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Original articles  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2002 December;42(3):389-95

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Physiological differences and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) in professional, amateur and young cyclists

Pérez-Landaluce J., Fernández-García B., Rodríguez-Alonso M., García-Herrero F., García-Zapico P., Patterson A. M., Terrados N.

Fundación Deportiva Municipal de Avilés, Avilés, Spain and Department of Functional Biology University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain


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Back­ground. The aim of ­this ­study is to ­measure and com­pare the phys­io­log­ical char­ac­ter­is­tics and the ­rating of per­ceived exer­tion (RPE) in 72 ­high ­level ­road ­cyclists of 3 dif­ferent cat­e­go­ries.
­Methods. ­These ­cyclists ­were ­divided in 3 ­groups ­according to ­their age (24 pro­fes­sionals, ­mean age 26 ­years, 22 ama­teurs, 22 ­years and 26 jun­iors, 18 ­years). Meas­ures: ­they car­ried out a pro­gres­sive ­test to exhaus­tion in a spe­cific cyclo­er­gom­eter, ­starting ­with a ­power ­output of 100 ­watts and ­increasing 50 ­watts ­each 4 min. V·O2 was meas­ured con­tin­u­ously. At the end of ­each one of the 4 min ­steps the sub­ject was ­asked ­about his RPE ­using the 6-20 ­Borg’s ­scale.
­Results. Pro­fes­sional ­cyclists ­showed a V·O2max, V·O2·kg-1 and a max­imum ­power ­output sig­nif­i­cant ­higher ­than ­other ­groups, ­while ­there ­were no sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences ­between ama­teurs and jun­iors. V·O2 and RPE ­were sig­nif­i­cantly dif­ferent, in all the cat­e­go­ries, ­during ­high ­work ­loads. No sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences ­were ­found ­between RPE and %V·O2max. RPE and ­heart ­rate (HR) ­were sig­nif­i­cantly dif­ferent ­between pro­fes­sionals and jun­iors. RPE and %HR max ­were sig­nif­i­cantly dif­ferent ­with low ­loads, but no ­with ­high ­loads. In the ­same way, RPE/w and RPE/(w·kg-1) ­were sig­nif­i­cantly dif­ferent in all cat­e­go­ries.
Con­clu­sions. We con­clude ­that pro­fes­sional ­road ­cyclists ­reached a V·O2max, V·O2max·kg-1 and a max­imum ­power ­higher ­than the ­other cat­e­go­ries; so, there­fore, ­these param­e­ters are ­good as per­for­mance indi­ca­tors, and RPE is of prac­tical ­value to pre­scribe exer­cise ­training inten­sities in ­each cat­e­gory.

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