Physiological demands of standing and wheelchair fencing in able-bodied fencers
BACKGROUNDː The purpose of this study was to determine the cardiorespiratory demands of standing and wheelchair (seated) fencing in a group of able-bodied fencers during simulated competitive bouts.METHODSː Participants were ten male able-bodied fencers of regional level with previous training experience in wheelchair fencing. After a standardised warm-up participants performed two series of simulated competitive épée bouts (5 and 15 touches) in a random order, either while standing or while sitting in a wheelchair. Expired gas was analysed for oxygen consumption (V̇O2) and respiratory exchange ratio (RER) and heart rate were continually monitored. Energy expenditure (EE) was subsequently calculated.RESULTSː V̇O2, HR and EE peak responses were greater during standing than seated fencing (p< .05). Mean V̇O2 during all ST bouts (5 and 15 touch) was 43% greater than in WC fencing (44.2 ± 7.8 vs. 25.1 ± 5.4 ml·kg-1·min-1). Mean HR during the standing 5 and 15 touch bouts was 91% ± 20% and 84% ± 7% of that recorded during the seated bouts. HR, V̇O2 and EE data also indicated that the 15-touch bouts were more physiologically demanding than the 5-touch bouts (P < .01). The HR-V̇O2 relationship was similar between both fencing modes. The duration of the 5 and 15 touch bouts were shorter for the seated than the standing bouts (P < .01).CONCLUSIONSː The physiological demands of wheelchair fencing are lower than those for standing fencing. Furthermore, the physiology of 5 vs. 15 touch bouts, similar to those undertaken in fencing competition, also differs.