Effect of Bench Press Load Knowledge on Repetitions, Rating of Perceived Exertion, and Attentional Focus

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Beaudoin, CM, Cox, Z, Dundore, T, Thomas, T, Kim, J, and Pillivant, D. Effect of bench press load knowledge on repetitions, rating of perceived exertion, and attentional focus. J Strength Cond Res 32(2): 514–519, 2018—Few studies have examined the role of the teleoanticipation during resistance training. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of bench press (BP) load knowledge on repetitions completed, ratings of perceived exertion (RPEs), and attentional focus (% associative). Thirty-six recreationally active resistance-trained men (n = 25) and women (n = 11) participated in this study (age = 20.97 ± 1.87 years; ht = 174.12 ± 9.41 cm; and mass = 80.14 ± 14.03 kg). All subjects completed 3 testing sessions: (a) 1 repetition maximum (1RM) BP determination; (b) submaximal BP repetitions to fatigue known load (KL); and (c) submaximal BP repetitions to fatigue unknown load (UL). Known load and UL sessions were randomized and counterbalanced and both completed at 70% 1RM. An estimated weight ratio was computed using the subject's estimate of the UL weight relative to the KL weight. An independent samples t-test revealed no significant testing order difference for the estimated weight ratio. Two-way repeated-measures analysis of variances revealed no significant differences in the number of repetitions (p = 0.63), RPE (p = 0.18), or attentional focus (% associative) (p = 0.93) between the KL and UL conditions. Pearson correlations found a moderate positive association between KL repetitions completed and % associative focus when the UL was completed before the KL. Load knowledge did not influence the number of repetitions, RPE, or attentional focus while completing the BP. Further research examining the use of pacing strategies, RPE, and attentional focus during KL and UL conditions are warranted.

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