Interactive effects of body position and perceived exertion during spinning exercises

Nicole K. Rendos, Anthony A. Musto, Joseph Signorile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Spinning is a popular group exercise taught in health and fitness facilities worldwide. Throughout a Spinning workout session, intensity is variable and is controlled by body position on the Spinning stationary cycle and perceived resistance. This study examined the effects of 3 body positions and 4 levels of perceived exertion (RPE) on cardiorespiratory response and vastus lateralis normalized electromyographical activity (NrmsEMG VL). Eleven participants (24.4 ± 6.3 years) with 3.2 ± 2.2 years of Spinning experience completed twelve 3-minute randomly assigned Spinning conditions across 4 separate testing days after an 8-hour fast. Conditions were determined by body position (seated, running, and standing climb [SC]) and RPE (low, low-medium, medium-high, and high). Cardiorespiratory data and NrmsEMG VL were recorded continuously during each Spinning condition. Respiratory rate and oxygen consumption were significantly higher for running and SC than seated, and minute ventilation was significantly higher for running than seated. All cardiorespiratory values were higher at medium-high and high RPE, than low or medium-low RPE, and high RPE generated higher respiratory rate and respiratory exchange ratio than medium-high RPE. Significant body position × RPE interactions were observed for heart rate (HR) and NrmsEMG VL with running and SC producing higher HRs than seated at low and high RPE, and running producing higher NrmsEMG VL than seated at low RPE. Results indicate that running and SC provide the greatest cardiorespiratory responses, and maximal efforts are not needed for these responses. Additionally, HR seems to be a poor marker of oxygen consumption, especially at high RPEs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)692-699
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 6 2015


  • Cardiopulmonary response
  • Electromyography
  • Muscle activity
  • Oxygen consumption
  • Studio cycling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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