Substrate metabolism during recovery from circuit resistance exercise in persons with spinal cord injury

David W. McMillan, Jochen Kressler, Kevin A. Jacobs, Mark S. Nash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Whole body energy expenditure and lipid oxidation (Lox) are upregulated during and after exercise. Persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) generally have a blunted ability to utilize fat during exercise, but it is unknown if their substrate partitioning is affected during recovery from exercise. Purpose: To determine the effect of a single session of upper body circuit resistance exercise (CRE) on energy expenditure and Lox during exercise recovery in persons with and without SCI. Methods: Twenty four persons (3 groups; 7 male and 1 female per group) without paralysis (neurologically intact; N) or with chronic (≥ 1 yr) paraplegia (P) or tetraplegia (T) participated. Energy expenditure and substrate partitioning were assessed via indirect calorimetry before, during, and three times after (up to 120 min after) a single session of CRE, or time-matched seated control (CON). Results: During CRE, all groups experienced a similar relative increase in oxygen consumption (49 ± 13, 55 ± 11, and 48 ± 15% VO2peak for N, P, and T, respectively). The Post0-120 energy expenditure was greater following CRE vs. CON (P < 0.01) and independent of injury characteristics (10.6, 22.6, and 14.3% higher than CON for N, P, and T; P = 0.21). The absolute increase in Lox above CON during recovery was similar for N, P, and T (5.74 ± 2.81, 6.62 ± 3.10, and 4.50 ± 3.91 g, respectively; P = 0.45). Conclusions: Energy expenditure and lipid utilization was increased similarly following circuit exercise in persons without and with spinal cord injury in a manner independent of level of injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1631-1640
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Lipid metabolism
  • Oxidation
  • Postexercise
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Substrate metabolism during recovery from circuit resistance exercise in persons with spinal cord injury'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this