Maximal heart rates and plasma lactate concentrations observed in middle-aged men and women during a maximal cycle ergometer test
Summary The purpose of this study was to investigate criteria for maximal effort in middle-aged men and women undertaking a maximal exercise test until they were exhausted if no measurements of oxygen uptake are made. A large group of 2164 men and 975 women, all active in sports and aged between 40 and 65 years, volunteered for a medical examination including a progressive exercise test to exhaustion on a cycle ergometer. In the 3rd min of recovery a venous blood sample was taken to determine the plasma lactate concentration ([la − ] p, 3min ). Lactate concentration and maximal heart rate ( f c, max ) were lower in the women than in the men ( P − ] p, 3 min , independent of age and f c max, It was found that [la − ] p,3 min was about 2.5 mmol·l −1 lower in women than in men of the same age and f c, max . In our population 88% of the men and 85% of the women met a combination of the following f c, max and [la − ] p, 3min criteria: f c, max equal to or greater than 220 minus age beats·min −1 and/or [la − ] p, 3min equal to or greater than 8 mmol·l −1 in the men and f c, max equal to or greater than 220 minus age beats·min −1 and/or [la − ] p, 3min equal to or greater than 5.5 mmol·1 −1 in the women.
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