Nuñez TP1, Beltz NM1 2, Vandusseldorp TA3, Mermier CM1, Kravitz L1. Designing the Optimal Suspension Training Circuit. 1University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. 2University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA. 3Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia, USA.


Introduction: Benefits of circuit training have been researched for many years. However, there is no peer-reviewed research regarding energy expenditure when integrating a Suspension Training® (ST) device into a circuit protocol. The primary purpose of this study was to quantify and compare the acute metabolic responses of two commonly utilized ST work protocols, and to determine if there is a difference in these protocols between men and women. Methods: Two work-to-rest ratios [long work (LW) 45:15-sec, short work (SW) 30:15-sec] were employed for a circuit-style ST protocol in trained males (n =12) and females (n = 12), ages 19-28 yrs. Energy expenditure (EE) was determined via indirect calorimetry. In order to match total work time (12 min of total exercise), the LW protocol was performed twice (18 min total workout time) and SW protocol was performed three times (16 min total workout time). Variables analyzed were EE, O2 consumption (VO2), heart rate (HR), total repetitions (TR), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE). Protocol comparisons were made using ANOVA with repeated measures (p ≤0.05) for all variables. Results: Total EE was greater in the SW compared to the LW protocol (138 ±31 kcal vs. 122 ±31 kcal, p < 0.05), as was TR (416 ±68 reps vs. 383 ±85 reps, p < 0.05), respectively. Percent-VO2max for the LW and SW protocols were 45% and 50%, respectively. There was no significant difference between average-EE between the LW and SW protocols. Females had a significantly higher HR response for both protocols compared to males (LW: female = 174 ±6 bpm; male = 158 ±13 bpm; SW: female = 171 ±10 bpm; male = 156 ±14 bpm). Conclusion: Based on %VO2max, both the SW and LW protocols met ACSM adult guidelines for improvement of aerobic capacity in men and women and elicited high EE given the short exercise time. Women had a higher percent-HRmax response compared to men, while men had a higher percent-VO2max response compared to women.