A comparison of 2 circuit exercise training techniques for eliciting matched metabolic responses in persons with paraplegia

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2002 Feb;83(2):201-9. doi: 10.1053/apmr.2002.28011.


Objective: To test whether acute metabolic (VO(2)), 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: VO(2) (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 VO(2) 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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Paraplegia / rehabilitation*
  • Physical Exertion / physiology
  • Sports Equipment*