PERCEIVED EXERTION IS RELATED TO THE LEVEL OF CARDIOVASCULAR WORK IN CHILDREN
LeMura, L. M., von Duvillard, S. P., & Stanek, F. (1997). Ratings of central vs peripheral exertion in highly trained children. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 29(5), Supplement abstract 1216.
This study investigated cardiorespiratory (central) and local-muscular (peripheral) ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) during exercise in highly trained children (alpine skiers, M = 11, F = 3) on a cycle ergometer. Each S performed a graded exercise test consisting of 2-min increments. RPE assessments were offered at the end of each exercise stage.
It was found that central RPE values were higher than peripheral values at all stages. The maximal values were 18.5 for central and 8.4 for peripheral.
Local leg fatigue did not prevent the attainment of a true maximal effort in these Ss and sensory cues used to select an RPE value were primarily based on cardiorespiratory-metabolic mediators. This physiological mediator may predominate over another in shaping the perceptual response in children depending on the degree as well as the type (sport-specific) of conditioning.
Implication. At least in children, how hard the cardiorespiratory system works influences the perception of exertion rather than local fatigue. High levels of local fatigue can be tolerated but when central fatigue increases, performance tolerance is reduced.
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