Aerobic, anaerobic, and excess postexercise oxygen consumption energy expenditure of muscular endurance and strength: 1-set of bench press to muscular fatigue

J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Apr;25(4):903-8. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181c6a128.


We use a new approach to the estimation of energy expenditure for resistance training involving nonsteady state measures of work (weight × displacement), exercise O2 uptake, blood lactate, and recovery O2 uptake; all lifts were performed to muscular failure. Our intent was to estimate and compare absolute and relative aerobic and anaerobic exercise energy expenditure and recovery energy expenditure. Single-set bench press lifts of ∼ 37, ∼ 46, and ∼ 56% (muscular endurance-type exercise) along with 70, 80, and 90% (strength-type exercise) of a 1 repetition maximum were performed. Collectively, the muscular endurance lifts resulted in larger total energy expenditure (60.2 ± 14.5 kJ) as compared with the strength lifts (43.2 ± 12.5 kJ) (p = 0.001). Overall work also was greater for muscular endurance (462 ± 131 J) as opposed to strength (253 ± 93 J) (p = 0.001); overall work and energy expenditure were related (r = 0.87, p = 0.001). Anaerobic exercise and recovery energy expenditure were significantly larger for all strength lifts as compared with aerobic exercise energy expenditure (p < 0.001). For the muscular endurance lifts, anaerobic energy expenditure was larger than recovery energy expenditure (p < 0.001) that in turn was larger than aerobic exercise energy expenditure (p < 0.001). We conclude that for a single set of resistance training to fatigue, the anaerobic and recovery energy expenditure contributions can be significantly larger than aerobic energy expenditure during the exercise. To our surprise, recovery energy expenditure was similar both within strength and muscular-endurance protocols and between protocols; moreover, recovery energy expenditure had little to no relationship with aerobic and anaerobic exercise energy expenditure or work.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Male
  • Muscle Fatigue / physiology*
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*
  • Young Adult


  • Lactic Acid