The study investigated whether supine-measured HRV indicators, and/or HRV indicators measured during orthostatic stress are related to conventional measures of exercise and performance ability such as VO2max. Only two significant correlations (pb0.05) out of 30 tests were found between supine-determined HRV indicators and conventional measures. In contrast, fifteen of the 30 relationships calculated during orthostatic stress were significant. Relationships were at best low to moderate (0.2b|corr|b0.4). As expected, the relationships obtained during orthostatic stress were reversed from that obtained in the supine position. In summary, although HRV indicators are related to cardiovascular fitness, correlations between VO2max and these parameters are found only under very specific conditions. HRV parameters explain very little of the variance in VO2max. In addition, estimating the exercise capacity from HRV indicators requires experience and extreme caution.