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Maurizio Fanchini, Roberto Ghielmetti, Aaron J. Coutts, Federico Schena and Franco M. Impellizzeri

Purpose:

To examine the effect of different exercise-intensity distributions within a training session on the session rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and to examine the timing of measure on the rating.

Methods:

Nineteen junior players (age 16 ± 1 y, height 173 ± 5 cm, body mass 64 ± 6 kg) from a Swiss soccer team were involved in the study. Percentage of heart rate maximum (%HR) and RPE (Borg CR100®) were collected in 4 standardized training sessions (conditions). The Total Quality of Recovery scale (TQR) and a visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain of the lower limbs were used to control for the effect of pretraining fatigue. Every session consisted of three 20-min blocks of different intensities (ie, low-moderate-high) performed in a random order. RPE was collected after every block (RPE5), immediately after the session (RPE-end), and 30 min after the session (RPE30).

Results:

RPE5s of each block were different depending on the distribution sequence (P < .0001). RPE-end, TQR, and VAS values were not different between conditions (P = .57, P = .55, and P = .96, respectively). The %HR was significantly different between conditions (P = .008), with condition 3 higher than condition 2 (74.1 vs 70.2%, P = .02). Edwards training loads were not significantly different between conditions (P = .09). RPE30 was not different from RPE-end (P > .05).

Conclusions:

The current results show that coaches can design training sessions without concern about the influence of the within-session distribution of exercise intensity on session-RPE and that RPE can be collected at the end of the session or 30 min later.

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Jacob Cohen, Bridgette Reiner, Carl Foster, Jos J. de Koning, Glenn Wright, Scott T. Doberstein and John P. Porcari

The rating of perceived exertion (RPE) normally grows as a scalar function of relative competitive distance, suggesting that it may translate between the brain and body relative to managing fatigue during time-trial exercise. In nonstandard pacing situations, a reciprocal relationship between RPE and power output (PO) would be predicted.

Purpose:

To determine whether PO would decrease when RPE was forced above the normal growth curve during a cycle time trial.

Methods:

Well-trained cyclists performed randomly ordered 10-km cycle time trials. In CONTROL they rode at their own best pace throughout. In BURST, they made a 1-km “burst” at the 4-km mark and then finished as rapidly as possible.

Results:

CONTROL was significantly (P < .05) faster than BURST (16:36 vs 17:00 min). During CONTROL, responses between 4 and 5 km were PO, 240 W; RPE, 5–6; and blood lactate [HLa], 8–9 mmol/L. During BURST PO increased to 282 W, then fell to 220 W after the burst and remained below CONTROL until the end spurt (9 km). RPE increased to 9 during the burst but returned to the normal RPE growth pattern by 6 km; [HLa] increased to ~13 mmol/L after the burst and remained elevated throughout the remainder of the trial.

Conclusions:

The reciprocal behavior of RPE and PO after BURST supports the hypothesis that RPE translates between the brain and the body during heavy exercise. However, the continuing reduction of PO after the burst, even after RPE returned to its normal growth pattern, suggests that PO is regulated in a more complex manner than reflected solely by RPE.

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Thomas W.J. Lovell, Anita C. Sirotic, Franco M. Impellizzeri and Aaron J. Coutts

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to examine the validity of session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) for monitoring training intensity in rugby league.

Methods:

Thirty-two professional rugby league players participated in this study. Training-load (TL) data were collected during an entire season and assessed via microtechnology (heart-rate [HR] monitors, global positioning systems [GPS], and accelerometers) and sRPE. Within-individual correlation analysis was used to determine relationships between sRPE and various other measures of training intensity and load. Stepwise multiple regressions were used to determine a predictive equation to estimate sRPE during rugby league training.

Results:

There were significant within-individual correlations between sRPE and various other internal and external measures of intensity and load. The stepwise multiple-regression analysis also revealed that 62.4% of the adjusted variance in sRPE-TL could be explained by TL measures of distance, impacts, body load, and training impulse (y = 37.21 + 0.93 distance − 0.39 impacts + 0.18 body load + 0.03 training impulse). Furthermore, 35.2% of the adjusted variance in sRPE could be explained by exercise-intensity measures of percentage of peak HR (%HRpeak), impacts/min, m/min, and body load/min (y = −0.01 + 0.37%HRpeak + 0.10 impacts/min + 0.17 m/min + 0.09 body load/min).

Conclusion:

A combination of internal and external TL factors predicts sRPE in rugby league training better than any individual measures alone. These findings provide new evidence to support the use of sRPE as a global measure of exercise intensity in rugby league training.

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Favil Singh, Carl Foster, David Tod and Michael R. McGuigan

Purpose:

To evaluate the effectiveness of session rating of perceived exertion (RPE) to measure effort during different types of resistance training.

Method:

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:

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.

Conclusion:

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.

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J. Matt Green, P. Jason Wickwire, John R. McLester, Shawn Gendle, Geoffrey Hudson, Robert C. Pritchett and C. Matt Laurent

Context:

Ergogenic effects of caffeine on aerobic or endurance exercise are well documented. Conversely, the ergogenic value of caffeine on high-intensity, primarily anaerobic performance is not well understood even though the proposed mechanisms of action for caffeine permit a strong theoretical basis for application to this type of exercise.

Purpose:

This study examined effects of caffeine (Ca) on number repetitions (reps), ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), and peak heart rate (PHR) during resistance-training exercise with reps performed to volitional failure.

Methods:

Subjects (N = 17) were tested for 10-rep maximum in bench press (BP) and leg press (LP). In sessions 2 and 3, Ca (~6 mg/kg) or placebo (Pl) was ingested 1 hr beforehand in a double-blind manner and counterbalanced order. Subjects performed 3 sets to failure (BP and LP) with reps, PHR, and RPE recorded each set. Repeated-measures ANOVAs, 2 (trial) × 3 (set), were used to analyze dependent measures with the Tukey honestly significant difference used when necessary as the post hoc test.

Results:

In BP, no significant differences (Ca vs Pl) were observed (reps, RPE, PHR). During set 3 of LP training, Ca was associated with significantly higher reps (12.5 ± 4.2 vs 9.9 ± 2.6) and PHR (158.5 ± 11.9 vs 151.8 ± 13.2). No signifcant RPE differences were found during LP.

Conclusions:

The findings of similar RPE concurrent with higher reps suggest that caffeine can blunt pain responses, possibly delaying fatigue in high-intensity resistance training. Ergogenic effects might be limited to the later sets in a resistance-training session. Further research is warranted regarding ergogenic effects of caffeine during resistance training and potential mechanisms of action.

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Dianne S. Ward, Oded Bar-Or, Patti Longmuir and Karen Smith

Seventeen individuals (ages 11–30 years), all wheelchair users, were classified as active or sedentary. Peak mechanical power, heart rate (HR), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were determined during continuous, incremental all-out arm ergometry. Subjects were asked to wheel on an oval track at prescribed speeds, and one month later they repeated this task. All subjects could distinguish among prescriptions, as judged from HR and wheeling velocities. However, the active subjects chose higher speeds (by 0.8–1.3 m/s), a wider range of speeds, and could better distinguish among sequential RPE levels than did the sedentary subjects. All subjects chose wheeling velocities higher than expected from their originally established HR-on-RPE regression. One-month retention was high and similar between groups. Individuals who use wheelchairs can discriminate among wheeling intensities as prescribed using the RPE scale and have excellent retention for at least one month.

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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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Renato Barroso, Diego F. Salgueiro, Everton C. do Carmo and Fábio Y. Nakamura

Purpose:

To assess swimmers’ session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) after standardized sets of interval swimming training performed at the same relative intensity but with different total volume and repetition distance.

Methods:

Thirteen moderately trained swimmers (21.1 ± 1.1 y, 178 ± 6 cm, 74.1 ± 8.3 kg, 100-m freestyle 60.2 ± 2.9 s) performed 4 standardized sets (10 × 100-m, 20 × 100-m, 10 × 200-m, and 5 × 400-m) at the same relative intensity (ie, critical speed), and 1 coach (age 31 y, 7 y coaching experience) rated their efforts. Swimmers’ sRPE was assessed 30 min after the training session. Coach sRPE was collected before each training session. Internal load was calculated by multiplying sRPE by session duration.

Results:

When bouts with the same repetition distance and different volumes (10 × 100-m vs 20 × 100-m) are compared, sRPE and internal load are higher in 20 × 100-m bouts. When maintaining constant volume, sRPE and internal load (20 × 100-m, 10 × 200-m, and 5 × 400-m) are higher only in 5 × 400-m bouts. The coach’s and swimmers’ sRPE differed in 10 × 200-m and 5 × 400-m.

Conclusions:

These results indicate that sRPE in swimming is affected not only by intensity but also by volume and repetition distance. In addition, swimmers’ and the coach’s sRPE were different when longer repetition distances were used during training sessions. Therefore, care should be taken when prescribing swimming sessions with longer volume and/or longer repetition distances.

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Guilherme Assuncao Ferreira, Raul Osiecki, Adriano Eduardo Lima-Silva, Michel Cardoso de Angelis-Pereira and Fernando Roberto De-Oliveira

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of a reduced-carbohydrate (reduced-CHO) diet on the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) curve during an incremental test. Nine physically active men performed a progressive incremental test on a cycle ergometer (25 W·2 min−1) after 72 hr on either a control diet (60% CHO) or a reduced-CHO diet (30% CHO). Lactate and RPE thresholds were identified using the Dmax method (DmaxLa and DmaxRPE, respectively). Power output, heart rate and RPE scores in DmaxLa and DmaxRPE were similar between the diets and were not different from each other, regardless of the diet. Lactate values were consistently higher (p < .05) in the control diet compared with the reduced-CHO diet during power output after the lactate breakpoint; however, they were not accompanied by a proportional increase in RPE scores. These results suggest that DmaxRPE and DmaxLa are not dissociated after a short-period reduced-CHO diet, whereas the lactate values after the lactate threshold are reduced with a reduced-CHO diet, although they are not accompanied by alterations in RPE.

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Connie L. Tompkins, Timothy Flanagan, John Lavoie II and David W. Brock

Background:

Compared with structured/organized activities, unstructured, self-selected physical activity (PA) may be more appealing for children in particular obese (OB) children. We examined whether both healthy-weight (HW) and OB children would engage in moderate to vigorous intensity PA during an unstructured PA program and compared heart rate (HR) and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) between the children.

Methods:

Twenty-one children [9 OB (≥95th BMI percentile, 12 HW (5th – <85th), 8.6 ± 0.8 years; 9 males, 12 females] participated in before-school (7:30 AM to 8:15 AM) PA for 18 weeks, 3 consecutive days/week. Each child wore a Polar E600 HR monitor and was provided a vigorous, age-targeted heart rate (THR) of 70%.

Results:

Mean HR ≥ vigorous THR for all children in 65.3% of the sessions and exceeded moderate intensity in 100%. Over the 18-weeks, no significant difference was observed in the overall mean HR between the HW (171.4 ± 12.0) and OB (169.3 ± 13.0), however the OB reported significantly lower RPEs than the HW (16.9 ± 2.6 vs. 17.6 ± 1.5, respectively; P < .05).

Conclusions:

Both the HW and OB children consistently sustained PA of moderate and vigorous intensity. The current study provides insight regarding the physiological capabilities and perceptual responses of HW and OB children participating in PA programs.