Understanding the functional limitation in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the most common inherited heart disease, is challenging. In addition to the occurrence of disease-related complications, several factors are potential determinants of exercise limitation, including left ventricular hypertrophy, myocardial fiber disarray, left ventricular outflow tract obstruction, microvascular ischemia, and interstitial fibrosis. Furthermore, drugs commonly used in the daily management of these patients may interfere with exercise capacity, especially those with a negative chronotropic effect. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing can safely and objectively evaluate the functional capacity of these patients and help the physician in understanding the mechanisms that underlie this limitation. Features that reduce exercise capacity may predict progression to heart failure in these patients and even the risk of sudden cardiac death.