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J Strength Cond Res. 2004 May;18(2):353-8.

Monitoring exercise intensity during resistance training using the session RPE scale.

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Department of Exercise and Sport Science, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA.


This study investigated the reliability of the session rating of perceived exertion (RPE) scale to quantify exercise intensity during high-intensity (H), moderate-intensity (M), and low-intensity (L) resistance training. Nine men (24.7 +/- 3.8 years) and 10 women (22.1 +/- 2.6 years) performed each intensity twice. Each protocol consisted of 5 exercises: back squat, bench press, overhead press, biceps curl, and triceps pushdown. The H consisted of 1 set of 4-5 repetitions at 90% of the subject's 1 repetition maximum (1RM). The M consisted of 1 set of 10 repetitions at 70% 1RM, and the L consisted of 1 set of 15 repetitions at 50% 1RM. RPE was measured following the completion of each set and 30 minutes postexercise (session RPE). Session RPE was higher for the H than M and L exercise bouts (p < or = 0.05). Performing fewer repetitions at a higher intensity was perceived to be more difficult than performing more repetitions at a lower intensity. The intraclass correlation coefficient for the session RPE was 0.88. The session RPE is a reliable method to quantify various intensities of resistance training.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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