"Talk Test" a Consistent Gauge of Exercise Intensity: Simple Guideline Can Help Monitor Exercise Exertion
are able to comfortably converse during exercise are likely working out
at an acceptable intensity, according to new research.
guideline, known as the "Talk Test," has been shown to correctly gauge
intensity and correspond to an effective range for exercise
findings, published by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM),
provides further evidence that the Talk Test is a simple method to
determine appropriate levels of exercise intensity and set markers to
avoid overexertion, the researchers said.
studied the consistency of the Talk Test to determine if responses were
similar among different modes of exercise. Sixteen healthy and
moderately active participants performed two progressively harder
tests, one on a treadmill and one on a cycle ergometer.
All recited a
standard paragraph, the Pledge of Allegiance, aloud during each stage
of each exercise test. After completing the paragraph, participants
were asked if they could speak comfortably. Those who answered "yes"
were marked with "positive" Talk Tests. The first time participants who
reported they could not speak comfortably, the researchers took this as
a negative Talk Test.
category of "equivocal" was assigned to participants who were uncertain
about or could not indicate their level of comfort in speaking during a
included measurement of the participants’ ventilatory threshold,
the point where breathing begins to increase disproportionately to the
increase in workload, and a marker of the sustainability of a
particular exercise intensity.
and perceived exertion, established markers of exercise training
intensity, also were monitored and compared to the results of the Talk
indicated the exercise intensity at the Talk Test was approximately the
same as at the ventilatory threshold during both modes of exercise.
When speech was no longer comfortable, exercise intensity was
consistently above the ventilatory threshold.
Test is a practical way for people to monitor their intensity during
exercise," said Carl Foster, Ph.D., FACSM, one of the lead researchers
of the study and ACSM president-elect.
no equipment or training needed to understand your ability to speak
based on how hard you’re working," Foster explained.
study has shown this method to be very consistent, people can use this
in their everyday lives, in gyms or working out at home, to meet their
health and fitness goals while reducing the risk of injuries or other
complications that can happen with overexertion," Foster continued.
results were published in Medicine & Science in Sports &
Exercise®, the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.
For more information on the American College of Sports Medicine, visit www.acsm.org.