Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 11-12-2022


Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the acute physiological, perceptual, and enjoyment responses between a single bout of escalating density training (EDT) and traditional resistance training (TRAD).

Methods: Twelve physically active males (n = 6) and females (n = 6) (age: 21.4 ± 3.0 years; weight: 69.8 ± 7.9 kg; height: 172.9 ± 12.4 cm; maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max): 44.7 ± 9.2 ml · kg-1 · min-1) performed both EDT and TRAD. During the EDT trial, participants performed chest and leg press exercises in a cyclical fashion for 15 minutes with limited rest. For the TRAD trial, the same exercises were performed for sets of up to 8 repetitions until volume was matched from the EDT trial. Oxygen consumption (VO2) and heart rate (HR) were measured before, during, and after exercise. Blood lactate (BLa) was measured pre- and post-exercise. Creatine kinase (CK) was measured pre- and 48 hours post-exercise. Rating of perceived exertion (RPE), physical activity enjoyment (PACES), and oxygen consumption were measured post-exercise.

Results: Oxygen consumption relative to VO2max was higher (p < 0.001) during EDT (56.2 ± 6.8%) compared to TRAD (23.7 ± 4.7%). Heart rate relative to HRmax was higher (p = 0.021) for EDT (78.9 ± 7.9%) compared to TRAD (53.0 ± 15.8%), p = 0.021. There was no significant difference in total exercise energy expenditure between EDT (929.2 ± 245.9 kJ) compared to TRAD (1267.7 ± 592.5 kJ), p = 0.181. Compared to TRAD, BLa was higher (p < 0.05) 5- and 10-min post-exercise for EDT. Creatine kinase was significantly greater (p = 0.002) following EDT (205.6 ± 111.2 IU/L) compared to TRAD. Average RPE achieved was higher (p < 0.001) during EDT (8.8 ± 0.8) compared to TRAD (5.5 ± 1.9). PACES was similar for EDT and TRAD (p = 0.176).

Conclusion: Our results indicate that EDT may be an effective alternative to TRAD for strength and cardiorespiratory adaptations. Future research should be done to investigate the long-term physiological adaptations to EDT.


resistance training, density, supersets, lactate, creatine kinase, energy expenditure

Document Type




Degree Name

Physical Education, Sports and Exercise Science

Level of Degree


Department Name

Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Len Kravitz

Second Committee Member

Zachary Mang

Third Committee Member

Christine Mermier

Fourth Committee Member

Fabiano Amorim

Fifth Committee Member

Tony Nunez