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High-Intensity Interval Resistance Training (HIRT) influences resting energy expenditure and respiratory ratio in non-dieting individuals

Antonio Paoli1*, Tatiana Moro1, Giuseppe Marcolin1, Marco Neri2, Antonino Bianco3, Antonio Palma3 and Keith Grimaldi4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biomedical Sciences, Physiological Laboratory, University of Padova, via Marzolo 3, Padova 35131, Italy

2 Italian Fitness Federation, Ravenna, Italy

3 Department of Sports and Exercise Science (DISMOT), University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy

4 Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, Institute of Communication and Computer Systems, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece

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Journal of Translational Medicine 2012, 10:237  doi:10.1186/1479-5876-10-237

Published: 24 November 2012



The benefits of exercise are well established but one major barrier for many is time. It has been proposed that short period resistance training (RT) could play a role in weight control by increasing resting energy expenditure (REE) but the effects of different kinds of RT has not been widely reported.


We tested the acute effects of high-intensity interval resistance training (HIRT) vs. traditional resistance training (TT) on REE and respiratory ratio (RR) at 22 hours post-exercise. In two separate sessions, seventeen trained males carried out HIRT and TT protocols. The HIRT technique consists of: 6 repetitions, 20 seconds rest, 2/3 repetitions, 20 secs rest, 2/3 repetitions with 230″ rest between sets, three exercises for a total of 7 sets. TT consisted of eight exercises of 4 sets of 8–12 repetitions with one/two minutes rest with a total amount of 32 sets. We measured basal REE and RR (TT0 and HIRT0) and 22 hours after the training session (TT22 and HIRT22).


HIRT showed a greater significant increase (p < 0.001) in REE at 22 hours compared to TT (HIRT22 2362 ± 118 Kcal/d vs TT22 1999 ± 88 Kcal/d). RR at HIRT22 was significantly lower (0.798 ± 0.010) compared to both HIRT0 (0.827 ± 0.006) and TT22 (0.822 ± 0.008).


Our data suggest that shorter HIRT sessions may increase REE after exercise to a greater extent than TT and may reduce RR hence improving fat oxidation. The shorter exercise time commitment may help to reduce one major barrier to exercise.

Resistance training; Resting energy expenditure; Interval training; Respiratory ratio