European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 114, Issue 9, pp 1801–1807

Metabolic and cardiovascular responses during voluntary pedaling exercise with electrical muscle stimulation

  • Kohei Watanabe
  • Yoshiki Taniguchi
  • Toshio Moritani
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

We aimed to test the effect of additional electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) during moderate-intensity voluntary pedaling exercise on metabolic and cardiovascular responses.

Methods

Eleven healthy male subjects performed moderate-intensity pedaling exercise at a constant workload (80 % of ventilatory threshold) for 20 min while EMS was applied to thigh muscles from 5 to 10 min and from 15 to 20 min during the exercise.

Results

A significantly higher oxygen uptake (VO2), heart rate, and respiratory gas exchange ratio were observed during the exercise periods with EMS despite the constant workload. These changes were accompanied by an elevated blood lactate concentration, suggesting the existence of additional fast-twitch motor unit (MU) recruitment during the exercise with EMS.

Conclusion

Our data suggest that the use of intermittent EMS during a constant load exercise mimics the high-intensity interval training, possibly due to additional fast-twitch MU recruitment and co-contractions of the quadriceps and hamstrings muscles, leading to higher anaerobic metabolism and a lower mechanical efficiency.

Keywords

Involuntary exercise Electrical muscle stimulation Fast-twitch motor units Lactate Interval training 

Abbreviations

ECG

Electrocardiogram

EMS

Electrical muscle stimulation

HR

Heart rate

MU

Motor unit

PETCO2

End-tidal CO2 partial pressure

PETO2

End-tidal O2 partial pressure

RPE

Rate of perceived exertion

T2DM

Type 2 diabetes mellitus VO2 oxygen uptake

\(\dot{V}{\text{E}}\)

Ventilation

\(\dot{V}{\text{CO}}_{2}\)

Carbon dioxide production

\(\dot{V}{\text{O}}_{{2{ \hbox{max} }}}\)

Maximal oxygen uptake

\(\dot{V}{\text{O}}_{2}\)

Oxygen uptake

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kohei Watanabe
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yoshiki Taniguchi
    • 2
  • Toshio Moritani
    • 2
  1. 1.School of International Liberal StudiesChukyo UniversityNagoyaJapan
  2. 2.Laboratory of Applied Physiology, Graduate School of Human and Environmental StudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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