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Ratings of perceived exertion at the lactate threshold in trained and untrained men and women

Demello, J.J.; Cureton, K.J.; Boineau, R.E.; Singh, M.M.

Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 19(4): 354-362

1987


ISSN/ISBN: 0195-9131
PMID: 3657484
DOI: 10.1249/00005768-198708000-00006
Accession: 006263084

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of state of training and gender on ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) at the lactate threshold (LT), and to determine whether RPE during moderate to heavy sub-maximal exercise is more closely associated with LT or %.ovrhdot.VO2max. RPE at the LT (RPELT) and at various percentages of .ovrhdot.VO2max were compared in 10 male and 10 female trained distance runners, and 10 male and 10 female untrained subjects, 18 to 35 yr of age. Mean (.+-. SD) .ovrhdot.VO2max [ml .cntdot. kg FFW-1 (fat-free weight) .cntdot. min-1] of the trained men and women (72.3 .+-. 1.4 and 73.1 .+-. 1.6) was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than for the untrained men and women (60.2 .+-. 1.4 and 53.2 .+-. 1.8), confirming their higher cardiorespiratory capacity. Similarly, the mean LTs (%.ovrhdot.VO2max) of the trained men and women (79.2 .+-. 1.7% and 73.3 .+-. 1.8%) were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than for the untrained men and women (66.5 .+-. 3.3% and 58.9 .+-. 3.3%), and mean values for the men were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than for the women. The means for RPELT for the four groups, 13.6 .+-. 2.1, 13.5 .+-. 1.6, 13.5 .+-. 1.5, and 12.9 .+-. 1.3, respectively, were not significantly different (P > 0.05), even though the ratings were given at markedly different levels of .ovrhdot.VE, .ovrhdot.VO2 (l .cntdot. min-1), heart rate, and %VO2max. Mean RPE, blood lactate, and .ovrhdot.VE .cntdot. .ovrhdot.VO2-1 at exercise intensities between 50 and 80% .ovrhdot.VO2max were significantly lower (P < 0.05) in trained than in untrained subjects. It was concluded that LT is an important physiological anchor point for perception of effort that is not affected by state of training or gender. Trained and untrained men and women perceive the exercise intensity at LT as "somewhat hard" (RPE = 13 to 14). During moderate-to-heavy exercise intensities, RPE is more closely linked to the metabolic and gas exchange alterations initiated at the LT than to %.ovrhdot.VO2max utilized.

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