The influence of crank rate on peak oxygen consumption during arm crank ergometry

Paul M. Smith, Michael J. Price, Mike Doherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to assess the influence of three imposed crank rates on the attainment of peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) and other physiological responses during incremental arm crank ergometry. Twenty physically active, although non-specifically trained, males volunteered for the study. They completed an exercise protocol using an electrically braked arm ergometer (Lode Angio, Groningen, Netherlands) at crank rates of 60, 70 and 80 rev·min-1. The order of tests was randomized and they were separated by at least 2 days. Peak VO2 was significantly higher (P < 0.05) at 70 and 80 rev·min-1 than at 60 rev·min-1. Peak ventilation volume increased as a function of crank rate and was higher (P < 0.05) at 80 than at 60 rev·min-1. Peak heart rate was higher (P < 0.05) at 70 and 80 rev·min-1 than at 60 rev·min-1. Furthermore, 70 and 80 rev·min-1 resulted in an extended test time compared with 60 rev·min-1. The greater physiological responses observed during the tests at the two faster crank rates might have been the result of a postponement of acute localized neuromuscular fatigue, allowing for more work to be completed. We recommend, therefore, that an imposed crank rate between 70 and 80 rev·min-1 should be used to elicit VO2peak and other physiological responses in arm crank ergometry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-960
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes



  • Cardiorespiratory stress
  • Localized neuromuscular fatigue
  • Total work done

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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