The effects of arm crank training on the physiological responses to submaximal wheelchair ergometry

Sedlock, D.A.; Knowlton, R.G.; Fitzgerald, P.I.

European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology 57(1): 55-59


The purpose of this investigation was to examine the cardiovascular and metabolic effects of a 5 wk arm crank (AC) training program on submaximal wheelchair (WC) ergometry in ablebodied women. The 6 subjects in the training group (TG) and 4 in the control group (CG) performed a 10 min WC exercise prior to and following the training period at a power output (PO) that elicited 70% of the pre-training peak oxygen uptake (.ovrhdot.VO2). Steady state .ovrhdot.VO2, heart rate (HR), cardiac output (.ovrhdot.Qc) and stroke volume (Vs) were measured. Resting and post-exercise blood lactate concentrations (LA) were measured, the difference was recorded as net LA. The TG exercised on the AC 3 d .cntdot. wk-1 at a PO that elicited 85% of each subject's recorded peak HR. Each session consisted of four 4 min exercise bouts preceded by a 2 min warm-up and interspersed with 2 min rest periods. After training, the TG had a significantly (p < 0.05) lower HR, larger Vs and lower LA in response to the WC exercise. .ovrhdot.Qc and .ovrhdot.VO2 were not significantly altered. The results demonstrate that the AC exercise program used in this study produced a physiological training effect which was observed during submaximal WC exercise of an intensity frequently encountered during daily WC ambulation. It appears that short-term, moderate intensity AC training offers an adequate stimulus to reduce the stress imposed by wheelchair locomotion.