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J Strength Cond Res. 2014 Jul;28(7):1875-88. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000485.

Acute oxygen uptake and resistance exercise performance using different rest interval lengths: the influence of maximal aerobic capacity and exercise sequence.

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  • 1Department of Health and Exercise Science, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, New Jersey.


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between VO2max and acute resistance exercise performance and the acute metabolic effects of exercise sequencing. Seventeen resistance-trained men were tested for VO2max and 1 repetition maximum (1RM) strength. Subjects were randomly assigned to either a group that performed the squat first in sequence followed by the bench press (S; n = 8) or a group that performed the bench press first followed by the squat (BP; n = 9). Each group performed 3 protocols (using 1-, 2-, or 3-minute rest intervals [RIs] between sets in random order) consisting of 5 sets of each exercise with 75% of their 1RM for up to 10 repetitions while oxygen consumption was measured. Total repetitions completed were highest with 3-minute RI and lowest with 1-minute RI. Mean VO2 was significantly highest with 1-minute RI and lowest using 3-minute RI. Analysis of each exercise revealed a tendency (p = 0.07) for mean bench press VO2 to be higher when it was performed after the squat using 1- and 2-minute RIs. VO2max was significantly negatively correlated to 1RM bench press and squat (r = -0.79 and -0.60, respectively) and was significantly correlated to squat repetitions (r = 0.43-0.57) but did not correlate to bench press performance. It seems that VO2max is related to lower-body resistance exercise performance when short RIs are used, and the metabolic response to the bench press is augmented when it follows the squat in sequence using short RIs.

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