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Influence of Terminal RPE on Session RPE

Hornsby, Jared H.; Green, James M.; O’Neal, Eric K.; Killen, Lauren L.; McIntosh, Joyce R.; Coates, Tom E.

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182830d6c
Original Research

Abstract: Hornsby, JH, Green, JM, O'Neal, EK, Killen, LL, McIntosh, JR, and Coates, TE. Influence of terminal RPE on session RPE. J Strength Cond Res 27(10): 2800–2805, 2013—Session rating of perceived exertion (RPE; SRPE), a convenient model for monitoring the overall perceived exertion of an exercise bout, is not well understood. The SRPE may be linked to final acute RPE before exercise cessation. This study investigated the potential link between terminal acute RPE (TRPE) and the SRPE using cycling trials of equated work. Fifteen subjects (age: 24.3 ± 5.1 years) completed a maximal exertion cycle trial followed by 2 (counterbalanced) 40-minute cycling trials at approximately 75% of individualized V[Combining Dot Above]O2max. By manipulating warm-up and cooldown, the trials were designed to result in a high TRPE (HITRPE) and low TRPE (LOTRPE). The heart rate (HR) and RPE were recorded every 5 minutes during exercise, with the SRPE recorded 20 minutes postexercise. The mean RPE (MeanRPE) during exercise (min 10–40 HITRPE and minutes 5–35 for LOTRPE) was calculated by averaging all RPE responses recorded during exercise at 75% V[Combining Dot Above]O2max. Two-way (trial × time) repeated measures analysis of variance and Bonferroni post hoc tests were used to compare the MeanRPE, SRPE, and TRPE. MeanRPE, HR, and power output (using paired t-test) for exercise at 75% V[Combining Dot Above]O2max did not differ (p > 0.05) between HITRPE and LOTRPE. The TRPE at minute 40 was significantly lower (p < 0.05) for LOTRPE (3.1 ± 2.6) vs. HITRPE (8.2 ± 1.7), no significant difference was found for SRPE (LOTRPE: 7.6 ± 2.0 vs. HITRPE 7.4 ± 1.7). The findings indicate that the SRPE was not linked to TRPE. Further research is warranted using various modalities to extend the understanding of potential mediating factors of SRPE.

Author Information

Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, University of North Alabama, Florence, Alabama

Address correspondence to Jared H. Hornsby,

Copyright © 2013 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.