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Effect of an acute period of resistance exercise on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption: implications for body mass management

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Studies have shown metabolism to remain elevated for hours following resistance exercise, but none have gone beyond 16 h, nor have they followed a whole body, high intensity exercise protocol. To examine the duration of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) following a period of heavy resistance exercise, seven healthy men [mean (SD) age 22 (3) years, height 177 (8) cm, mass 83 (10) kg, percentage body fat 10.4 (4.2)%] engaged in a 31 min period of resistance exercise, consisting of four circuits of bench press, power cleans, and squats. Each set was performed using the subject's own predetermined ten-repetition maximum and continued until failure. Oxygen consumption (\( \dot V{\rm O}_{\rm 2} \) ) measurements were obtained at consistent times (34 h pre-, 29 h pre-, 24 h pre-, 10 h pre-, 5 h pre-, immediately post-, 14 h post-, 19 h post-, 24 h post-, 38 h post-, 43 h post-, and 48 h post-exercise). Post-exercise \( \dot V{\rm O}_{\rm 2} \) measurements were compared to the baseline measurements made at the same time of day. The \( \dot V{\rm O}_{\rm 2} \) was significantly elevated (P<0.05) above baseline values at immediately post, 14, 19, and 38 h post-exercise. Mean daily \( \dot V{\rm O}_{\rm 2} \) values for both post-exercise days were also significantly elevated above the mean value for the baseline day. These results suggest that EPOC duration following resistance exercise extends well beyond the previously reported duration of 16 h. The duration and magnitude of the EPOC observed in this study indicates the importance of future research to examine a possible role for high intensity resistance training in a weight management program for various populations.

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Schuenke, M.D., Mikat, R.P. & McBride, J.M. Effect of an acute period of resistance exercise on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption: implications for body mass management. Eur J Appl Physiol 86, 411–417 (2002).

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