JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Perceived exertion responses to changing resistance training programming variables

Daniel J Hiscock, Brian Dawson, Peter Peeling
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2015, 29 (6): 1564-9
25436635
This study examined the influence of intensity (%1 repetition maximum [1RM]), tonnage (sets × repetitions × load), rate of fatigue (percentage decrement in repetitions from set to set), work rate (total tonnage per unit of time), rest interval (time between sets), time under load, and session duration on session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE: Borg's CR-10 scale). Here, participants performed a standardized lifting session of 5 exercises (bench press, leg press, lat pulldown, leg curl, and triceps pushdown) as either: (a) 3 sets × 8 repetitions × 3-minute recovery at 70% 1RM, (b) 3 sets × 14 repetitions × 3-minute recovery at 40% 1RM, (c) 3 sets × MNR (maximum number of repetitions) × 1-minute recovery at 70% 1RM, (d) 3 sets × MNR × 3-minute recovery at 70% 1RM, (e) 3 sets × MNR × 1-minute recovery at 40% 1RM, or (f) 3 sets × MNR × 3-minute recovery at 40% 1RM. The sRPE for session A (4 ± 1) was significantly higher than session B (2.5 ± 1), despite matched tonnage. Protocols involving MNR showed no significant difference in sRPE. Work rate was the only variable to significantly relate with sRPE (r = 0.45). Additionally, sRPE at 15-minute postexercise (5 ± 2) was not different to 30-minute postexercise (5 ± 2). In resistance training with matched tonnage and rest duration between sets, sRPE increases with intensity. In sets to volitional failure, sRPE is likely to be similar, regardless of intensity or rest duration between sets.

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