Monitoring Different Types of Resistance Training Using Session Rating of Perceived Exertion

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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To evaluate the effectiveness of session rating of perceived exertion (RPE) to measure effort during different types of resistance training.


Fifteen male subjects (age 26.7 ± 4.3 years) performed 3 protocols. All protocols consisted of same 5 exercises but with different intensities, rest periods, and numbers of repetitions. One-repetition maximum (1-RM) was defined as the maximal amount of weight that an individual could lift 1 time without support. The strength protocol included 3 sets of 5 repetitions at 90% of 1-RM with 3 minutes rest between. The hypertrophy session included 3 sets of 10 repetitions at 70% with 1 minute of rest, and the power session included 3 sets of 5 repetitions at 50% with 3 minutes of rest. Session RPE is a modification of the standard RPE scale. Session and standard RPE were measured after the completion of each set and 30 minutes postexercise, respectively.


Results showed a difference between both the 2 RPE values of the strength and hypertrophy protocols (P ≤ .05) but no difference between mean and session RPE values for the power protocol. During the familiarization session, session RPE was measured at 5-minute intervals for 30 minutes postexercise. There was a significant difference (P ≤ .05) between the mean RPE values at the fifth and tenth minutes postexercise when compared with 30 minutes postexercise. All other session RPE values showed no significant difference.


The session RPE method appears to be effective in monitoring different types of resistance training, and session RPE after 30 minutes was a better indicator of the overall resistance sessions than average RPE.

Singh and McGuigan are with the School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA 6027, Australia. Foster is with the Dept of Exercise and Sports Science, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse, WI 54601. Tod is with the Dept of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Aberystwyth, Wales, UK SY23 2AX.