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GAZZETTA MEDICA ITALIANA ARCHIVIO PER LE SCIENZE MEDICHE

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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2011 February;170(1):19-26

language: English

Validity of perceived exertion to predict heart rate during VO2max testing in trained runners

Troy M., Wells G.

Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC, USA


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Aim. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the accuracy of perceived exertion to predict exercise heart rate during maximal graded exercise testing of experienced runners. It is accepted that ratings of perceived exertion reported during exercise testing closely align with associated percentages of maximal heart rate and maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max). The Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) unit can be multiplied by ten (creating an adjusted RPE unit) to approximate the heart rate associated with a particular percentage of VO2max.
Methods. Nine males and four females with experience in running reported RPE during maximal testing. Physiological validity of perceived exertion was determined by comparing the adjusted units to expected heart rates at various percentages of VO2max.
Results. All participants under-estimated their intensity at 50%, 75%, 85%, and 90% of their VO2max. Perceived exertion units were significantly lower (P<0.05) than expected values at all submaximal stages, but were not significantly different at maximal oxygen consumption.
Conclusion. These findings suggest that experienced runners may have a blunted perception of their physical exertion levels during VO2max testing. Use of the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion scale to predict intensity during maximal exercise testing of trained runners may not be accurate.

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