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Percept Mot Skills. 2004 Apr;98(2):627-37.

Perceived exertion during resistance exercise by children.

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  • 1Department of Exercise Science and Physical Education, University of Massachusetts, Boston 02125, USA.


This pilot study examined the validity of a new scale of perceived exertion during acute bouts of resistance exercise in young children. The researchers developed an 11-point numerical scale with five pictures representing youths at various levels of exertion while lifting weights. 26 children (M age 10.1 +/- 1.2 yr.) performed one set of 10 repetitions at 35%, 55%, and 75% of their one-repetition maximum on the chest press and leg press exercises using child-size weight training machines. Scaling procedures for the perceptual anchors on the perceived exertion scale were based on one repetition maximum testing. Children could use this scale to translate into numbers their perceptions of physical exertion during upper and lower body resistance exercise. Perceived exertion distributed as a positive linear function of the percent of one repetition maximum on the chest press and leg press exercises (rs = .70 to .77), and perceived exertion increased significantly across all three exercise intensities on both exercises. These preliminary findings provide partial evidence for validation when this scale was used during resistance exercise with children. Additional validation regarding perceived exertion during resistance exercise with children is warranted.

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