Energy expenditure during bench press and squat exercises

Robert Robergs, Toryanno Gordon, Jeff Reynolds, Thomas B. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the popularity of resistance training (RT), an accurate method for quantifying its metabolic cost has yet to be developed. We applied indirect calorimetry during bench press (BP) and parallel squat (PS) exercises for 5 consecutive minutes at several steady state intensities for 23 (BP) and 20 (PS) previously trained men. Tests were conducted in random order of intensity and separated by 5 minutes. Resultant steady state V'<sub>O</sub><sub>2</sub> data, along with the independent variables load and distance lifted, were used in multiple regression to predict the energy cost of RT at higher loads. The prediction equation for BP was Y' = 0. 132 + (0. 031)(X<sub>L</sub>) + (0. 01)(X<sub>2</sub>), R² = 0. 728 and S<sub>xy</sub> = 0. 16; PS can be predicted by Y' =-1. 424 + (0. 022)(X<sub>1</sub>) + (0. 035)(X<sub>2</sub>), R² = 0. 656 and S<sub>xy</sub> = 0. 314; where Y' is V'<sub>O</sub><sub>2</sub>, X<sub>1</sub> is the load measured in kg and X<sub>2</sub> is the distance in cm. Based on a respiratory exchange ratio (RER) of 1. 0 and a caloric equivalent of 5. 05 kcal·L<sup>-1</sup>, V'<sub>O</sub><sub>2</sub> was converted to caloric expenditure (kcal·min<sup>-1</sup>). Using those equations to predict caloric cost, our resultant values were significantly larger than caloric costs of RT reported in previous investigations. Despite a potential limitation of our equations to maintain accuracy during very high-intensity RT, we propose that they currently represent the most accurate method for predicting the caloric cost of bench press and parallel squat.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-130
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007


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