Exercise produces changes in circulating levels of potassium and free fatty acids which may provoke arrhythmias in patients with coronary artery disease. Twenty patients participating in 6 weeks of training were studied; 9 of these patients took part in 4 more weeks of training and a third exercise test. After 6 weeks, potassium levels were higher at submaximal levels of exercise, free fatty acid levels were reduced at rest, and at 5, 15, and at 30 min post-exercise. Norepinephrine levels were reduced at submaximal work loads after 6 weeks and increased at maximal work loads. The extra 4 weeks had no additive effect on these metabolic changes. Participation by coronary artery disease patients in a short-term, moderate intensity, exercise training program increases potassium levels at submaximal work loads and reduces levels of free fatty acids at rest and after exercise. The arrhythmogenic relevance of these findings deserves further consideration.