Date of Award

Spring 5-2013

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Human Performance and Recreation

First Advisor

Michael J. Webster

Advisor Department

Human Performance and Recreation


The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of upper body versus lower body ergometry on blood lactate concentration ([La]) disappearance. Ten individuals (age: 20.6 ± 1.3 yrs, height: 1.72 ± 0.08 m, weight: 66.77 ± 10.42 kg) completed preliminary testing sessions, 3-5 days apart, to determine the power output corresponding with the subject’s onset of blood lactate (OBLA), which for the purposes of this study is considered the subject’s lactate threshold (LT), for leg ergometry (LTL) and arm ergometry (LTA). Participants then returned to the laboratory on three separate occasions to complete the experimental sessions. Each session consisted of a 5-min standardized warm up, followed by a 2-min high-intensity exercise bout of combined leg and arm ergometry, followed by a 15-min recovery and a half-mile performance trial. The 15-min recovery was randomly performed in one of three conditions: 1) performing leg ergometry (LE) at a power output corresponding with 80% of the LT determined for LE, 2) performing arm ergometry (AE) at a power output corresponding with 80% of the LT determined for AE, and 3) sitting passively on the ergometer (PAR). The mean recovery outputs were 115.9 ± 5.5 and 57.7 ± 2.9 W for the LE and AE, respectively. Comparing the three recovery modes for the percent decreases [La] clearance indicated no significant difference (p > 0.05). None of the three recovery modes resulted in significant time differences in the performance trial (p > 0.05). In conclusion, neither LER, AER, nor PAR showed any significance in being superior to one another in clearing [La] during recovery nor having any impact on exercise performance times.