In conclusion, NMES does not appear to be more effective than traditional methods for enhancing short-term recovery from supra-maximal exercise bouts in trained male triathletes. ..
  36. Silva Cavalcante M, Correia Oliveira C, Santos R, Lopes Silva J, Lima H, Bertuzzi R, et al. Caffeine increases anaerobic work and restores cycling performance following a protocol designed to lower endogenous carbohydrate availability. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e72025 pubmed publisher
  37. Lee L, Schwartzman K, Carli F, Zavorsky G, Li C, Charlebois P, et al. The association of the distance walked in 6 min with pre-operative peak oxygen consumption and complications 1 month after colorectal resection. Anaesthesia. 2013;68:811-6 pubmed publisher
    ..96 (0.93-0.99) with each year of age, p = 0.025 and p = 0.018, respectively. The distance walked in 6 min before surgery can provide prognostic information when cardiopulmonary exercise testing is unavailable. ..
  38. Itoh H, Ajisaka R, Koike A, Makita S, Omiya K, Kato Y, et al. Heart rate and blood pressure response to ramp exercise and exercise capacity in relation to age, gender, and mode of exercise in a healthy population. J Cardiol. 2013;61:71-8 pubmed publisher
    ..pressure to the ramp exercise test are not known and the current understanding of peak oxygen uptake and anaerobic threshold (AT) values in the normal Japanese population is insufficient...
  39. Morales J, Buscà B, Solana Tramunt M, Miró A. Acute effects of jaw clenching using a customized mouthguard on anaerobic ability and ventilatory flows. Hum Mov Sci. 2015;44:270-6 pubmed publisher
    ..This study will help practitioners improve athlete's performance in anaerobic activities where high intensity action might provoke jaw-clenching, contributing in reductions of lactate and fatigue, and improving ventilatory parameters. ..
  40. Freis T, Hecksteden A, Such U, Meyer T. Effect of sodium bicarbonate on prolonged running performance: A randomized, double-blind, cross-over study. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0182158 pubmed publisher
    ..performed two exhaustive graded exercise tests and two constant load tests (30 main at 95% individual anaerobic threshold (IAT) followed by 110% IAT until exhaustion) after ingestion of either sodium bicarbonate (BICA) (0...
  41. Douma van Riet D, Verschuren O, Jelsma D, Kruitwagen C, Smits Engelsman B, Takken T. Reference values for the muscle power sprint test in 6- to 12-year-old children. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2012;24:327-32 pubmed
    ..The MPST is a reliable and practical method for determining anaerobic performance in children. ..
  42. Leclair E, Mucci P, Borel B, Baquet G, Carter H, Berthoin S. Time to exhaustion and time spent at a high percentage of VO2max in severe intensity domain in children and adults. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25:1151-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Moreover, they highlight the implication of both aerobic and anaerobic processes in endurance performances in both populations. ..
  43. Keyser R, Rus V, Mikdashi J, Handwerger B. Exploratory study on oxygen consumption on-kinetics during treadmill walking in women with systemic lupus erythematosus. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2010;91:1402-9 pubmed publisher
    ..For a similar relative energy expenditure that was slightly lower than the anaerobic threshold, the transition constant was higher in controls than in women with SLE...
  44. Ziemann E, Grzywacz T, Łuszczyk M, Laskowski R, Olek R, Gibson A. Aerobic and anaerobic changes with high-intensity interval training in active college-aged men. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25:1104-12 pubmed publisher
    ..5 ml · kg(-1) · min), anaerobic threshold (3.8 ml · kg(-1) · min), work output (12.5 J · kg(-1)), glycolytic work (11...
  45. Nishida Y, Tanaka H, Tobina T, Murakami K, Shono N, Shindo M, et al. Regulation of muscle genes by moderate exercise. Int J Sports Med. 2010;31:656-70 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, moderate training at the LT is a sufficient stimulus to induce the expression of numerous genes implicated in the development of metabolic syndrome, transcripts involved in the contractile apparatus, and novel transcripts. ..
  46. Ben Dov I, SEGEL M. [Normal or high maximal oxygen uptake: a target in health]. Harefuah. 2012;151:114-7, 126, 125 pubmed
    ..There are well defined indications and benefits from CPET, among them are, determination of the anaerobic threshold, defining the cause of dyspnea, the timing for heart transplantation, exercise prescription for training ..
  47. McGawley K, Leclair E, Dekerle J, Carter H, Williams C. A test to assess aerobic and anaerobic parameters during maximal exercise in young girls. Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2012;24:262-74 pubmed
  48. Nikolaidis P, Ziv G, Arnon M, Lidor R. Physical characteristics and physiological attributes of female volleyball players--the need for individual data. J Strength Cond Res. 2012;26:2547-57 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings emphasize the need for coaches to examine the intraindividual variability within the players on their teams and to use this information when designing training programs and strength and conditioning programs. ..
  49. Ben Abdelkrim N, Castagna C, Jabri I, Battikh T, El Fazaa S, El Ati J. Activity profile and physiological requirements of junior elite basketball players in relation to aerobic-anaerobic fitness. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24:2330-42 pubmed publisher
    ..68, p < 0.05). This study showed that basketball players experience fatigue as game time progresses and suggests the potential benefit of aerobic and agility conditioning in junior basketball. ..
  50. Wright S, Pearce B, Snowden C, Anderson H, Wallis J. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing before and after blood transfusion: a prospective clinical study. Br J Anaesth. 2014;113:91-6 pubmed publisher
    ..2) to 11.2 (1.4) g dl(-1) after transfusion of a median (range) of 3 (1-4) units of packed red cells. The anaerobic threshold increased from a mean (sd) of 10.4 (2.4) to 11.6 (2.5) ml kg(-1) min(-1) (P=0.018), a mean difference of 1...
  51. Lalia A, Dasari S, Robinson M, Abid H, Morse D, Klaus K, et al. Influence of omega-3 fatty acids on skeletal muscle protein metabolism and mitochondrial bioenergetics in older adults. Aging (Albany NY). 2017;9:1096-1129 pubmed publisher
    ..These results demonstrate that n3-PUFA reduce mitochondrial oxidant emissions, increase postabsorptive muscle protein synthesis, and enhance anabolic responses to exercise in older adults. ..
  52. Patil S, Chaudhuri D, Dhanakshirur G. Role of alpha-tocopherol in cardiopulmonary fitness in endurance athletes, cyclists. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2009;53:375-9 pubmed
    ..The results obtained from present study indicate that antioxidant like alpha-tocopherol supplementation did not contribute significantly to improve the cardiopulmonary fitness of endurance athletes. ..
  53. Wiecek M, Szymura J, Maciejczyk M, Cempla J, Szygula Z. Effect of sex and menstrual cycle in women on starting speed, anaerobic endurance and muscle power. Physiol Int. 2016;103:127-32 pubmed publisher
    ..This is evidence of women's better anaerobic endurance compared to men. At the same time, the men had significantly better starting speed rates than women. ..