Cardiopulmonary exercise testing is underutilized within the clinical management of patients with cystic fibrosis. But within the last 5 years, there has been considerable interest in its implementation, which has included deliberations by the European Cystic Fibrosis Society about incorporating this method within the clinical assessment of patients. This review examines the current use of cardiopulmonary exercise testing in assessing the extent and cause(s) of exercise limitation from a pediatric perspective. Examples of the measured parameters and their interpretation are provided. Critical synthesis of recent work in the oxygen uptake (VO2) kinetics response to and following exercise is also discussed, and although identified more as a research tool, its utilization advances researchers understanding of the cardiovascular, respiratory and muscular limitations to exercise tolerance. Finally, exercise and its application in therapeutic interventions are highlighted and a number of recommendations made about the utility of exercise prescription.