Comparing exercise prescribed with exercise completed: Effects of gender and mode of exercise

Neil King*, Nuala M. Byrne, Andrew P. Hunt, Andrew Hills

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)


The purpose of this study was to compare the amount of exercise prescribed with the amount completed between two different modes of training intervention and between the sexes. Thirty-two men (mean age = 39.1 years, body mass index = 32.9 kg · m-2) and women (mean age = 39.6 years, body mass index = 32.1 kg · m-2) were prescribed traditional resistance training or light-resistance circuit training for 16 weeks. Lean mass and fat mass were determined by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at weeks 1 and 16. A completion index was calculated to provide a measure of the extent to which participants completed exercise training relative to the amount of exercise prescribed. The absolute amount of exercise completed by the circuit training group was significantly greater than the amount prescribed (P < 0.0001). The resistance training group consistently under-completed relative to the amount prescribed, but the difference was not significant. The completion index for the circuit training group (26 ± 21.7%) was significantly different from that of the resistance training group (-7.4 ± 3.0%). The completion index was not significantly different between men and women in either group. These data suggest that overweight and obese individuals participating in light-resistance circuit training complete more exercise than is prescribed. Men and women do not differ in the extent to which they over- or under-complete prescribed exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-640
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


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