College of Health Professions

Date of Last Revision

2023-05-08 15:32:03


Exercise Science

Honors Course

EXER 430

Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2023


INTRODUCTION: Ventilatory threshold (VT) is where minute ventilation (VE) increases nonlinearly with increasing exercise intensity. Prior studies have shown that subjects can recognize VT by changes in breathing during exercise. Teaching recreational athletes to use VT as a training method could result in better quality training. PURPOSE: Determine if recreational athletes can accurately perceive changes in ventilation associated with VT during maximal exercise testing. METHODS: Subjects were recruited (n=20, age= 20.5 ± 1.7 yrs.) to participate in the study. Subjects performed a modified maximal treadmill protocol with gas analysis. Subjects indicated when they noticed a considerable change in breathing and were recorded as perceived ventilatory threshold (PVT). Actual VT was calculated from maximal exercise test results. Pearson product correlation and independent samples t-tests were used to test relationships and mean differences between ventilatory frequency (VF), minute ventilation (VE), and tidal volume (Vt) at PVT and VT. Separate paired sample t-tests were used to assess the differences in perceived and actual ventilatory threshold (VT) for oxygen consumption (VO2)(mg/kg/min) and time (min). Mean differences were accompanied with their 95% confidence intervals (CI) and Cohen’s d values. The assumption of normality was tested using the Shapiro-Wilk test. Significance was set at p < 0.05. RESULTS: There were no violations of normality for either paired comparison. There was no statistical difference in VO2 between actual and perceived VT, t(19) =0.807, p =0.429; Actual =37.90±7.26 and Perceived =36.49±7.07. There was a statistical difference of 2.00(0.21, 3.80) min between actual and perceived VT, t(19) = 0.2.332, p = 0.431, d =.521 with actual VT at 6.03±3.11 and perceived VT at 8.03±2.73. A strong positive correlation was found between actual VT and PVT with TV (r=.88). No statistically significant differences for mean difference between %/VO2max, VF, VE, and Vt at PVT versus VT were found. CONCLUSION: In the current study, recreational athletes were unable to accurately detect changes in their breathing associated with VT. Better recognition of PVT might be possible with more exercise experience. If this is achieved, PVT could be useful in prescribing exercise for this population.

Research Sponsor

Stephanie Davis-Dieringer

First Reader

Dr. Ronald Otterstetter

Second Reader

Dr. Judith Juvancic-Heltzel

Honors Faculty Advisor

Melissa Smith

Proprietary and/or Confidential Information


Drew Biegner Honors Signature Page.pdf (98 kB)
Signature Page For Drew Biegner's Honors Project



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