Novel Resistance Training–Specific Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale Measuring Repetitions in Reserve

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Abstract

Zourdos, MC, Klemp, A, Dolan, C, Quiles, JM, Schau, KA, Jo, E, Helms, E, Esgro, B, Duncan, S, Garcia Merino, S, and Blanco, R. Novel resistance training–specific rating of perceived exertion scale measuring repetitions in reserve. J Strength Cond Res 30(1): 267–275, 2016—The primary aim of this study was to compare rating of perceived exertion (RPE) values measuring repetitions in reserve (RIR) at particular intensities of 1 repetition maximum (RM) in experienced (ES) and novice squatters (NS). Furthermore, this investigation compared average velocity between ES and NS at the same intensities. Twenty-nine individuals (24.0 ± 3.4 years) performed a 1RM squat followed by a single repetition with loads corresponding to 60, 75, and 90% of 1RM and an 8-repetition set at 70% 1RM. Average velocity was recorded at 60, 75, and 90% 1RM and on the first and last repetitions of the 8-repetition set. Subjects reported an RPE value that corresponded to an RIR value (RPE-10 = 0-RIR, RPE-9 = 1-RIR, and so forth). Subjects were assigned to one of the 2 groups: (a) ES (n = 15, training age: 5.2 ± 3.5 years) and (b) NS (n = 14, training age: 0.4 ± 0.6 years). The mean of the average velocities for ES was slower (p ≤ 0.05) than NS at 100% and 90% 1RM. However, there were no differences (p > 0.05) between groups at 60, 75%, or for the first and eighth repetitions at 70% 1RM. In addition, ES recorded greater RPE at 1RM than NS (p = 0.023). In ES, there was a strong inverse relationship between average velocity and RPE at all percentages (r = −0.88, p < 0.001), and a strong inverse correlation in NS between average velocity and RPE at all intensities (r = −0.77, p = 0.001). Our findings demonstrate an inverse relationship between average velocity and RPE/RIR. Experienced squatter group exhibited slower average velocity and higher RPE at 1RM than NS, signaling greater efficiency at high intensities. The RIR-based RPE scale is a practical method to regulate daily training load and provide feedback during a 1RM test.

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