Vezina, J. W., Meckes, N., Der Ananian, C. A., Campbell, K., D., & Ainsworth, B. E. (2012). A measurement of the energy cost of resistance training activities in young men. Presentation 2214 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012.

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This study determined the energy cost of four modes of resistance training (push-ups, curl-ups, pull-ups, and lunges) in young men (N = 12). Ss completed three trials of each of the four exercises, in a randomly assigned order, during one visit to the laboratory which lasted slightly longer than one hour. Each activity was performed to the beat of a metronome (40 beats per minute). Ss were asked to complete repetitions of the exercises at this rate for 60 seconds. A total of 20 repetitions were completed if the S was able to complete the activity for the entire duration. Average times spent in push-ups (59.4 seconds), curl-ups (60.0 seconds), pull-ups (29.3 seconds), and lunges (60.0 seconds) were recorded. The oxygen consumption of each S was monitored constantly throughout the trials by indirect calorimetry, and data were recorded every five seconds. Mean oxygen uptake values were calculated for each exercise by averaging the oxygen consumption (ml/kg/min), for the final two trials of each activity. Those VO2 values were converted to metabolic equivalents (METs) to express energy expenditure.

The mean VO2 values obtained for the four resistance activities were: push-ups (11.57 ml/kg/min), curl-ups (10.99 ml/kg/min), pull-ups (10.87 ml/kg/min), and lunges (14.18 ml/kg/min). The corresponding MET values were: push-ups: 3.31, curl-ups: 3.14, pull-ups: 3.11, and lunges: 4.05. All were within the range of moderate intensity activity.

Implication. A single set of any of the above exercises will qualify as a moderate intensity activity and can be used to meet recommendations on daily physical activity.

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