Moreau, K. L., Ross, J. H., Whaley, M. H., & Kaminsky, L. A. (1996). The effects of blood lactate concentration on perception of effort during exercise. Medicine and Science in Exercise and Sports, 28(5), Supplement abstract 424.

This study assessed the relationship between ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and blood lactate (BLC) during graded exercise protocols.

Results suggested that the relationship between RPE and BLC obtained through a graded exercise protocol may not be transferable to the exercise training setting at exercise intensities in the 50-85% range. RPE may not be an effective method for regulating exercise intensity when blood lactates become a noticeable factor.

Implication. The usefulness of RPE may be best in steady-state exercise when lactate is relatively low, rather than in graded protocols. When exercise becomes "painful" the pain may distort the perception of effort and render RPE less reliable.

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