Comparison of the acute metabolic responses to traditional resistance, body-weight, and battling rope exercises

J Strength Cond Res. 2015 Jan;29(1):47-57. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000584.


The purpose of this study was to quantify and compare the acute metabolic responses to resistance exercise protocols comprising free-weight, body-weight, and battling rope (BR) exercises. Ten resistance-trained men (age = 20.6 ± 1.3 years) performed 13 resistance exercise protocols on separate days in random order consisting of only one exercise per session. For free-weight exercise protocols, subjects performed 3 sets of up to 10 repetitions with 75% of their 1 repetition maximum. For the push-up (PU) and push-up on a BOSU ball protocols, subjects performed 3 sets of 20 repetitions. For the burpee and PU with lateral crawl protocols, subjects performed 3 sets of 10 repetitions. For the plank and BR circuit protocols, subjects performed 3 sets of 30-second bouts. A standard 2-minute rest interval (RI) was used in between all sets for each exercise. Data were averaged for the entire protocol including work and RIs. Mean oxygen consumption was significantly greatest during the BR (24.6 ± 2.6 ml·kg·min) and burpee (22.9 ± 2.1 ml·kg·min) protocols. For the free-weight exercises, highest mean values were seen in the squat (19.6 ± 1.8 ml·kg·min), deadlift (18.9 ± 3.0 ml·kg·min), and lunge (17.3 ± 2.6 ml·kg·min). No differences were observed between PUs performed on the floor vs. on a BOSU ball. However, adding a lateral crawl to the PU significantly increased mean oxygen consumption (19.5 ± 2.9 ml·kg·min). The lowest mean value was seen during the plank exercise (7.9 ± 0.7 ml·kg·min). These data indicate performance of exercises with BRs and a body-weight burpee exercise elicit relatively higher acute metabolic demands than traditional resistance exercises performed with moderately heavy loading.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Random Allocation
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*
  • Young Adult