A constant-velocity cycle ergometer for the study of dynamic muscle function
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A cycle ergometer has been designed to measure the force exerted on the pedal cranks during maximum effort at a variety of constant velocities. Preset crank velocities of 13-166 rpm are established by a controlled 3-hp motor and cannot be overcome by the subject. Torque is measured by strain gauges bonded to the crank shafts; peak torque, peak power, work, and average power are derived for each pedal cycle. Studies in 30 healthy male subjects established reproducibility and normal standards. During exercise for 45 s at a constant velocity of 60 rpm, there was a wide intersubject variation in both maximal torque (118-226 N . m) and the percentage decline in torque (27.2-52.0%). The decline in torque was inversely related to maximal O2 intake (r = 0.84). During short (10-s) periods of exercise at six crank velocities between 60-160 rpm, a linear inverse relationship between maximal peak torque and pedal crank velocity was observed. The peak torque-velocity relationship and the percentage decline in peak torque during 30 s exercise at 60, 100, and 140 rpm were reproducible within a given subject, the coefficient of variation was less than 10%.
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