Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Human Performance and Health Education


Health, Physical Education & Recreation

First Advisor

Dr. Roger Zabik

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Dawson

Third Advisor

Dr. Timothy J. Michael

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Daniel L. Carl

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The study compared the effects of elliptical trainer exercise at different grade (G) and resistance (R) settings on the following variables: (a) heart rate, (b) heart rate as a percentage of maximum heart rate, (c) relative VO2, (d) relative VO2 as a percentage of VO2 max, (e) absolute energy cost, (f) relative energy cost, (g) RPE for legs, (h) RPE for chest, and (i) RPE for overall body. Heart rate, relative VO2, Respiratory Exchange Ratio, and RPE were measured as 30 subjects completed nine experimental conditions. The experimental conditions consisted of striding forward on the elliptical trainer (Precor® EFX™ 546) at 130 strides per min at three grades - G4, G8, and G12, at three resistances - R4, R8, and R12. ANOVAs revealed physiological variables and RPE for legs increased significantly as grade and resistance were increased. ANOVAs revealed RPEs for chest and overall body increased significantly as resistance was increased. Increased resistance caused greater physiological and perceptual responses than increased grade. The elliptical trainer provided a range of workloads and would be an appropriate cardiovascular exercise modality for adults of varying fitness levels.