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Robert Arnhold, Nelson Ng and Gary Pechar

This study was conducted to determine the predictive ability of rated perceived exertion (RPE) of mentally retarded (MR) young adults with respect to heart rate (HR) and workload (WL). Subjects were a group of 10 mentally retarded adults (M age = 21.20 yrs, M IQ = 50.5) and a control group of 10 nonretarded adults (M age = 21.18 yrs). The procedure involved the performance of a continuous multistage treadmill test using a modified Balke protocol. Rated perceived exertion and heart rate were recorded after each minute. Correlation coefficients for both RPE/HR and RPE/WL were significant for both groups. Tests for differences in RPE/HR and RPE/WL correlation coefficients between the two groups indicated significance for RPE/HR but none for RPE/WL. Regression analysis revealed that variation in RPE could be explained by variations in HR and WL. The association between rated perceived exertion and heart rate and rated perceived exertion and workload suggests the use of the Borg scale with mentally retarded individuals.

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Mary C. Gillach, James F. Sallis, Michael J. Buono, Patricia Patterson and Philip R. Nader

This study examined the relationship between heart rate (HR) as a measure of physiological strain and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) in 193 children (mean age = 11 yrs) and 188 adults (mean age = 36 yrs) during submaximal cycle ergometry. Two methods of correlating HR and RPE were compared. Computing correlations (r) for each individual’s data and then taking the group mean produced very high rs, ranging from 0.92 to 0.95. Correlating HR and RPE for the entire group at all powers simultaneously produced much lower rs, ranging from 0.63 to 0.65. Correlations were essentially the same for children and adults, and there was no evidence of a practice effect. The results indicated that (a) children in this age group were as capable of expressing RPE as adults, and (b) absolute levels of perceived exertion were not predictive of physiological strain (as indicated by heart rate).

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Lars Donath, Lukas Zahner, Mareike Cordes, Henner Hanssen, Arno Schmidt-Trucksäss and Oliver Faude

The study investigated physiological responses during 2-km walking at a certain intensity of a previously performed maximal exercise test where moderate perceived exertion was reported. Twenty seniors were examined by an incremental walking treadmill test to obtain maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max). A submaximal 2-km walking test was applied 1 wk later. The corresponding moderate perceived exertion (4 on the CR-10 scale) during the VO2max test was applied to the 2-km treadmill test. Moderate exertion (mean rating of perceived exertion [RPE]: 4 ± 1) led to 76% ± 8% of VO2max and 79% ± 6% of maximal heart rate. RPE values drifted with a significant time effect (p = .001, ηp = .58) during the 2-km test from 3 ± 0.7 to 4.6 ± 0.8. Total energy expenditure (EE) was 3.3 ± 0.5 kcal/kg. No gender differences in ventilatory, heart-rate, or EE data occurred. Brisk walking at moderate RPE of 3–5 would lead to a beneficial physiological response during endurance training and a weekly EE of nearly 1,200 kcal when exercising 5 times/wk for 30 min.

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Vinícius F. Milanez, Rafael E. Pedro, Alexandre Moreira, Daniel A. Boullosa, Fuad Salle-Neto and Fábio Y. Nakamura

Purpose:

The aim of this study was to verify the influence of aerobic fitness (VO2max) on internal training loads, as measured by the session rating of perceived exertion (session-RPE) method.

Methods:

Nine male professional outfeld futsal players were monitored for 4 wk of the in-season period with regards to the weekly accumulated session-RPE, while participating in the same training sessions. Single-session-RPE was obtained from the product of a 10-point RPE scale and the duration of exercise. Maximal oxygen consumption was determined during an incremental treadmill test.

Results:

The average training load throughout the 4 wk period varied between 2,876 and 5,035 arbitrary units. Technical-tactical sessions were the predominant source of loading. There was a significant correlation between VO2max (59.6 ± 2.5 mL·kg–1 ·min–1) and overall training load accumulated over the total period (r = –0.75).

Conclusions:

The VO2max plays a key role in determining the magnitude of an individual’s perceived exertion during futsal training sessions.

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Heather M. Logan-Sprenger, George J. F. Heigenhauser, Graham L. Jones and Lawrence L. Spriet

This study investigated the effects of progressive mild dehydration during cycling on whole-body substrate oxidation and skeletal-muscle metabolism in recreationally active men. Subjects (N = 9) cycled for 120 min at ~65% peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak 22.7 °C, 32% relative humidity) with water to replace sweat losses (HYD) or without fluid (DEH). Blood samples were taken at rest and every 20 min, and muscle biopsies were taken at rest and at 40, 80, and 120 min of exercise. Subjects lost 0.8%, 1.8%, and 2.7% body mass (BM) after 40, 80, and 120 min of cycling in the DEH trial while sweat loss was not significantly different between trials. Heart rate was greater in the DEH trial from 60 to 120 min, and core temperature was greater from 75 to 120 min. Rating of perceived exertion was higher in the DEH trial from 30 to 120 min. There were no differences in VO2, respiratory-exchange ratio, total carbohydrate (CHO) oxidation (HYD 312 ± 9 vs. DEH 307 ± 10 g), or sweat rate between trials. Blood lactate was significantly greater in the DEH trial from 20 to 120 min with no difference in plasma free fatty acids or epinephrine. Glycogenolysis was significantly greater (24%) over the entire DEH vs. HYD trial (433 ± 44 vs. 349 ± 27 mmol · kg−1 · dm−1). In conclusion, dehydration of <2% BM elevated physiological parameters and perceived exertion, as well as muscle glycogenolysis, during exercise without affecting whole-body CHO oxidation.

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Leona J. Holland, Marcel Bouffard and Denise Wagner

The reliability of oxygen consumption (VO2), heart rate (HR), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) at three different workloads was examined during an arm cranking exercise task. Nine persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) and confined to a wheelchair each performed two sessions of discontinuous, submaximal aerobic test on an arm ergometer. Comparisons of the test scores and generalizability theory were used to analyze the data. Both HR and VO2 were found to be reliable measures under the conditions used in this study. RPE at the same workloads was found to be rather unreliable. Overall, the use of RPE as an indicator of exercise intensity instead of HR appears to be unjustified by the results of this study. Therefore, practitioners who want a quick and efficient method of measuring exercise intensity should use HR instead of RPE for persons with multiple sclerosis.

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Aitor Iturricastillo, Javier Yanci, Cristina Granados and Victoria Goosey-Tolfrey

Purpose:

To describe the objective and subjective match load (ML) of wheelchair basketball (WB) and determine the relationship between session heart-rate (HR) -based ML and rating-of-perceived-exertion (RPE) -based ML methods.

Methods:

HR-based measurements of ML included Edwards ML and Stagno training impulses (TRIMPMOD), while RPE-based ML measurements included respiratory (sRPEres) and muscular (sRPEmus). Data were collected from 10 WB players during a whole competitive season.

Results:

Edwards ML and TRIMPMOD averaged across 16 matches were 255.3 ± 66.3 and 167.9 ± 67.1 AU, respectively. In contrast, sRPEres ML and sRPEmus ML were found to be higher (521.9 ± 188.7 and 536.9 ± 185.8 AU, respectively). Moderate correlations (r = .629–.648, P < .001) between Edwards ML and RPE-based ML methods were found. Moreover, similar significant correlations were also shown between the TRIMPMOD and RPE-based ML methods (r = .627–.668, P < .001). That said, only ≥40% of variance in HR-based ML was explained by RPE-based ML, which could be explained by the heterogeneity of physical-impairment type.

Conclusion:

RPE-based ML methods could be used as an indicator of global internal ML in highly trained WB players.

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Donald R. Dengel, Peter G. Weyand, Donna M. Black and Kirk J. Cureton

To investigate the effects of varying levels of hypohydration on ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) during moderate and heavy submaximal exercise, and at the lactate threshold (LT) and ventilatory threshold (VT), 9 male subjects cycled under states of euhydration (EU), moderate hypohydration (MH), and severe hypohydration (SH). The desired level of hypohydration was achieved over a 36-hr period by having subjects cycle at 50% VO2max in a 38°C environment on two occasions while controlling fluid intake and diet. During submaximal exercise, oxygen uptake, ventilation, heart rate, blood lactate, and RPE were not significantly different among treatments. Hypohydration did not significantly alter LT or VT, or perceptual responses at LT or VT. It is concluded that hypohydration of up to 5.6% caused by fluid manipulation and exercise in the heat over a 36-hr period does not alter RPE or the lactate or ventilatory threshold, nor RPE at the lactate and ventilatory thresholds measured during moderate and heavy submaximal cycling in a neutral (22°C) environment.

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Thomas J. Birk and Marianne Mossing

The purpose of this study was to determine whether heart rate and ventilation can be predicted from RPE. Also, this study determined whether breathing or heart rate sensations caused perceived effort or strain (degree of perceived central strain). Eight ambulatory active teenagers (ages 13-16 years, M= 14.75) with spastic cerebral palsy performed a discontinuous maximum bicycle ergometer protocol. Rate of perceived exertion (RPE), heart rate (HR) (V5 lead), and V̇E (Wright respirometer) were recorded each minute. Results indicated that Minutes 1 and 2 of Stage 1 were significantly correlated for RPE and ventilation, and RPE and heart rate were significantly correlated for Minutes 3 and 4 of Stages 1 and 2. Low standard error of estimates values were also evident for each of these minutes wherein significant correlations resulted. Initially, pulmonary strain was perceived as greater than HR for a given RPE value. However, by the conclusion of the second stage, breathing was slightly less than cardiac strain. Results suggest that RPE can be used to predict heart rate after the 2nd minute of discontinuous exercise training or testing. The accurate estimation of ventilation for the initial minutes of exercise may be limited since some anxiety, secondary to hyperventilation, could result. Also, breathing is perceived as a greater strain than heart rate initially but appears to equal and be slightly lower at the conclusion of aerobic exercise.

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Renato Barroso, Ronaldo K. Cardoso, Everton Crivoi Carmo and Valmor Tricoli

Session rating of perceived exertion (SRPE) is a practical method to assess internal training load to provide appropriate stimuli. However, coaches and athletes might rate training sessions differently, which can impair performance development. In addition, SRPE might be influenced by athletes’ training experience. The authors studied 160 swimmers of different age groups and different competitive swimming experience and 9 coaches. SRPE was indicated by the swimmers 30 min after the end of a training session and before the training session by the coaches. Training-session intensities were classified into easy (SRPE <3), moderate (SRPE 3–5), and difficult (SRPE >5), based on coaches’ perception. We observed that the correlation between coaches’ and athletes’ SRPE increased with increased age and competitive swimming experience, r = .31 for the 11- to 12-y-old group (P < .001), r = .51 for the 13- to 14-y-old group (P < .001), and r = .74 for the 15- to 16-y-old group (P < .001). In addition, younger swimmers (11–12 y, P < .01; 13–14 y, P < .01) rated training intensity differently from coaches in all 3 categories (easy, moderate, and difficult), while the older group rated differently in only 1 category (difficult, P < .01). These findings suggest that the more experienced swimmers are, the more accurate their SRPE is.