RPE IS SPECIFIC TO THE EXERCISE AND INTENSITY LEVEL
Katsanos, C. S., Cheuvront, S. N., & Haymes, E. M. (1999). Physiological responses at given ratings of perceived exertion: Walking vs cycling. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(5), Supplement abstract 1002.
College males (N = 7) performed treadmill-walking and cycling at three different ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) on the Borg Scale (11, 13, and 15). Net VO2 and heart rate were measured in each exercise.
At RPEs 11 and 13, there were no differences in the physiological measures between forms of exercise. However, at RPE 15, both VO2 and HR were higher for walking than for cycling. Lactate levels were significantly lower for walking at all RPE levels.
Implication. It would be wrong to assume that the amount of work being performed in one exercise is equivalent to that in another form just because RPE ratings are similar. At higher intensities, RPE/work cost differences emerge.
Return to Table of Contents for this issue.