HIGHER WORK RATES DO NOT SEEM HARDER ALTHOUGH THEY HAVE A HIGHER METABOLIC RATE
Gairola, A., Randall, C. R., Goss, F. L., & Robertson, R. J. (2004). RPE response to varying cycle ergometer pedal rates using the adult OMNI-Cycle Scale. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36(5), Supplement abstract 914.
"Previous investigations have and have not shown a consistent relation between ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and oxygen consumption (VO2) and heart rate (HR) where cycle ergometer pedal rate varied at a constant power output" (p. 132).
This investigation 1) examined the relationships between OMNI Scale RPE (overall-O, legs-L, and chest-C) and HR and VO2; and 2) examined the effect of pedal rate on perceptual signal integration by comparing RPE-O with the mean of RPE-L and RPE-C. Untrained male cyclists (N = 13) completed three, 7-minute exercise bouts. The bouts used 40, 60, and 80 rpm with brake resistances of 2.5, 1.6, and 1.25 kg at a power output of 100 Watts. Measures were taken during the final minute of each exercise bout.
HR was higher at 80 rpm than at 40 rpm. VO2 was higher at 80 rpm than at 60 and 40 rpm. There were no significant differences for RPE-L at 60 or 80 rpm, and RPE-C or RPE-O at 40, 60, or 80 rpm. RPE-LC was not significantly different from RPE-O at each pedal rate.
Implication. When work rate is held constant, work at different rates is perceived as being similar although heart rates are higher at the greater work rates.
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