Physiological and psychological responses to a university fitness session

S Grant, G Armstrong, R Sutherland, J Wilson, T Aitchison, E Paul, S Henderson
British Journal of Sports Medicine 1993, 27 (3): 162-6
The purpose of this study was to examine the physiological and psychological responses to a university fitness session entitled 'popmobility'. A popmobility session consists of 20 min of aerobic activities, 5 min of local muscular endurance exercises and 5 min of flexibility exercises. Ten regular participants of these sessions, women of mean(s.d.) age 21.2(1.5) years, took part in the study. A maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) treadmill test was performed by each subject to obtain VO2max and maximum heart rate values. In a laboratory, heart rate and VO2 were measured throughout a popmobility session for each subject. Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) was measured every 5 min throughout the session. The mean intensity of the aerobic part of the session ranged from 67.7-82.6% of the subject's VO2max (mean of 76.4% VO2max). The mean heart rate reserve for the aerobic section was 75.6%. While the relative oxygen consumption remained fairly static during the aerobic section, the RPE score rose. The mean(s.d.) total energy expenditure was 236.6(28.4) kcal (range 203-288). The popmobility session is of adequate intensity to improve the aerobic fitness of its participants. Heart rate, as used as a measure of intensity during a popmobility session, would appear to be a fairly accurate indicator of intensity. However, the use of RPE for exercise prescription in popmobility sessions is inappropriate. Popmobility could also be useful in a weight-reduction programme.

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