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  1. Robles, Priscila PhD
  2. Araujo, Tamara MSc
  3. Brooks, Dina PhD
  4. Zabjek, Karl PhD
  5. Janaudis-Ferreira, Tania PhD
  6. Marzolini, Susan PhD
  7. Goldstein, Roger MD
  8. Mathur, Sunita PhD


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 ([approximately equal to]40% vs 20% of the



O2peak; [approximately equal to]60% vs 20% of



Epeak; and [approximately equal to]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.