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Volume 41 Number 3B, May/June 2004
Pages 415 — 420


Abstract - The oxygen uptake-heart rate relationship in trained female wheelchair athletes

Victoria Louise Goosey-Tolfrey, PhD; Keith Tolfrey, PhD

Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Centre for Biophysical and Clinical Research into Human Movement,
The Manchester Metropolitan University, Alsager, UK
Abstract — We examined the relationship between the percentage of peak heart rate (HR) and the percentage of peak oxygen uptakeoxygen intake during steady-rate incremental wheelchair propulsion in 10 trained female wheelchair athletes (WAs) to determine the appropriateness of using American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) target HRs for training prescription. Oxygen uptake was calculated during each submaximal exercise stage, and HR was monitored continuously. Peak oxygen intake was determined with the use of a separate protocol. Linear regression equations of percentage of peak HR versus percentage of peak oxygen intake were measured for each participant. Subsequently, we calculated the percentage of peak HR values corresponding with 40%, 60%, 80%, and 85% peak oxygen intake . The linear regression formula (derived as the group mean of the slope and intercept terms determined from each individual participant) was % peak HR = 0.652 % peak oxygen intake + 35.2 (standard error of the estimate [SEE] 3.41). The group mean of the individual correlation coefficients for the oxygen intake -HR relationship was r = 0.973. The percentage peaks of HRs for the WAs were slightly, though not significantly, greater than those suggested by the ACSM across the exercise intensity continuum. These findings suggest that training programs prescribed on the basis of ACSM target HR guidelines need not be altered for trained female WAs with lesions of T6 and below. Notably, the discrepancy between the WA values and the population norm (ACSM) decreased from 6% at 40% peak oxygen intake (i.e., 61% vs. 55%) to <1% at 85% peak oxygen intake (i.e., 90.6% vs. 90.0%). This discrepancy indicates a tendency for the use of percentage of HR peak at the lower exercise intensities to slightly underestimate the relative exercise intensity (i.e., percentage of peak oxygen intake ) in the WA population.
Key words: training prescription, wheelchair ergometry.

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