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George T. Hardison Jr., Richard G. Israel, and Grant W. Somes

The purpose of this study was to identify the most desirable cranking rate to be used by paraplegic individuals during submaximal arm training programs. Eleven healthy paraplegic males (M age = 28.8 years) with lesion levels ranging from T4 to T12 served as subjects. Arm exercise loads for the four submaximal cranking rates studied (50, 60, 70, and 80 rpm) were set to elicit 60% of peak V̇O2. Duration of the submaximal tests was 15 min. V̇E, V̇O2, RER, HR, and differentiated RPE were recorded each minute throughout the 15-min test. A randomized block ANOVA and Duncan’s post hoc analysis indicated that 80 rpm produced significantly higher (p <.05) values for HR, absolute V̇O2, V̇E, V̇CO2, and V̇E/V̇O2 than any other rates. Cranking at 70 rpm resulted in significantly higher (p <.05) values for O2 pulse, while relative V̇O2 was significantly higher (p <05) at 70 rpm than at all other rates except 80 rpm. RPE was significantly higher (p <.05) at 50 rpm than at 60 or 70 rpm, with no difference between 50 and 80 or 60, 70, and 80. The authors concluded that 70 rpm was the most appropriate cranking rate for paraplegic males to use during arm training programs.