Effects of resistance exercise bouts of different intensities but equal work on EPOC

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002 Apr;34(4):715-22. doi: 10.1097/00005768-200204000-00024.


Purpose: To compare the effect of low- and high-intensity resistance exercise of equal work output, on exercise and excess postexercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).

Methods: Fourteen female subjects performed a no-exercise baseline control (CN), and nine exercises for two sets of 15 repetitions at 45% of their 8-RM during one session (LO) and two sets of 8 repetitions at 85% of their 8-RM during another session (HI). Measures for all three sessions included: heart rate (HR) and blood lactate (La) preexercise, immediately postexercise and 20 min, 60 min, and 120 min postexercise; and ventilation volume (VE), oxygen consumption (VO(2)), and respiratory exchange ratio (RER) during exercise and at intervals 0-20 min, 45-60 min, and 105-120 min postexercise.

Results: Exercise .VO(2) was not significantly different between HI and LO, but VE, [La], and HR were significantly greater for HI compared with LO. Exercise RER for HI (1.07 +/- 0.03 and LO (1.05 +/- 0.02) were significantly higher than CN (0.86 +/- 0.02), but there were no differences among conditions postexercise. EPOC was greater for HI compared with low at 0-20 min (HI,1.72 +/- 0.70 LO(2); LO, 0.9 +/- 0.65, LO(2)), 45-60 min (HI, 0.35 +/- 0.25 LO(2); LO, 0.14 +/- 0.19 LO2), and 105-120 min (HI, 0.22 +/- 0.22 LO(2); LO, 0.05 +/- 0.11, LO(2)).

Conclusion: These data indicate that for resistance exercise bouts with an equated work volume, high-intensity exercise (85% 8-RM) will produce similar exercise oxygen consumption, with a greater EPOC magnitude and volume than low-intensity exercise (45% 8-RM).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology*


  • Lactic Acid