Lagally, K., Gallagher, K., Robertson, R. J., Jakicic, J., Goss, F. L., Lephart, S., McCaw, S. T., & Goodpaster, B. (2000). Perceived exertion responses to acute bouts of resistance exercise, EMG, and Lactate mediators. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 32(5), Supplement abstract 931.

Female volunteers (N = 20) performed one set of a biceps curl exercise at 30, 60, and 90% of 1 RM. Total work was held constant by varying the number of repetitions during each of the three protocols (12 x 30%; 6 x 60%; 4 x 90%). RPE was measured for both the active muscle and overall body on each occasion.

Both RPE measures increased as the intensity of exercise increased. RPE-active muscle was significantly higher than RPE-body overall only at 90% intensity. Lactate at 30% was significantly lower than at 90% intensity. EMG activity consistently increased as intensity increased.

Implication. RPE might be a useful monitoring method for resistance exercise intensity.

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