A New Approach to Monitoring Exercise Training

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

The ability to monitor training is critical to the process of quantitating training periodization plans. To date, no method has proven successful in monitoring training during multiple types of exercise. High-intensity exercise training is particularly difficult to quantitate. In this study we evaluate the ability of the session rating of perceived exertion (RPE) method to quantitate training during non-steady state and prolonged exercise compared with an objective standard based on heart rate (HR). In a 2-part design, subjects performed steady state and interval cycle exercise or practiced basketball. Exercise bouts were quantitated using both the session RPE method and an objective HR method. During cycle exercise, the relationship between the exercise score derived using the session RPE method and the HR method was highly consistent, although the absolute score was significantly greater with the session RPE method. During basketball, there was a consistent relationship between the 2 methods of monitoring exercise, although the absolute score was also significantly greater with the session RPE method. Despite using different subjects in the 2 parts of the study, the regression relationships between the session RPE method and the HR method were nearly overlapping, suggesting the broad applicability of this method. We conclude that the session RPE method is a valid method of quantitating exercise training during a wide variety of types of exercise. As such, this technique may hold promise as a mode and intensity-independent method of quantitating exercise training and may provide a tool to allow the quantitative evaluation of training periodization plans.

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