The carboxyl terminus of Hsp70-interacting protein (CHIP) is a ubiquitin ligase/cochaperone critical for the maintenance of cardiac function. Mice lacking CHIP (CHIP-/-) suffer decreased survival, enhanced myocardial injury and increased arrhythmias compared with wild-type controls following challenge with cardiac ischaemia reperfusion injury. Recent evidence implicates a role for CHIP in chaperone-assisted selective autophagy, a process that is associated with exercise-induced cardioprotection. To determine whether CHIP is involved in cardiac autophagy, we challenged CHIP-/- mice with voluntary exercise. CHIP-/- mice respond to exercise with an enhanced autophagic response that is associated with an exaggerated cardiac hypertrophy phenotype. No impairment of function was identified in the CHIP-/- mice by serial echocardiography over the 5weeks of running, indicating that the cardiac hypertrophy was physiologic not pathologic in nature. It was further determined that CHIP plays a role in inhibiting Akt signalling and autophagy determined by autophagic flux in cardiomyocytes and in the intact heart. Taken together, cardiac CHIP appears to play a role in regulating autophagy during the development of cardiac hypertrophy, possibly by its role in supporting Akt signalling, induced by voluntary running in vivo. Copyright (c) 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.