Abstract Background The theoretical benefits of using antioxidant vitamin supplements to quench oxygen free radicals appear large. High intensity aerobic-type exercise produces oxygen free radicals that can cause damage to lipid membranes (lipid peroxidation) that may lead to many problems such as the inactivation of cell membrane enzymes, the progression of degenerative diseases (cardiovascular disease and cancer) and lessening of the effectiveness of the immune system. The major function of vitamin E is to work as a chain-breaking antioxidant in a fat soluble environment. Little research has examined lipid peroxidation associated with high intensity resistance exercise or possible protective effects of antioxidant supplementation or the effects of training state. Results There were no significant group (trained vs untrained) or treatment (vitamin E vs placebo) effects found between the 4 groups assessed. There was only one significant difference found and that was in the main effect for time (F = 22.41, p < 0.01). Conclusions The Resistance Exercise Test caused a significant increase in malondialdehyde in all 4 groups at 6 hours post exercise. There was no evidence that vitamin E supplementation was effective in reducing oxidative damage in comparison to the placebo group. As well, there was no difference between the trained and untrained groups with respect to their impact on lipid peroxidation measures.