Reliability of energy expenditure and heart rate variability measurements during and after resistance exercise

  • Philip Lyristakis

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Accurately estimating energy expenditure (EE) and measuring changes in the autonomic nervous system in response to resistance training (RT) is imperative for optimal exercise prescription and planning recovery protocols. The limitations associated with session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) when used as an internal load measure for RT, has created a pressing need to develop reliable physiological internal load measures for RT. Purpose: The primary aim of this thesis was to examine the reliability of three methods that estimate total energy expenditure (TEE) during RT, and to assess the significance of incorporating anaerobic energy expenditure (AnEE) in TEE estimations during RT. A secondary aim was developed to determine the reliability of measuring heart rate variability (HRV) parameters in response to multiple sets of resistance exercises. Methods: The systematic review of literature included studies that measured EE during or in response to resistance training, specifically examining AnEE contributions. The original research recruited participants from the University of Canberra, and from a local boot camp. Participants were required to have ≥ two months weight lifting experience, and be male. Eligible participants attended six sessions separated by 48 to 72 hours, these sessions included; two fitness assessments, a familiarization session, and three RT sessions. Statistics: Typical Error of Measurement (TEM) as a percentage (TEM%) was used to determine the relative error percentage between testing days. Both the absolute and relative TEM values were accompanied by lower and upper confidence limits to indicate where 90% of the data fell. Additionally, interclass correlation were determined and interpreted based on the Hopkins (2002) effect size scale. Results: The systematic review suggests AnEE contributions may vary depending on; the duration of exercise cadence, weight load, lower-body or upper-body exercise, and the estimation method of AnEE. The original research demonstrated a moderate level of day-to-day variability in the heart rate method. The Scott and Magosso methods showed high levels of day-to-day reliability when estimating TEE during the bench press and back-squat. Moderate to high levels of variability were observed when these methods were used to estimate AnEE contribution during the bench press and back-squat. The secondary aim of the original research produced a high degree of reliability when examining mean R-R in response to the bench press and back-squat, log of Root Mean Square of the Successive Differences (LnRMSSD) showed low to moderate levels of variability across testing days during the bench press and showed greater variability in response to the back-squat exercise. Conclusion: The systematic review and the first original research article conclude that AnEE contributions to RT should be included within the estimation of TEE. The Suunto T6D Heart Rate Monitor provides reliable measures of mean R-R in response to the bench press and back-squat exercise, although the TEE was significantly underestimated in response to the back-squat and moderately underestimated in response to the bench press. The Scott and Magosso methods provided reliable measures of TEE across testing days. Additionally, the Suunto T6D Heart Rate Monitor provides moderately reliable measurements of LnRMSSD across testing days in response to the bench press, however, greater variability was observed in response to the back-squat. Further investigation is required to assess the reliability of other heart rate methods in estimating TEE, and examine other resistance exercises.
Date of Award2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Canberra
SupervisorAndrew Mckune (Supervisor) & Nick Ball (Supervisor)

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