Resistance and aerobic exercise have similar effects on 24-h nutrient oxidation


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: November 2002 - Volume 34 - Issue 11 - pp 1793-1800
APPLIED SCIENCES: Physical Fitness and Performance

MELANSON, E. L., T. A. SHARP, H. M. SEAGLE, W. T. DONAHOO, G. K. GRUNWALD, J. C. PETERS, J. T. HAMILTON, and J. O. HILL. Resistance and aerobic exercise have similar effects on 24-h nutrient oxidation. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 34, No. 11, pp. 1793–1800, 2002.

Background: Whether resistance exercise is as effective as aerobic exercise for body-weight management is debated.

Purpose: To compare 24-h energy expenditure (EE) and macronutrient oxidation elicited by comparable bouts of stationary cycling (BK) and weightlifting (WTS).

Methods: 24-h EE and macronutrient oxidation were measured in 10 nonobese male subjects on three occasions using whole-room indirect calorimetry. BK and WTS days were compared with a nonexercise control day (Con).

Results: During BK, subjects exercised for 49 ± 7 min (mean ± SEM) at 70% of V̇O2max and expended 546 ± 16 kcal. During WTS, subjects performed a 70-min circuit consisting of four sets of 10 different exercises at 70% of exercise-specific 1-repetition maximum and expended 448 ± 21 kcal (P < 0.001 vs BK). 24-h EE on BK and WTS days (2787 ± 76 kcal·d−1, 2730 ± 106 kcal·d−1, respectively, P > 0.05) was elevated compared with Con (2260 ± 96 kcal·d−1, P < 0.001), but 24-h respiratory exchange ratio (RER) was not different. 24-h carbohydrate oxidation was significantly elevated on the exercise days (BK = 370 ± 18 g·d−1, WTS = 349 ± 23 g·d−1, P > 0.05) compared with Con (249 ± 29 g·d−1, P = 0.04). 24-h fat and protein oxidation were the same on BK, WTS, and Con days. EE and macronutrient oxidation in the periods after exercise also did not differ across conditions.

Conclusion: In men, resistance exercise has a similar effect on 24-h EE and macronutrient oxidation as a comparable bout of aerobic exercise. Neither exercise produced an increase in 24-h fat oxidation above that observed on a nonexercise control day.

Center for Human Nutrition, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO; and The Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati, OH

Submitted for publication February 2002.

Accepted for publication July 2002.

Address for correspondence: Edward L. Melanson, Ph.D., Center for Human Nutrition, Campus Box C225, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO 80262; E-mail:

We wish to thank the nurses, laboratory technicians, and kitchen personnel of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center General Clinical Research Center, for their professional assistance, and the staff of the University of Colorado Clinical Nutrition Research Unit Energy Balance Core Laboratory for managing the whole-room indirect calorimeter and monitoring the exercise sessions. We are also grateful to Christopher Melby, Dr.Ph., for his assistance in designing the resistance exercise protocol.

This work was supported by NIH Grants M01 RR00051 and R01 DK42549.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.