A Comparison of Physiological Demand between Self-Propelled and Motorized Treadmill Exercise
- Motorized Treadmills
There are a wide range of options for individuals to choose from in order to engage in aerobic exercise; from outdoor running to computer controlled and self-propelled treadmills. Recently, self-propelled treadmills have increased in popularity and provide an alternative to a motorized treadmill. Twenty subjects (10 men, 10 women) ranging in age from 19-23 with a mean of 20.4 ± 0.8 SD were participants in this study. The subjects visited the laboratory on three occasions. The purpose of the first visit was to familiarize the subject with the self-propelled treadmill (Woodway Curve 3.0). The second visit, subjects were instructed to run on the self-propelled treadmill for 3km at a self-determined pace. Speed data were collected directly from the self-propelled treadmill. The third visit used speed data collected during the self-propelled treadmill run to create an identically paced 3km run for the subjects to perform on a motorized treadmill (COSMED T150). During both the second and third visit, oxygen consumption (VO2) and respiratory exchange ratio (R) data were collected with COSMED’s Quark cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) metabolic mixing chamber system. The VO2 mean value for the self-propelled treadmill (44.90 ± 1.65 SE ml/kg/min) was significantly greater than the motorized treadmill (34.38 ± 1.39 SE ml/kg/min). The mean R value for the self-propelled treadmill (0.91 ± 0.01 SE) was significantly greater than the motorized treadmill (0.86 ± 0.01 SE). Our study demonstrated that a 3km run on a self-propelled treadmill does elicit a greater physiological response than a 3km run at on a standard motorized treadmill. Self-propelled treadmills provide a mode of exercise that offers increased training loads and should be considered as an alternative to motorized treadmills.
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