Ratings of perceived exertion during low- and high-intensity resistance exercise by young adults.Percept Mot Skills. 2002 Jun; 94(3 Pt 1):723-31.PM
Ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) are commonly used to monitor the intensity of aerobic exercise. Whether ratings of perceived exertion can be used similarly during resistance exercise is unclear. To examine this question, perceived exertion was measured at 30% and 90% of the one-repetition maximum (1-RM), while holding work constant between intensities. Ratings for the active muscles and for the overall body were examined during both intensities. 10 male (age=23.2 +/- 3.6 yr.) and nine female (age=21.8 +/- 2.7 yr.) volunteers underwent a one-repetition maximum procedure for each of the following exercises: bench press, leg press, latissimus pull down, triceps press, biceps curl, shoulder press, and calf raise. All subjects then completed two experimental trials on separate days. The high-intensity trial consisted of one set of five repetitions at 90% of the one-repetition maximum. The low-intensity trial consisted of one set of 15 repetitions at 30% of the one-repetition maximum. Active muscle and overall body ratings of perceived exertion were obtained immediately at termination of each of the seven exercises at both intensities. A two-factor (RPE x Intensity) repeated-measures analysis of variance was performed separately for each exercise. Both active muscle and overall body ratings of perceived exertion were higher (p<.01) for the high-intensity trial than for the low-intensity trial. Active muscle ratings were higher (p<.01) than overall body ratings for all exercises. Ratings of perceived exertion during resistance exercise are related to intensity of the resistance exercise (percentage of the one-repetition maximum). This information suggests that ratings of perceived exertion can provide information regarding the intensity of resistance exercise. Furthermore, sensations of exertion in the active muscles during resistance exercise are greater than sensations for the overall body.