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Andrea Fusco, Christine Knutson, Charles King, Richard P. Mikat, John P. Porcari, Cristina Cortis and Carl Foster

Purpose:

Although the Session RPE (sRPE) is primarily a marker of internal training load (TL), it may be sensitive to external TL determining factors such as duration and volume. Thus, sRPE could provide further information on accumulated fatigue not available from markers of internal TL. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate sRPE during heavy training bouts at relatively constant intensity.

Methods:

Eleven university swimmers performed a high-volume training session consisting of 4x10x100-yard (4x10x91.4-m). Repetition lap time and heart rate (HR) were measured for each repetition and averaged for each set. Blood lactate concentration ([HLa]) was measured after each set. At the end of each set, a 10-minute rest period was allowed, during which sRPE values were obtained, as if the training bout had ended.

Results:

There were no differences between sets for lap time (p=.096), HR (p=.717) and [HLa] (p=.466), suggesting that the subjects were working at the same external and internal intensity. There was an increase (p=.0002) in sRPE between sets (first: 4±1.2; second: 5±1.3; third: 7±1.3; fourth: 8±1.5), suggesting that even when maintaining the same intensity, the perception of the entire workload increased with duration.

Conclusions:

Increases in duration, although performed with a consistent internal and external intensity, influences sRPE. These findings support the concept that sRPE may provide additional information on accumulated fatigue not available from other markers of TL.

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Herbert Wagner, Patrick Fuchs, Andrea Fusco, Philip Fuchs, Jeffrey W. Bell and Serge P. von Duvillard

Purpose: Biological differences between men and women are well known; however, literature addressing knowledge about the influence of sex on specific and general performance in team handball is almost nonexistent. Consequently, the aim of the study was to assess and compare specific and general physical performance in male and female elite team-handball players, to determine if the differences are consequential for general compared with specific physical performance characteristics and the relationship between general and specific physical performance. Methods: Twelve male and 10 female elite team-handball players performed a game-based performance test, upper- and lower-body strength and power tests, a sprinting test, and an incremental treadmill running test. Results: Significant differences (P < .05) between male and female players were found for peak oxygen uptake and total running time during the treadmill test, 30-m sprinting time, leg-extension strength, trunk- and shoulder-rotation torque, and countermovement-jump height, as well as offense and defense time, ball velocity, and jump height in the game-based performance test. An interaction (sex × test) was found for time and oxygen uptake, and except shoulder-rotation torque and ball velocity in women, the authors found only a low relationship between specific and general physical performance. Conclusion: The results of the study revealed that male players are heavier, taller, faster, and stronger; jump higher; and have better aerobic performance. However, female players performed relatively better in the team-handball-specific tests than in the general tests. The findings also suggest that female players should focus more on strength training.

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Blaine E. Arney, Reese Glover, Andrea Fusco, Cristina Cortis, Jos J. de Koning, Teun van Erp, Salvador Jaime, Richard P. Mikat, John P. Porcari and Carl Foster

Purpose: The session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) is a well-accepted method of monitoring training load in athletes in many different sports. It is based on the category-ratio (0–10) RPE scale (BORG-CR10) developed by Borg. There is no evidence how substitution of the Borg 6–20 RPE scale (BORG-RPE) might influence the sRPE in athletes. Methods: Systematically training, recreational-level athletes from a number of sport disciplines performed 6 randomly ordered, 30-min interval-training sessions, at intensities based on peak power output (PPO) and designed to be easy (50% PPO), moderate (75% PPO), or hard (85% PPO). Ratings of sRPE were obtained 30 min postexercise using either the BORG-CR10 or BORG-RPE and compared for matched exercise conditions. Results: The average percentage of heart-rate reserve was well correlated with sRPE from both BORG-CR10 (r = .76) and BORG-RPE (r = .69). The sRPE ratings from BORG-CR10 and BORG-RPE were very strongly correlated (r = .90) at matched times. Conclusions: Although producing different absolute numbers, sRPE derived from either the BORG-CR10 or BORG-RPE provides essentially interchangeable estimates of perceived exercise training intensity.