ABSTRACT Introduction: Ergospirometry is a noninvasive procedure used to assess physical performance or the capacity of an individual, through an analysis of expired gases and respiratory variables. This procedure is crucially important in sports, and makes a significant contribution to the measurement of cardiorespiratory fitness indices, such as maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) and the anaerobic threshold (AT). Objective: To assess aerobic capacity and potency in professional and junior soccer players, handball athletes, and women soccer players. Methods: Forty-eight athletes participated voluntarily and were divided into 4 groups. The first group consisted of 12 youth soccer players in the under-20 category, the second group was made up of 12 professional soccer players, the third group was made up of female soccer players, and the fourth group consisted of handball players. Results: We analyzed values such as peak VO2, average speed and heart rate at the anaerobic threshold as well as pulmonary ventilation. We found that the values were always greater for the group formed by professional soccer players, with the exception of mean maximum O2 consumption, in which the difference between this group and that of soccer players in the junior category was not significant. In other physical valences, there was a degree of similarity between the other groups, with special emphasis on pulmonary ventilation, which was significantly lower in the group of female soccer players. Conclusion: The particularities of each sport, such as pitch dimensions, duration, and tactical system, together with the morphology and sex of the athletes, directly influence peak VO2, AT and VE values in athletes who play different sports. Level of Evidence III; Development of diagnostic criteria in consecutive patients (with gold reference standard applied).