Monitoring Training Progress During Exercise Training in Cancer Survivors: A Submaximal Exercise Test as an Alternative for a Maximal Exercise Test?

Anne M. May*, Ellen van Weert, Irene Korstjens, Josette E. H. M. Hoekstra-Weebers, Cees P. van der Schans, Maria L. Zonderland, Ilse Mesters, Bart van den Borne, Wynand J. Ros

*Corresponding author for this work

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May AM, van Weert E, Korstjens 1, Hoekstra-Weebers JE, van der Schans CP, Zonderland ML, Mesters 1, van den Borne B, Ros WJ. Monitoring training progress during exercise training in cancer survivors: a submaximal exercise test as an alternative for a maximal exercise test? Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2010;91:351-7. Objective: To examine the use of a submaximal exercise test in detecting change in fitness level after a physical training program, and to investigate the correlation of outcomes as measured submaximally or maximally. Design: A prospective study in which exercise testing was performed before and after training intervention. Setting: Academic and general hospital and rehabilitation center. Participants: Cancer survivors (N=147) (all cancer types, medical treatment completed >= 3mo ago) attended a 12-week supervised exercise program. Interventions: A 12-week training program including aerobic training, strength training, and group sport. Main Outcome Measures: Outcome measures were changes in peak oxygen uptake (Vo(2)peak) and peak power output (both determined during exhaustive exercise testing) and submaximal heart rate (determined during submaximal testing at a fixed workload). Results: The Vo(2)peak and peak power output increased and the submaximal heart rate decreased significantly from baseline to postintervention (P= 140bpm) were clearly related to changes in VO(2)peak and peak power output. Conclusions: For the monitoring of training progress in daily clinical practice, changes in heart rate at a fixed submaximal workload that requires a heart rate greater than 140bpm may serve as an alternative to an exhaustive exercise test.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-357
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


  • Exercise test
  • Heart rate
  • Oxygen consumption
  • Rehabilitation
  • Survivors

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