Bed rest deconditioning was assessed in seven healthy men (19-22 yr) following three 14-day periods of controlled activity during recumbency by measuring submaximal and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2), ventilation (VE), heart rate, and plasma volume. Exercise regimens were performed in the supine position and included a) two 30-min periods daily of intermittent static exercise at 21% of maximal leg extension force, and b) two 30-min periods of dynamic bicycle ergometer exercise daily at 68% of VO2max. No prescribed exercise was performed during the third bed rest period. Compared with their respective pre-bed rest control values, VO2max decreased (P less than 0.05) under all exercise conditions; -12.3% with no exercise, -9.2% with dynamic exercise, but only -4.8% with static exercise. Maximal heart rate was increased by 3.3% to 4.9% (P less than 0.05) under the three exercise conditions, while plasma volume decreased (P less than 0.05) -15.1% with no exercise and -10.1% with static, but only -7.8% (NS) with dynamic exercise. Since neither the static nor dynamic exercise training regimes minimized the changes in all the variables studied, some combination of these two types of exercise may be necessary for maximum protection from the effects of the bed deconditioning.