The session rating of perceived exertion (RPE) is a practical and non-invasive method that allows a quantification of the internal training load (TL) in individual and team sports, but no study has investigated its construct validity in martial arts. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the convergent validity between the session-RPE method and two objective HR-based methods for quantifying the similar TL during a high-TL camp in young Taekwondo (TKD) athletes.
Ten young TKD athletes (mean ± SD: age, 13.1 ± 2.4 y; body mass, 46.1 ± 12.7 kg; height, 1.53 ± 0.15 m; maximum heart rate (HRmax), 201.0 ± 8.2 bpm) participated in this study. During the training period, subjects performed 35 TKD training sessions, including two formal competitions during which RPE and HR were recorded and analyzed (308 individual training sessions). Correlation analysis was used to evaluate the convergent validity between session-RPE method and the two commonly used HR-based methods for assessing TL in a variety of training modes.
Significant relationships were found between individual session-RPE and all the HR-based TLs (r values from 0.55 to 0.90; P < .001). Significant correlations were observed in all mode of exercises practiced in TKD.
This study shows that session-RPE can be considered as a valid method to assess TL in TKD.