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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012 Aug;112(8):3141-7. doi: 10.1007/s00421-011-2300-x. Epub 2012 Jan 4.

Effect of inter-repetition rest on ratings of perceived exertion during multiple sets of the power clean.

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  • 1Department of Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28608, USA.


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of inter-repetition rest (IRR) on ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) in the power clean exercise in a multiple set protocol using peak power as an indication of fatigue. Ten resistance-trained males participated in four testing sessions which consisted of determination of a one repetition maximum (1RM) in the power clean exercise (session 1) and performance of three sets of six repetitions at 80% of 1RM with 0 (P0), 20 (P20), or 40 s (P40) IRR (sessions 2-4). Fatigue during all three conditions was indicated by a significant decrease in power of 9.0% (P0), 3.0% (P20) and 2.1% (P40), respectively. Significant difference in the rate of power decrease in P40 indicates less fatigue in comparison to P0 and P20. P40 resulted in a significantly lower RPE compared to P0 and P20 (7.43 ± 0.34, 6.46 ± 0.47, and 5.30 ± 0.55, respectively). RPE increased significantly (p ≤ 0.01) within each set (5.26 ± 0.37, 6.46 ± 0.44, and 7.46 ± 0.53; sets 1, 2, and 3, respectively). Significant difference in average RPE between the conditions indicates that RPE is not a determinant of intensity (% of 1RM) but the rate of fatigue (decreases in peak power). In addition, the fact that RPE increased between sets 1, 2 and 3 during all conditions support the same conclusion. The results demonstrate that increasing IRR in power clean training decreases the perception of effort and is inversely related to the rate of fatigue.

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