Exercise intensity and its effect on body composition

Exercise intensity and its effect on body composition

Using the topic you selected on Exercise intensity and its effect on body composition. Formulate it as a research question.

Example topic:

Exercise intensity and its effect on muscular hypertrophy.

Example Research Question (RQ): What is the effect of resistance training at >85%1RM vs. 65-75%1RM on the development of muscular hypertrophy?


The RQ is stated in such a way as to be open-ended (cannot be answered with a “yes” or “no”) and allows for both a null and research hypothesis.  The independent and dependent variables should be identifiable within the RQ.

Literature Review

Complete a Literature Review on your chosen topic.

  • Your review must include between 10-20 peer-reviewed journal articles.
    • Ideally, keep your searches to work published in the last ten years, though foundational work may still have relevance and can be included as well – use discernment when including older sources.
  • Please divide your review into 3-5 sub-headings that provide structure to your work and tell the story of what is currently known about the topic.
  • The introductory paragraph of the review should clearly identify your chosen topic and briefly explain the relevance of your sub-headings.

An example review is attached for reference here.

It is strongly recommended you create an outline of your Lit Review to help organize your writing.  It is also sometimes helpful to create an annotated bibliography to organize your work prior to compiling your final Lit Review.  An annotated bibliography should answer the following questions for each paper:

a.  What was the purpose of the study?

b.  Describe the subjects/participants in this study (age/ethnicity/other important information).  How were they recruited?

c.  What data were collected for this study?  Be as specific as possible (what was measured?)

d.  What were the findings/results of this study?

e.  What were the conclusions drawn by the authors of this study?

f.      How do the results of this paper help you answer your research question?


An example of an annotated article is given below.

Astorino et al., 2012: Effect of High-Intensity Interval Training on Cardiovascular Function, VO2max, and Muscular Force

  1. The purpose of this study was was to examine the effects of short-term high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on cardiovascular function, cardiorespiratory fitness, and muscular force.
  2. Subjects were 20 young, active males and females between the ages of 20 and 29 with body fat percentages ranging between 7% and 20%.  Subjects were all of similar physiological characteristics and socioeconomic background.  Subjects were volunteers and met inclusion criteria set by the P.I.
  3. The data collected included changes in resting blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR), VO2max, body composition, oxygen (O2) pulse, peak, mean, and minimum power output, fatigue index, and voluntary force production of the knee flexors and extensors.  All data was collected pre- and post-training.
  4. Significant (p < 0.05) improvements were found in VO2max, O2 pulse, and Wingate-derived power output in the HIIT group. The magnitude of improvement in VO2max was related to baseline VO2max (r = -0.44, p = 0.05) and fatigue index (r = 0.50, p < 0.05). There was no change (p > 0.05) in resting BP, HR, or force production. Data show that HIIT significantly enhanced VO2max, O2 pulse and power output in active men and women.
  5. The conclusions drawn from the results suggest that 2 weeks of HIIT improves VO2max, and peak and mean power output in active, young males and females.
  6. This study sheds light on the ability of HIIT to influence markers of cardiovascular function and VO2max in a similar fashion to that of aerobic exercise.