We investigated oxygen consumption (ml/kg/min) and hemodynamic response (peak heart rate-systolic blood pressure product) to individual exercise activities before and after exercise training in 22 male postmyocardial infarction patients (PMIP). Activities included swimming, walk/jogging, volleyball, calisthenics and exercise dance routines. Oxygen consumption was determined immediately after exercise by the Douglas bag gas collection procedure and, in selected patients, by a Max Planck respirometer during exercise. Hemodynamic data were obtained by pulse count and cuff sphygmomanometer. The increase in oxygen consumption and the decrease in rate-pressure product after each activity were significant (p .0.01). There were no differences in oxygen consumption between the Max Planck respirometer technique and collection (Douglas bag method) immediately after exercise. The oxygen consumption obtained for PMIP compared with available cumulative data on normal subjects is significantly variable, suggesting the need for caution when prescribing exercise for the PMIP based on energy costs of standard exercise measurements in normals. This was particularly relevant because of the significantly high oxygen consumption incurred during swimming.