Bolgar, M. R., Baker, C. E., Goss, F. L., Nagle, E. F., & Robertson, R. J. (2008). Effects of training status and exercise intensity on differentiated and undifferentiated ratings of perceived exertion. ACSM 55th Annual Meeting Indianapolis. Presentation number 1638.

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This study examined the effect of aerobic training status on components of the differentiated perceived exertion model in young women (19 untrained, 22 trained) performing weight bearing and non-weight bearing graded aerobic exercises. The first graded exercise test used a treadmill and employed a modified Bruce protocol and terminated at VO2max. The second graded exercise test used a cycle ergometer where the initial power output was 50 W and was incremented by 25 W every three minutes until fatigue or inability to maintain a pedal cadence of 50 rpm. RPE-Overall, -Legs, and -Chest, as well as respiratory metabolic measures were recorded each minute.

There were no significant differences between trained and untrained groups for any of the three RPE measures. All RPE's increased significantly as %VO2max increased.

Implication. RPE is a valid tool to track relative exercise intensity. It can be applied as differentiated or undifferentiated responses regardless of training status.

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