Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Cardiorespiratory Responses to Short Bouts of Resistance Training Exercises in Individuals With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A COMPARISON OF EXERCISE INTENSITIES

Robles, Priscila PhD; Araujo, Tamara MSc; Brooks, Dina PhD; Zabjek, Karl PhD; Janaudis-Ferreira, Tania PhD; Marzolini, Susan PhD; Goldstein, Roger MD; Mathur, Sunita PhD

Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention: September 2017 - Volume 37 - Issue 5 - p 356–362
doi: 10.1097/HCR.0000000000000282
Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Purpose: Resistance training is recommended in pulmonary rehabilitation for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); however, the acute cardiorespiratory responses to different intensities of resistance training are not known. We compared acute cardiorespiratory responses with high-intensity versus low-intensity resistance exercises in persons with COPD and healthy, matched controls. This research may assist in developing training parameters in COPD.

Methods: Participants (n = 10 per group) performed 1 set of 10 repetitions of leg extension and arm elevation at 2 intensities: 40% (low) and 80% (high) of 1-repetition maximum. Minute ventilation (

E), oxygen uptake (

O2), and heart rate (HR) data were collected continuously and expressed as absolute values and relative to values at

O2peak derived from a cardiopulmonary exercise test. Blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were monitored before and after each set of exercises.

Results: Individuals with COPD showed similar


O2, and HR with high- versus low-intensity exercises. RPE was higher after high- vs low-intensity leg extension (4 ± 1.4 vs 2 ± 1, P < .005) and arm elevation (3 ± 2 vs 1 ± 1.4, P < .005). Compared with healthy participants, relative


E, and HR were higher in COPD (≅40% vs 20% of the

O2peak; ≅60% vs 20% of

Epeak; and ≅80% vs 20% of HRpeak; all Ps ≤ .004). Absolute responses and RPE were similar between groups, irrespective of intensity and exercise.

Conclusion: Immediate cardiorespiratory responses to an acute bout of resistance exercise appear to be independent of the exercise intensity in COPD. Although people with COPD are working closer to their

O2peak, their responses and RPE are comparable with healthy controls.

We compared acute cardiorespiratory responses with short bouts of high- versus low-intensity weight training in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and healthy controls. Responses were independent of intensity in both groups. Although individuals with COPD worked at higher percentages of their maximum aerobic capacity during resistance exercises, responses were comparable with their healthy counterparts.

Respiratory Medicine, West Park Healthcare Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Drs Robles, Brooks, Goldstein, and Mathur and Ms Araujo,); Rehabilitation Sciences Institute (Drs Robles, Brooks, Zabjek, Goldstein, and Mathur) and Department of Physical Therapy (Drs Brooks, Zabjek, and Mathur), University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada; School of Physical & Occupational Therapy, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (Dr Janaudis-Ferreira); and Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation Program, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute—University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Dr Marzolini).

Correspondence: Sunita Mathur, PhD, PT, Physical Therapy Department, University of Toronto, 160-500 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5G 1V7, Canada (

Preliminary findings were presented at Canadian Respiratory Conference in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (April 2014) and Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (April 2015).

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.