Neuromuscular and metabolic comparisons between ramp and step incremental cycle ergometer tests

Jorge M. Zuniga, Terry J. Housh, Clayton L. Camic, Haley C. Bergstrom, Daniel A. Traylor, Richard J. Schmidt, Glen O. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Introduction: We compared peak and submaximal mean values for neuromuscular and metabolic parameters between ramp (15 W·min-1) and step (30 W increments every 2 min) incremental cycle ergometer tests. Methods: Thirteen healthy adults (7 men and 6 women; mean ± SD age = 23.4 ± 3.3 years) performed randomly ordered ramp or step incremental tests. Two-way repeated measures analyses of variance were used to analyze the data. Results: The ramp incremental test resulted in lower mean EMG amplitude, O2, and HR values at the common power outputs, with no differences for MMG amplitude values. Conclusions: It is possible that the cumulative effect of producing an increased amount of work during the step (total work = 75.83 kJ) vs. ramp (total work = 65.60 kJ) incremental cycle ergometer tests at the common power outputs may have contributed to the greater fatigue-induced increase in muscle recruitment and/or firing rate, oxygen consumption, and heart rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-560
Number of pages6
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • Cycling
  • Electromyography
  • Exercise testing
  • Graded exercise
  • Mechanomyography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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