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Kevin L. Lamb

This study assessed and compared the validity of children’s effort ratings using the established Borg 6–20 Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale and a recently devised Children’s Effort Rating Table (CERT) during continuous cycle ergometry. Seventy school children were randomly assigned to one of two groups: Group 1 (RPE) and Group 2 (CERT). Both groups received two incremental exercise trials (Trial 1 and Trial 2) 7 days apart. For both scales, data analysis yielded significant (p < .01) Pearson correlations between perceived effort ratings and heart rate (HR) (rs ≥ .50) and perceived effort and absolute power outputs (rs ≥ .59). Moreover, correlations for CERT were consistently higher than for RPE. Test-retest intraclass correlations of R = .91 (CERT) and R = .90 (RPE) revealed that both scales were reliable. These data suggest that among preadolescent children the traditional scale (RPE) is not the only, nor indeed the best, option for monitoring perceived exertion during controlled exercise.

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Kevin L. Lamb

This study examined the validity and reliability of the Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale and the Children’s Effort Rating Table (CERT) as methods of regulating exercise intensity during discontinuous cycle ergometry. Sixty-four school children (ages 9–10) were randomly assigned to one of two groups, RPE or CERT, and received two trials 7 days apart. On both occasions, subjects produced 4 × 4-min scale-specific exercise intensities—3, 5, 7, and 9 (CERT) or 8, 12, 15, and 18 (RPE)—interspersed with 2-min rest periods. Analyses yielded significant (p < .01) correlations between perceived effort levels and objective measures: r = .47 to .61 (heart rate) and r = .59 to .75 (power output). Intraclass correlations indicated satisfactory overall repeatability of the produced exercise intensities (R > .70), but some notable inconsistencies were observed. The usefulness of effort perception scales among preadolescent children is presently rather limited, probably due to a number of confounding factors that need to be systematically addressed.

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Roger G. Eston, Gaynor Parfitt, Laura Campbell and Kevin L. Lamb

The purpose of this study was to assess whether young children could reliability regulate exercise intensity production after several practice trials, without reference to objective feedback measures. The study used a new 10-point scale (Cart and Load Effort Rating [CALER] Scale), which depicts a child on a bicycle, at various stages of exertion, towing a cart in which the load increases progressively. After warm-up, 20 children, aged 7–10 years, performed an intermittent, effort production protocol at CALER 2, 5, and 8 on a cycle ergometer. This was repeated on three further occasions in the next 4 weeks. An increase in PO across trials (44, 65, and 79 W at CALER 2, 5, and 8, respectively) confirmed that the children understood the scale. A Bland and Altman limits of agreement (LoA) analysis and an intraclass correlation analysis (ICC) between trials (T) indicated that reliability improved with practice. Intertrial comparisons of overall reliability from T1 to T2 and from T3 to T4 ranged from 0.76 to 0.97 and an improvement in the overall bias ± 95% limits of agreement from −12 ± 19 W to 0 ± 10 W. This study is the first to apply more than two repeated effort production trials in young children and provides strong evidence that practice improves the reliability of effort perception in children. The data also provide preliminary evidence for the validity of the CALER Scale in children aged 7–10 years.

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Alan Chorley, Richard P. Bott, Simon Marwood and Kevin L. Lamb

Purpose: This study examined the partial reconstitution of the work capacity above critical power (W′) following successive bouts of maximal exercise using a new repeated ramp test, against which the fit of an existing W′ balance (Wbal) prediction model was tested. Methods: Twenty active adults, consisting of trained cyclists (n = 9; age 43 [15] y, V˙O2max 61.9 [8.5] mL·kg−1·min−1) and untrained cyclists (n = 11; age 36 [15] y, V˙O2max 52.4 [5.8] mL·kg−1·min−1) performed 2 tests 2 to 4 d apart, consisting of 3 incremental ramps (20 W·min−1) to exhaustion interspersed with 2-min recoveries. Results: Intratrial differences between recoveries demonstrated significant reductions in the amount of W′ reconstituted for the group and both subsets (P < .05). The observed minimal detectable changes of 475 J (first recovery) and 368 J (second recovery) can be used to monitor changes in the rate of W′ reconstitution in individual trained cyclists. Intertrial relative reliability of W′ reconstitution was evaluated by intraclass correlation coefficients for the group (≥.859) and the trained (≥.940) and untrained (≥.768) subsets. Absolute reliability was evaluated with typical error (TE) and coefficient of variation (CV) for the group (TE ≤ 559 J, CV ≤ 9.2%), trained (TE ≤ 301 J, CV ≤ 4.7%), and untrained (TE ≤ 720 J, CV ≤ 12.4%). Conclusions: The reconstitution of W′ is subject to a fatiguing effect hitherto unaccounted for in Wbal prediction models. Furthermore, the Wbal model did not provide a good fit for the repeated ramp test, which itself proved to be a reliable test protocol.