Peak and submaximal physiologic responses following electrical stimulation leg cycle ergometer training

S. P. Hooker, A. M.E. Scremin, D. L. Mutton, C. F. Kunkel, G. Cagle

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45 Scopus citations


Eight males with spinal cord injury (SCI) participated in an exercise training program using neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) leg cycle ergometry. Each subject completed a minimum of 24 (mean±SD=38.1±17.2) 30- minute training sessions over a 19-week period. The initial work rate (WR) of 0 watts (W) of unloaded cycling was increased when appropriate with subjects exercising at 11.4±3.7W (range=6.1W-18.3W) at the end of the training program. Randomized block repeated measures ANOVA was used to compare pretraining and posttraining peak physiologic responses during graded NMES leg cycle tests and subpeak physiologic responses during 10 minutes of NMES leg cycle exercise at an absolute WR (0 W). A significant (P≤0.05) increase was observed for peak V̇O2; (+10%, 1.29±0.30 to 1.42±0.39 l · min-1). No other statistically significant differences were noted for any other peak variable (V̇CO2, V̇O2 ml · kg-1 · min-1, V̇(E), WR, HR, RER) pre- to posttraining. During submaximal NMES leg cycle testing, a significant decrease was noted for RER (-9.2%, 1.19±0.14 to 1.08±0.09). No other submaximal variable (V̇O2 l · min-1, ml · kg-1 · min-1, V̇CO2, HR, V̇(E)) showed significant changes as a result of the training. Although the improvement in peak V̇O2 was not as dramatic as those reported in previous studies, it appears that NMES leg cycle training performed two times per week can significantly enhance cardiorespiratory fitness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-366
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1995


  • aerobic fitness
  • exercise
  • oxygen consumption
  • paraplegia
  • quadriplegia
  • rehabilitation
  • spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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