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Physiological responses to submaximal workloads on four exercise ergometers

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Donahue, Marc D.
Porcari, J.
MS, Adultfitness/Cardiac Rehabilitation
May 2001
Schwinn Air-Dyne bicycle ergometer; Stationary bicycles; Exercise - Physiological aspects; StairMaster 3300CE (Exercise machine); StairMaster 3900RE (Exercise machine); NuStep 4000 (Exercise machine); Cycling - Physiological aspects
To allow for accurate exercise prescription, relationships needed to be drawn between four common exercise ergometers often found in a cardiac rehabilitation setting. The StairMaster upright (UP) & recumbent (SR) cycles, NuStep recumbent stepper (NU), and Schwimm Airdyne (AD) were compared against one another with six male and six female volunteers (age 23+- 3.5 years). SS completed three submaximal exercise bouts (50 100, 150 Watts) on each of the four ergometers tested. Each stage was five minutes in duration and VO2, HR, SBP, DBP, Kcal, and RPE were recorded at the end of each stage. Testing sessions were randomized and performed one week apart. Data were analyzed using a one-way ANOVA. Results showed that the UR cycle elicited the VO2, HR, SBP, Kcal,& RPE compared to the remaining three modes at any given power output. Both the SR cycle and the AD showed the next highest values with most stages revealing equal responses to exercise. Finally, the NU produced the lowest physiological responses to exercise of all four modalities. For exercise prescription purposes, the ergometers that create less of a physiological response at a given workload must be modified in order to attain equal amount of cardiovascular benefits.
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