Repeated bouts of exercise alter the blood lactate-RPE relation. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 30, No. 7, pp. 1113-1117, 1998.
Purpose: To examine the effects of repeated bouts of exercise on the blood lactate [HLa]-ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) relation.
Methods: Six moderately trained males were studied on two occasions: a sequential exercise bouts day (SEB: 1000 h, 1130 h, and 1300 h) and a delayed exercise bouts day (DEB: 1000 h, 1400 h, and 1800 h). Each of the three exercise bouts within a given condition were 30 min in duration at the power output (PO) associated with 70% of V˙O2peak on a cycle ergometer. A standardized meal was provided at 0600 h. V˙O2, PO, HR, and RER were recorded every min during exercise and blood [HLa] and RPE were measured every 5 min during exercise.
Results: A 2 × 3 analysis of variance with repeated measures revealed that blood [HLa] decreased significantly with each repeated exercise bout (X¯ ± SEM: bout 1: SEB = 3.5 (0.3), DEB = 3.8 (0.4); bout 2: SEB = 2.6 (0.3), DEB = 2.8 (0.3); bout 3: SEB = 2.0 (0.2), DEB = 2.1 (0.4); mM). No differences were observed in the blood [HLa] response to repeated bouts of exercise between SEB and DEB. RPE-peripheral (legs, RPE-L) was higher during bout 3 compared with bout 1 (P < 0.05) (bout 1: SEB = 11.8 (0.8), DEB = 12.3 (0.2); bout 2: SEB = 12.3 (0.5), DEB = 13.3 (0.4); bout 3: SEB = 13.5 (0.8), DEB = 14.0 (0.7)); RPE-central (chest and breathing, RPE-C) was not affected by repeated bouts of exercise, whereas RPE-Overall (RPE-O) was higher during bout 3 compared with bouts 1 and 2 (P < 0.05) (bout 1: SEB = 12.5 (0.2), DEB = 12.3 (0.4); bout 2: SEB = 12.8 (0.4), DEB = 12.7 (0.4); bout 3: SEB = 13.7 (0.7), DEB = 13.2 (0.3)). No interaction for RPE × condition was observed. HR increased with repeated bouts of exercise with HR during exercise bout 3 being higher than HR during exercise bout 1 (164 vs. 156 bpm, P < 0.05). There was also a strong trend for HR during exercise bout 3 to be higher than HR during exercise bout 2 (P < 0.06). A trend for a reduction in V˙O2 with repeated exercise was observed (P < 0.07), with the reduction apparently related to the SEB condition (P < 0.12 for V˙O2 × condition). PO and kcal·min−1 were not affected by repeated bouts of exercise. RER decreased significantly with each repeated bout of exercise (from RER = 0.96 to RER = 0.89, P < 0.05) with no difference observed between SEB and DEB.
Conclusions: We conclude that the blood [HLa]-RPE relation is altered by repeated bouts of exercise and that this alteration does not appear to be affected by recovery time between exercise bouts (up to 3.5 h of recovery). These data suggest that, after the first exercise bout, RPE should not be used to produce a specific blood [HLa] on subsequent exercise bouts.