Do We Systematically Underestimate the Energetic Costs of Push-Ups, Pull Ups, Squats & Co? Study Says Anaerobic Exercises Burn 2x More Energy Than Previously Thought
|If we go by the data from the Verzina study, push-ups and pull-ups burn 50% and 62% more energy than we previously thought they would. Against that back- ground it's no wonder that participants in the Smith study (more), I wrote about pre- viously got from 16% to 8% body fat.|
The said paper presents an examination of the differences between two methods of estimating energy expenditure in resistance training activities and concludes that (a) "the methods we use to calculate the EE of anaerobic activities significantly affects EE estimates" and (b) that this leads to a significant underestimation of the energetic costs of anaerobic activity if we use the traditional methods.
What is the traditional method anyway?
"Traditional" in this context means using calorimetry to measure oxygen uptake continuously throughout the trial. "Oxygen uptake" and "anaerobic activity" - when you come to think about it, it should be obvious that this does not really go together. The former is after all specifically high, when you perform "aerobic" not anaerobic activities. including the recovery period between exercises.
In spite of the fact that it is questionable, whether the alternative the scientists used, i.e. measuring the oxygen uptake during recovery, instead of during activity, is actually "accurate", it goes without saying that the real world health benefits and weight loss results people achieve, when they lift heavy weights or perform high intensity interval training would support the notion that the de facto energy expenditure could have been significantly underestimated.
|Figure 1: Energy expenditure (kcal per kg of body weight per hour) due to body weight exercises calculated based on oxygen uptake during the exercises (traditional) or during the rest periods (improved; Vezina. 2014)|
For Mr. Average Joe with a body weight of 80kg, this would mean that his 30 minutes body weight workout doesn't consume 288kcal, but 576kcal and thus way more than 30min of jogging, which should cost him ~400kcal.
- Vezina, Jesse W., et al. "An Examination of the Differences Between Two Methods of Estimating Energy Expenditure in Resistance Training Activities." Journal of strength and conditioning research/National Strength & Conditioning Association (2014).