Gearhart, R. F. (2004). Using ratings of perceived exertion to self-select exercise intensity following different anchoring procedures. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36(5), Supplement abstract 917.

This investigation compared percent VO2max at an RPE of 13 (Somewhat hard) on the Borg Scale, during self-selected treadmill exercise intensity, following memory and combined exercise and memory anchoring procedures.

Recreationally trained college-aged Ss (N = 20) were assigned to two groups, each comprising five males and five females. The memory anchoring group (M) received a verbal description of the low (7) and high (19) perceptual anchors on the Borg 15-category scale immediately before the experimental trial. The combined exercise and memory group (EM) received identical verbal instructions; however the anchors were established during the performance of a maximal, graded treadmill exercise test. The low perceptual anchor was established during light walking and the high perceptual anchor was established at volitional termination. The EM group read the anchoring instructions again before the experimental trial. VO2max was determined during the orientation trial for EM, and in a separate session following the experimental trial for M. The experimental trial involved adjustment of speed and grade on the treadmill until Ss felt their intensity matched an RPE of 13. Expired gases were analyzed following two minutes of exercise at the selected intensity. Percent VO2max for the M and the EM were compared using an independent t-test.

VO2max and percent VO2max did not differ between groups at an RPE of 13.

Implication. Memory and combined exercise and memory anchoring procedures resulted in similar self-selected exercise intensities. Self-selection of a relative exercise intensity using RPEs is not affected when different anchoring procedures are employed

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