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Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2015 May;10(4):426-30. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2014-0244. Epub 2014 Oct 28.

Effect of training-session intensity distribution on session rating of perceived exertion in soccer players.

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FC Internazionale, Milan, Italy, and the Faculty of Exercise and Sport Science, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.



To examine the effect of different exercise-intensity distributions within a training session on the session rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and to examine the timing of measure on the rating.


Nineteen junior players (age 16±1 y, height 173±5 cm, body mass 64±6 kg) from a Swiss soccer team were involved in the study. Percentage of heart rate maximum (%HR) and RPE (Borg CR100®) were collected in 4 standardized training sessions (conditions). The Total Quality of Recovery scale (TQR) and a visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain of the lower limbs were used to control for the effect of pretraining fatigue. Every session consisted of three 20-min blocks of different intensities (ie, low-moderate-high) performed in a random order. RPE was collected after every block (RPE5), immediately after the session (RPE-end), and 30 min after the session (RPE30).


RPE5s of each block were different depending on the distribution sequence (P<.0001). RPE-end, TQR, and VAS values were not different between conditions (P=.57, P=.55, and P=.96, respectively). The %HR was significantly different between conditions (P=.008), with condition 3 higher than condition 2 (74.1 vs 70.2%, P=.02). Edwards training loads were not significantly different between conditions (P=.09). RPE30 was not different from RPE-end (P>.05).


The current results show that coaches can design training sessions without concern about the influence of the within-session distribution of exercise intensity on session-RPE and that RPE can be collected at the end of the session or 30 min later.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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