Koltyn, K. F., O'Connor, P. J., & Morgan, W. P. (1991). Perception of effort in female and male competitive swimmers. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 12, 427-429.

Male (N = 31) and female (N = 31) collegiate swimmers were compared on their perceptual responses to submaximal swimming. Heart rates were also related to the perceptions. Each swimmer completed an electronically paced 200 yd swim using the preferred stroke at 90% of maximum velocity. Mean heart rates for the swim were compared to the perceived effort rating.

  1. Females demonstrated lower perceived exertion ratings than males.
  2. Heart rates were significantly higher in females than males.
  3. There was no correlation between heart rate and perceived effort rating.

Implication. Females rate effort levels lower than males. They may be easier to overtrain than males because of this perceptual difference.

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