STRENGTH CYCLE TRAINING: EFFECTS ON MUSCULAR STRENGTH AND AEROBIC CONDITIONING

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

The strength cycle ergometer has been proposed as a method of simultaneously increasing aerobic conditioning and muscular strength, because of its unique capacity of disengaging the pedal crank, thus allowing for concurrent single-leg cycling. The purpose of this study was to assess the aerobic and muscular strength effects of strength cycle training (SCT), comparing it to similar standard cycle training. A total of 28 recreationally-trained adult subjects (9 men, 19 women) were paired for JOURNAL/jscr/04.02/00124278-200702000-00032/ENTITY_OV0312/v/2017-07-20T235329Z/r/image-pngO2peak and randomly assigned to either SCT or Monark cycle training (MCT). Subjects trained 3 days per week following a progressive interval protocol for 9 weeks under supervised conditions. Training intervals (5 minutes' duration) consisted of 3 minutes of standard cycling at an intensity of 60–85% of maximum heart rate (HRmax), and 2 minutes of either the disengaged cycling mode (SCT) or standard cycling plus 30 W (MCT). Subjects began training for a total of 25 minutes per session, progressing to 45 minutes per session by study's end. Prior to and following training, subjects were measured for JOURNAL/jscr/04.02/00124278-200702000-00032/ENTITY_OV0312/v/2017-07-20T235329Z/r/image-pngO2peak; submaximal JOURNAL/jscr/04.02/00124278-200702000-00032/ENTITY_OV0312/v/2017-07-20T235329Z/r/image-pngO2, heart rate (HR), RPE, power output, and knee and ankle isokinetic strength. Training resulted in significant (p ≤ 0.05) increases in JOURNAL/jscr/04.02/00124278-200702000-00032/ENTITY_OV0312/v/2017-07-20T235329Z/r/image-pngO2peak (14.5%) and submaximal power output (11%), and significant reductions in submaximal JOURNAL/jscr/04.02/00124278-200702000-00032/ENTITY_OV0312/v/2017-07-20T235329Z/r/image-pngO2, HR, and RPE in both groups. Significant increases in bilateral isokinetic knee extension (4–6%) and left ankle plantar flexion (10.5%) were noted following training in both groups. No group differences were detected in any variable. Although the strength cycle effectively increased aerobic function and resulted in modest selected increases in lower-extremity muscular strength, these changes were not different from those seen using a similar standard cycling protocol.

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