Physiological changes following a 12 week gym based stair-climbing, elliptical trainer and treadmill running program in females

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2004 Jun;44(2):141-6.

Abstract

Aim: Despite the growing popularity in recent years of the elliptical trainer aerobic exercise modality the physiological changes induced following a training program using elliptical trainers remains unknown. The present study investigated the metabolic and cardiorespiratory improvements following a 12-week aerobic training program using elliptical trainer, treadmill or stair-climbing modalities.

Methods: Twenty-two moderately active females (28.6 +/- 5.3 y, 1.65 +/- 0.05 m) were randomly assigned to treadmill running (n=7), elliptical trainer (n=8) or stair-climber (n=7) groups and trained 3 days x week(-1) initially at 70-80% of maximum heart rate (HRmax) for 30 min, progressing to 80-90% HRmax for 40 min. Subjects performed incremental exercise to volitional exhaustion using an electronically loaded cycle ergometer before and upon completion of the program. In addition, subjects performed sub-maximal fixed load tests at 0, 4, 8 and 12 weeks, using ergometers specific to their exercise group.

Results: No significant inter-group differences were recorded for pre-training VO2max or VEmax. Significant (p<0.05) post-training increases in cycling VO2max and VEmax were observed for treadmill (mean +/- SEM, 40.7 +/- 2.2 vs 43.4 +/- 2.6 ml x kg(-1) x min(-1) and 82.9 +/- 5.1 vs 90.2 +/- 6.4 l x min(-1)), elliptical trainer (36.9 +/- 2.5 vs 39.6 +/- 2.4 ml x kg(-1) x min(-1) and 86.8 +/- 2.3 vs 92.5 +/- 4.1 l x min(-1)) and stair-climber (37.4 +/- 2.9 vs 39.2 +/- 3.1 ml x kg(-1) x min(-1) and 95.9 +/- 5.8 vs 97.4 +/- 5.8 l x min(-1)) modalities, however, the increases were not significantly different between groups. For all groups, sub-maximal HR significantly decreased from week 0 to 4, and from week 4 to 8.

Conclusion: In moderately active females similar physiological improvements were observed using stair-climber, elliptical trainer and treadmill running when training volume and intensity were equivalent.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Test*
  • Female
  • Fitness Centers
  • Humans
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Running / physiology*
  • Walking / physiology*