Effects of low- and moderate-intensity training in spinal cord-injured persons

S P Hooker, C L Wells
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 1989, 21 (1): 18-22
This study examined the applicability of exercise prescription guidelines established for the able-bodied to spinal cord-injured (SCI) persons. Two SCI groups performed wheelchair ergometry (WCE) 20 min three times per week for 8 wk. Low-intensity (LI, N = 6) and moderate-intensity (MI, N = 5) groups trained at 50-60% and 70-80% maximal heart rate reserve (HRR), respectively. The subjects completed an incremental discontinuous maximal WCE test to exhaustion pre- and post-training. A submaximal WCE test consisting of 4-min exercise stages at power outputs of 5, 10, and 15 W was also performed pre- and post-training. Blood samples were collected before and after training and analyzed for total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C). The TC/HDL-C ratio was calculated. Both groups exhibited no significant changes (P greater than 0.10) in VO2max, HRmax, POmax, lactate (La)max, and VO2 at 4 mmol [La]. No pre- to post-training differences were recorded in the LI group for submaximal VO2, HR, VE, La, and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE). The MI group had significantly lower (P less than or equal to 0.10) post-training submaximal HR, La, and RPE and no changes in VO2 or VE. Blood lipid levels remained unaltered in the LI group, while the MI group exhibited significant increases in HDL-C and decreases in TG, LDL-C, and the TC/HDL-C ratio. The maximal test data revealed that 8 wk of LI and MI wheelchair ergometry training did not improve VO2max in SCI persons.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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