Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte
Print version ISSN 1517-8692
TIGGEMANN, Carlos Leandro; PINTO, Ronei Silveira and KRUEL, Luiz Fernando Martins. Perceived Exertion in Strength Training. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2010, vol.16, n.4, pp. 301-309. ISSN 1517-8692. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-86922010000400014.
Perceived exertion (PE) is defined by Robertson and Noble(1) as the subjective intensity of effort, strain, discomfort and/or fatigue experienced during both aerobic and resistance exercise. Its application is fairly wide and has as main focus the measurement of physical exertion. The same neuro-physiological pattern, through the integration of feedforward-feedback commands could explain PE(2). Different scales (RPE, CR10, VAS, OMNI) were developed and have been applied in studies that investigated different exercises and populations, showing high correlations with important physiological variables. Several studies have been developed, especially in the last decade, in order to verify the PE behavior concerning different variables of the strength training (ST). Regarding the load variable, the results showed that higher loads produce greater PE, even when different volumes or number of repetitions are used, with high and significant correlations between PE and different loads. Maximum efforts (repetition maximum) cause a similar PE, regardless of the number of repetitions. Moreover, the higher the load used, the lower the responses variability of the PE among subjects. PE increases according to the number of repetitions performed in the sets for the same load, with no differences in PE being shown between men and women. Further ST variables must be investigated and it is not possible to provide conclusive data on the PE performance when these variables are evaluated. However, the studies presented until the present moment, have indicated that eccentric contractions and higher performance speeds indicate lower PE, while order, amount and type of exercises show little or no influence. Further studies should be conducted about the trainability status of the subjects, and contradictory data were found so far by the literature. Possibly, the major difficulty of these studies is not the PE application per se, but the isolation of each ST variable. As long as protocols similar to those used in the studies, respecting the control of the ST variables are used, the use of PE in modulating the intensity in ST seems possible.
Keywords : ratings perceived exertion; strength training; resistance exercise.