The effects of intensity of exercise on excess postexercise oxygen consumption and energy expenditure in moderately trained men and women

  • Jo Smith
  • Lars Mc Naughton


This experiment investigated the effects of intensity of exercise on excess postexercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) in eight trained men and eight women. Three exercise intensities were employed 40%, 50%, and 70% of the predetermined maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max). All ventilation measured was undertaken with a standard, calibrated, open circuit spirometry system. No differences in the 40%, 50% and 70% VO2max trials were observed among resting levels of oxygen consumption (V02) for either the men or the women. The men had significantly higher resting VO2 values being 0.31 (SEM 0.01) 1·min−1 than did the women, 0.26 (SEM 0.01) 1·min−1 (P < 0.05). The results indicated that there were highly significant EPOC for both the men and the women during the 3-h postexercise period when compared with resting levels and that these were dependent upon the exercise intensity employed. The duration of EPOC differed between the men and the women but increased with exercise intensity: for the men 40% − 31.2 min; 50% − 42.1 min; and 70% − 47.6 min and for the women, 40% − 26.9 min; 50% − 35.6 min; and 70% − 39.1 min. The highest EPOC, in terms of both time and energy utilised was at 70% VO2max. The regression equation for the men, where y=O2 in litres, and x=exercise intensity as a percentage of maximum was y=0.380x + 1.9 (r2=0.968) and for the women is y=0.374x−0.857 (r2=0.825). These findings would indicate that the men and the women had to exercise at the same percentage of their VO2max to achieve the maximal benefits in terms of energy expenditure and hence body mass loss. However, it was shown that a significant EPOC can be achieved at moderate to low exercise intensities but without the same body mass loss and energy expenditure.

Key words

Metabolism Respiratory exchange ratio Excess postexercise oxygen consumption 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jo Smith
    • 1
  • Lars Mc Naughton
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Human Movement StudiesUniversity of Tasmania at LauncestonLauncestonAustralia

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