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Impact of Direction of Unloading Influence on Template Rate of Perceived Exertion

Greer, Beau Kjerulf1; Young, Patrick R.2; Thompson, Brooke3; Rickert, Brendan J.1; Moran, Matthew F.1

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: March 23, 2017 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001846
Original Research: PDF Only

It is suggested that exercisers engage in a process of teleoanticipation and create an exercise template based upon previous experience with the exercise task which guides their perceptions of the amount of effort required for task completion. The present study examined how altering workload intensity during a positive-pressure treadmill task may impact ratings of perceived exertion (RPE). In a counter-balanced design, 15 collegiate cross country runners (7 males, 8 females) performed two 25-min runs at a constant velocity while bodyweight (BW) was either increased from 60% to 100% (INC) or decreased from 100% to 60% (DEC) in 5 min increments. Oxygen consumption (VO2), heart rate (HR), and respiratory exchange ratio (RER) were collected. RPE was recorded at the end of each stage, and energy expenditure (EE) was calculated with VO2 and RER data. There were no significant differences between direction of loading conditions for VO2, EE, HR, and RER (p > 0.05). Between-trial differences in RPE at 100%, 90%, 80% BW were statistically significant (p < 0.001) with higher RPEs observed during the INC trial. Differences in RPE observed between conditions cannot be explained by physiological mechanisms. These findings suggest that RPE is a multifaceted construct which can be impacted by subjectively based anticipatory factors such as exercise intensity.

1Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Science, Sacred Heart University, 5151 Park Avenue, Fairfield CT, USA.

2Department of Psychology, Wingate University, 220 North Camden Road, Charlotte NC, USA.

3School of Psychology and Counseling, Gardner-Webb University, 110 South Main Street, Boiling Springs NC, USA.

Corresponding Author: Beau Kjerulf Greer Address: 5151 Park Ave., Fairfield CT 06825 Phone: (203) 396-8064 Fax: (203) 365-4723 Email:

Laboratory: Motion Analysis Laboratory, Sacred Heart University

Disclosure of funding: n/a This manuscript is original and not previously published, nor is it being considered elsewhere until a decision is made as to its acceptability by the JSCR Editorial Review Board.

Copyright © 2018 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.