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Vol. 39 No. 1, January/February 2002
Pages 21-28

Circuit resistance training in persons with complete paraplegia


Patrick L. Jacobs, PhD; Edward T. Mahoney, MA; Mark S. Nash, PhD; Barth A. Green, MD

Departments of Neurological Surgery and Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL

Abstract: Background/Objective : We assessed the metabolic and heart rate (HR) responses to a single session of circuit resistance training (CRT) in six subjects with complete paraplegia (T5 -T12 levels) in order to determine the caloric cost of the exercise. Methods : Subjects underwent isoinertial weight training exercises with interspersed periods of high-cadence, low-resistance arm ergometry (AE). Following protocol familiarization, subjects completed one session of CRT during which continuous monitoring of HR, oxygen uptake (VO2 ), and respiratory exchange ratio (RER = VCO2 /VO2 ) was performed. Caloric cost was calculated from the exercise VO2 values across the CRT session. A peak arm exercise test allowed data to be expressed as percentages of peak VO2 and HR. Results : Subjects displayed mean VO2 values of 11.6 ± 2.4 ml/kg/min (mean ± SD) and a mean HR of 136 ±17 beats/min across the CRT session, corresponding with 49.0% of peak VO2 and 76.8% of peak HR. The RER values ranged from 0.96 to 1.19 and averaged above unity throughout the CRT session. Conclusion : Despite the modest absolute VO2 during exercise, CRT satisfies operational criteria developed for cardiorespiratory exercise prescriptions in persons without disability. The RER values recorded indicate that CRT is intense work that relies primarily on glycolytic metabolism.
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