Acute and Chronic Effects of Exercise Using an Exercycle in Healthy, Untrained Adults

Lee N Cunningham, Robert C Cantu


This study examined three factors related to exercise with an Exercycle, a motor-driven upper and lower body exercise machine. We examined the effects of Exercycle training on peak oxygen consumption V̇o2, peak heart rate, peak minute ventilation, and peak respiratory exchange ratio. We compared the physiologic responses to graded exercise between the Exercycle and a standard lower extremity (LE) cycle ergometer. We also compared the differences in training responses between male and female subjects. A 6-week cardiorespiratory training program was completed by 20 healthy untrained adults (9 male, 11 female), aged 18 to 53 years. Pretraining and posttraining testing was completed on the Exercycle and on an LE cycle ergometer using a graded protocol. Absolute peak V̇o2 improved by 14% for men and by 7% for women after training based on Exercycle testing and by 6% for both men and women based on LE cycle ergometer testing. The posttraining submaximal heart rates were lower at any given absolute peak V̇o2 level for the Exercycle but not for the LE cycle ergometer. Exercycle testing revealed a larger peak V̇o2 than did LE cycle ergometer testing for both genders. The Exercycle appears to be effective for promoting cardiorespiratory fitness in healthy, untrained adults. The authors found comparable submaximal physiologic responses to graded exercise between the Exercycle and the LE cycle ergometer.

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  • Received January 17, 1989.
  • Accepted March 12, 1990.