Ergogenic Effect of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation During Rest and Submaximal Exercise

Wayland Tseh, Hollie M. Champion, Ek Susanna, Will R. Frazier, Anna E. Kinslow, Caroline W. McClain, Tiago V. Barreira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The primary aim of this investigation was to determine the ergogenic effect of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) amongst twenty apparently healthy males during submaximal exercise. In Session 1, 20 participants (Age = 35.0 ± 15.0 yrs; Height = 179.9 ± 8.5 cm; Body Mass = 85.4 ± 12.0 kg) were familiarized with all equipment. Sessions 2-4 included the following randomized 5-min trials a) Rest and Rest+NMES, b) Rest, Arms-Only, Arms+NMES, and c) Rest, Arms+Legs, Arms+Legs+NMES. Physiological variables collected during rest and submaximal exercise were volume of oxygen (VO2), heart rate (HR), systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), and rate pressure product (RPP). Paired sample t-test was used to determine significant mean differences between the NMES and non-NMES trials. Bonferroni post-hoc analysis established alpha at 0.008. From the 18 paired t-tests, the only observed significant mean difference (t(19) =-6.4, p < 0.001) was RER values between the Arms-Only trial compared to the Arms+NMES trial (0.94 and 1.00, respectively). While RER displayed a significant difference, from a practical perspective, however, these differences were deemed non-physiologically significant. Viewed in concert, findings from this study suggests that NMES utilization does not evoke an acute ergogenic effect amongst an apparently healthy male population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-213
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Exercise Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019


  • Electricity
  • apparently healthy
  • ergogenicity
  • muscles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Therapy


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