Optimal exercise intensity in trained elderly men and women

F Deruelle, C Nourry, P Mucci, F Bart, J M Grosbois, Gh Lensel, C Fabre
International Journal of Sports Medicine 2007, 28 (7): 612-6
The purpose of our investigation was to suggest a new approach to determine exercise intensities in master elderly athletes. Sixteen trained elderly men (63.0 +/- 2.9 years) and 8 trained elderly women (62.3 +/- 5.5 years), performed an exhaustive exercise test on a cycle ergometer. Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and heart rate reserve (HRr) were determined at the first and second ventilatory thresholds (VT1 and VT2). There was no significant difference between genders in RPE and HRr, whatever the exercise intensity. RPE scores corresponded to 12.4 +/- 0.9 in men and 12.7 +/- 1.3 in women at VT1. At VT2, RPE was 15.2 +/- 0.8 and 15.3 +/- 1.1 in men and women, respectively. HR at VT1 corresponded to 59.3 +/- 7.0% in men and 59.5 +/- 5.1% in women, whereas at VT2, HR was measured at 80.5 +/- 6.4% and 79.5 +/- 5.9% HRr, in men and women, respectively. Because it is not practical to measure VT1 and VT2 in routine clinical practice, the present study indicated that, in trained older men and women, the RPE value of 12 - 13 and/or 60 % HRr might be used to detect the exercise intensity at VT1. An RPE score of 15 and/or 80 % HRr would appear to be good indexes in the prescription of exercise intensity at VT2.

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