Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Aerobic energy expenditure and intensity prediction during a specific circuit weight training: A pilot study

Pedro José Benito Peinado, María Álvarez Sánchez, Víctor Díaz Molina, Ana Belén Peinado Lozano, Francisco Javier Calderón Montero



During circuit weight training (CWT), workloads, index of intensity as well as estimation of energy expenditure (EE) have been under estimated. The aim of this study was to describe and evaluate physiological variables and gender related differences, including intensity prediction and EE, during CWT at different intensities. Twenty six subjects were assessed in a CWT, fourteen men and twelve women. The CWT program was performed at six different intensities, 40%, 50%, 60%, 70%, 80% and 85% of 15RM. Seven exercises made up the circuit: sitting bench press, leg press, lat pull down, shoulder press, hamstring curl, biceps curl, and triceps cable push downs. A polar heart rate monitor and a portable metabolic system were used to measure heart rate (HR), intensity measured relative to the HR reserve, cardiorespiratory variables, EE and EE relative to muscle mass (EEMM). Differences between genders were observed at the following variables: HR, intensity measured relative to the HR reserve (in percentage), VO2, VCO2, VE, RER, aerobic EE and EEMM. The EE was significantly higher in men during the six intensities, but differences did not exist for EEMM from 70% to 85%. In addition HR, load and body weight were used to predict intensity and two gender specific equations were obtained for men and women [I (%) = 57.265 + 0.512HR - 0.696HRmax + 1.035 Loadavg + 0.188 Body Weight (R2=0.92; SEE=4.9%) for men; I (%) = 4.036 + 0.412HR% + 1.667 Loadavg (R2=0.79; SEE=7.7%) for women]. Thus, we conclude that gender related differences are present during CWT for EE, even when expressed relative to muscle mass, in addition HR, work load and body weight can estimate the intensity during CWT.


Resistance training; Heart rate; Energy cost; Oxygen uptake; Exercise intensity


Beckham, S.G., Earnest, C.P. Metabolic cost of free weight circuit weight training. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2000; 40(2):118-25.

Byrne, N.M., Meerkin, J.D., Laukkanen, R., Ross, R., Fogelholm, M., Hills, A.P. Weight loss strategies for obese adults: personalized weight management program vs. standard care. Obesity. 2006; 14(10):1777-88.

Calderon, F.J., Brita, J.L., Gonzalez, C., Machota, V. Estudio de la recuperación de la frecuencia cardiaca en deportistas de élite. Selección. 1997; 6(3):101-105.

Candow, D.G., Burke, D.G. Effect of short-term equal-volume resistance training with different workout frequency on muscle mass and strength in untrained men and women. J Strength Cond Res. 2007; 21(1):204-7.

Carter, L., Heath, B. Somatotyping: development and applications. Cambrige: University Press; 1990.

Castellani, J.W., Delany, J.P., O'Brien, C., Hoyt, R.W., Santee, W.R., Young, A.J. Energy expenditure in men and women during 54 h of exercise and caloric deprivation. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006; 38(5):894-900.

Collins, M.A., Cureton, K.J., Hill, D.W., Ray, C.A. Relationship of heart rate to oxygen uptake during weight lifting exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1991; 23(5):636-40.

Díaz, V., Benito, P.J., Peinado, A.B., Álvarez, M., Martín, C., Di Salvo, V., et al. Validation of a new portable metabolic system during an incremental running test. J Sport Sci Med. 2008; 7(4) :532-6.

Donnelly, J.E., Smith, B., Jacobsen, D.J., Kirk, E., Dubose, K., Hyder, M., et al. The role of exercise for weight loss and maintenance. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2004; 18(6):1009-29.

Glenmark, B. Skeletal muscle fiber types, physical performance, physical activity and attitude to physical activity in women and men. A follow-up from age 16 to 27. Acta Physiol Scand Suppl. 1994; 623:1-47.

Hiilloskorpi, H.K., Pasanen, M.E., Fogelholm, M.G., Laukkanen, R.M., Manttari, A.T. Use of heart rate to predict energy expenditure from low to high activity levels. Int J Sports Med. 2003; 24(5):332-6.

Hoyt, R.W., Opstad, P.K., Haugen, A.H., Delany, J.P., Cymerman, A., Friedl, K.E. Negative energy balance in male and female rangers: effects of 7 d of sustained exercise and food deprivation. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006; 83(5):1068-75.

Hunter, G.R., Bryan, D.R., Wetzstein, C.J., Zuckerman, P.A., Bamman, M.M. Resistance training and intra-abdominal adipose tissue in older men and women. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002; 34(6):1023-8.

Hunter, G.R., Byrne, N.M. Physical activity and muscle function but not resting energy expenditure impact on weight gain. J Strength Cond Res. 2005; 19(1):225-30.

Hunter, G.R., Wetzstein, C.J., Fields, D.A., Brown, A., Bamman, M.M. Resistance training increases total energy expenditure and free-living physical activity in older adults. J Appl Physiol. 2000; 89(3):977-84.

Ibanez, J., Izquierdo, M., Arguelles, I., Forga, L., Larrion, J.L., Garcia-Unciti, M., et al. Twice-weekly progressive resistance training decreases abdominal fat and improves insulin sensitivity in older men with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2005; 28(3):662-7.

Knechtle, B., Muller, G., Willmann, F., Kotteck, K., Eser, P., Knecht, H. Fat oxidation in men and women endurance athletes in running and cycling. Int J Sports Med. 2004; 25(1):38-44.

Knuttgen, H.G. Strength training and aerobic exercise: comparison and contrast. J Strength Cond Res. 2007; 21(3):973-8.

Kraemer, W.J., Volek, J.S., Clark, K.L., Gordon, S.E., Puhl, S.M., Koziris, L.P., et al. Influence of exercise training on physiological and performance changes with weight loss in men. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1999; 31(9):1320-9.

Kraemer, W.J. Strength training for young athletes. Leeds: Human Kinetics; 2005.

Kuo, C.C., Fattor, J.A., Henderson, G.C., Brooks, G.A. Lipid oxidation in fit young adults during postexercise recovery. J Appl Physiol. 2005 ; 99(1) :349-56.

Lazzer, S., Boirie, Y., Poissonnier, C., Petit, I., Duche, P., Taillardat, M., et al. Longitudinal changes in activity patterns, physical capacities, energy expenditure, and body composition in severely obese adolescents during a multidisciplinary weight-reduction program (Abstract). Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2005; 29(1):37-46.

Loucks, A.B. Energy balance and body composition in sports and exercise. J Sports Sci. 2004; 22(1):1-14.

Martin, A.D., Spenst, L.F., Drinkwater, D.T., Clarys, J.P. Anthropometric estimation of muscle mass in men. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1990; 22(5):729-33.

O'Hagan, F.T., Sale, D.G., Macdougall, J.D., Garner, S.H. Response to resistance training in young women and men. Int J Sports Med. 1995; 16(5):314-21.

Ortego, A.R., Dantzler, D.K., Zaloudek, A., Tanner, J., Khan, T., Panwar, R., et al. Effects of gender on physiological responses to strenuous circuit resistance exercise and recovery. J Strength Cond Res. 2009; 23(3):932-8.

Papazoglou, D., Augello, G., Tagliaferri, M., Savia, G., Marzullo, P., Maltezos, E., et al. Evaluation of a multisensor armband in estimating energy expenditure in obese individuals. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2006; 14(12):2217-23.

Perret, C., Mueller, G. Validation of a new portable ergospirometric device (Oxycon Mobile) during exercise. Int J Sports Med. 2006; 27(5):363-7.

Robergs, R.A., Gordon, T., Reynolds, J., Walker, T.B. Energy expenditure during bench press and squat exercises. J Strength Cond Res. 2007; 21(1):123-30.

Ronnestad, B.R., Egeland, W., Kvamme, N.H., Refsnes, P.E., Kadi, F., Raastad, T. Dissimilar effects of one- and three-set strength training on strength and muscle mass gains in upper and lower body in untrained subjects. J Strength Cond Res. 2007; 21(1):157-63.

Scott, C.B. Contribution of blood lactate to the energy expenditure of weight training. J Strength Cond Res. 2006; 20(2):404-11.

Smith, K., Winegard, K., Hicks, A.L., Mccartney, N. Two years of resistance training in older men and women: the effects of three years of detraining on the retention of dynamic strength. Can J Appl Physiol. 2003; 28(3):462-74.

Venables, M.C., Achten, J., Jeukendrup, A.E. Determinants of fat oxidation during exercise in healthy men and women: a cross-sectional study. J Appl Physiol. 2005; 98(1):160-7.


Copyright (c) 2010 Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.