Eight subjects of high fitness (V̇O2 max - 56.9 ml/kg × min) and eight subjects of medium fitness (V̇O2 max = 43.4 ml/kg × min) pedalled a bicycle ergometer for 6 minutes at workloads which elicited 70%, 80% and 90% of their individual V̇O2 max. Heart rates were recorded during the last 30 seconds of each workload.
The data were analysed by a 2 (fitness levels) × 3 (workloads) analysis of variance factorial design. Although the high fitness group recorded a lower mean heart rate for the 3 workloads (155 beats/min) than the medium fitness group (161 beats/min), there was no overall statistically significant difference between the 2 fitness levels. The difference was most marked at the highest workload where a statistically significant (p < .05) interaction occurred between workload and fitness level. A completely randomised design analysis of variance indicated that the high fitness group attained their V̇O2 max at a statistically significant lower heart rate (173 beats/min) than the medium fitness group (182 beats/min).