Changes in ventilation in response to ramp changes in treadmill exercise load

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These experiments examined the changes in ventilation during a 40-s ramp increase in exercise load, produced by increasing either the speed of the treadmill or the grade, to equivalent end-points of oxygen uptake. Six subjects underwent five trials each for grade and speed, while ventilation was monitored breath-by-breath. For each subject, ventilation versus time for all five of the speed trials was plotted on a single graph and fitted by linear regression. The data for the grade trials were similarly treated. For all subjects, the slope of the regression line for the speed plots was found to be significantly (P<0.05) greater than that for the grade plots. We concluded that these experimental results support the hypothesis that the neural drive to ventilation persists as exercise continues and is proportionately related to the frequency of limb movement.