Objective: To test whether acute metabolic (Vo2), chronotropic (heart rate), and perceptual (rating of perceived exertion; RPE) responses to exercise by persons with paraplegia differ when the exercise is on a multistation isoinertial exercise system (MultiGym) or on a customized system of Thera-Band® resistance bands (ElasticGym). Design: Within-subjects comparison of 2 treatments. Setting: Academic medical center. Participants: Sixteen men and 1 woman with complete paraplegia (T4-L1), as defined by the American Spinal Injury Association. Interventions: A circuit resistance training (CRT) program for persons with paraplegia was adapted to both a MultiGym and a customized ElasticGym. Exercises used for training and testing used 6 resistance maneuvers at 50% of the 1-repetition maximum (1-RM), with interposed rapid arm spinning. Subjects were habituated to both conditions for 2 weeks before testing on randomized nonconsecutive days. Main Outcome Measures: Vo2 (L/min) was measured by portable spirometry, heart rate (beats/min) by a chest strap monitor, and RPE by the Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion (6-20). Results: No significant effects of test condition on average Vo2 or heart rate were observed, with differences between conditions reflecting only .08L/min and 6.4 beats/min, respectively. Average RPE was significantly higher in testing under the ElasticGym condition (P < .05). Conclusions: CRT on a customized ElasticGym system elicited acute metabolic and chronotropic responses that did not differ from responses to exercise on a MultiGym, though RPE was greater with the ElasticGym.
- Spinal cord injuries
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