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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2000 Sep;40(3):201-8.

Heart rate-perceived exertion relationship during training and taper.

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Physiology and Applied Nutrition, Australian Institute of Sport, Belconnen.



Examine the heart rate-perceived exertion (HR-RPE) relationship under conditions of high-intensity training and taper.


Experimental design and participants: prospective with collegiate cyclists (n=11) completed six weeks of high-intensity interval training, followed by a one-week taper.


participants completed a high-intensity training regimen along with graded exercise tests (GXT) throughout the training and the taper.


heart rates (HR) and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded following each stage of the GXTs. Scores on GXTs were also recorded.


. The HR-RPE relationship during GXTs changed over the course of the training with greater RPEs for a given HR at the end of the training compared to the beginning. The most powerful predictors of the performance response to the taper were training induced changes in the HR-RPE relationship and decreases in HR for a given power output. Those individuals who reported higher RPEs for lower HRs were more likely to have better performance responses to taper (r=0.72) as were those who had larger changes in the HR-power output relationship (r=0.76).


These results indicate that changes in the HR-RPE relationship during high-intensity training may be used to monitor the magnitude of overreaching that is necessary for a positive response to a taper. For coaches and athletes, the HR-RPE ratio may be a practical measure for monitoring an aspect of fatigue associated with high-intensity training.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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