L. Kravitz, B. Wax, J.J. Mayo, R. Daniels, and K. Charette

During the past two years a new type of exercise mode, referred to as elliptical training, has become popular in the club industry and home consumer market. At present, very little is known about the metabolic responses to this type of training. The purpose of this investigation was to compare the physiological responses of forward (FR), backward (BK), FR with resistance (RE), FR with increased speed (SP) and FR with increased slope (IS) on a Precor® EFX elliptical device. Twenty healthy male and female volunteer subjects (age = 19.8 ± 2.3 yrs; wt = 73.4 ± 17.9 kg) completed five-minute trials for each condition at 125 strides.min-1 and 135 strides.min-1 for the SP trial. Oxygen consumption (VO2), ventilation (VE), and heart rate (HR) were monitored continuously using open circuit spirometry and telemetry. MANOVA with repeated measures revealed a significant (p < .0001) within group effect for all dependent variables as shown in the table below.

Results indicate that RE and SP elicit the greatest physiological response with BK providing a better stimulus compared to FR. We conclude that elliptical training provides a sufficient metabolic challenge for the development and maintenance of cardiovascular fitness.

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