INTRODUCTION: Exercise rehabilitation is a key element of care following lung transplantation; however, little is known about the patients' experience of rehabilitation, or whether it meets the needs of this complex patient group. This qualitative study explored patients' expectations of a supervised exercise rehabilitation program following lung transplantation. METHODS: Participants undertook two semi-structured interviews, one before and one after the rehabilitation program. Interviews were digitally recorded, and themes were developed using line-by-line iterative thematic analysis and grounded theory. RESULTS: Eighteen adults (11 females) with mean age of 52 participated in a mean of 26 sessions of exercise training. Themes were (i) desire for normalcy including resuming family roles and performing everyday activities; (ii) the importance of rehabilitation as the mechanism for how this transformation occurred; (iii) the benefits of exercising in a group setting; and (iv) the limitations on rehabilitation that were imposed by comorbidities, either existing pre-transplant or occurring as a postoperative sequelae. CONCLUSION: Post-transplant exercise rehabilitation was perceived as a highly valuable tool that assisted recipients to return to "normal life." Group exercise was motivational, offered peer support, and therefore was advantageous to assist patients to achieve their desired physical performance level following transplantation.