We compared ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), state anxiety, percentage of peak oxygen uptake (% VO2peak), percentage of ventilatory threshold (% Tvent), and blood lactale concentration [HLa] in 11 high-active and 12 low-active men (23 ± 3 yr) at self-selected power outputs during 20 min of cycling. The high-active group selected higher power outputs than did the low-active group, but %VO2peak and % Tvent were lower for the high-active subjects during the initial 5–10 min of cycling. Both groups reported increased RPE across time, but contrary to past studies of load-incremented cycling, RPE was identical for the groups despite their differences in relative intensity. No differences were found for [HLa] or state anxiety during cycling. The groups did not differ on exertional symptoms, but the high-active subjects reported a significant reduction in state anxiety immediately after cycling. A preferred exertion protocol provides an alternative approach to identifying influences on perceived exertion during prolonged exercise. The influence of physical activity history/status on the association between the concomitant pattern of self-selected power outputs and postexercise anxiety reduction merits study.
©1994The American College of Sports Medicine