Differentiated ratings of perceived exertion in upper body exercise

Ulric S. Abonie*, Marloes Oldenburg, Lucas H. V. van der Woude, Florentina Hettinga

*Corresponding author for this work

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This study examined whether differentiated ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) (local; RPEL and central; RPEC) and overall RPE (RPEO) were different between exercise modes (upper- versus lower body) and/or changed after upper body training, providing relevant input for upper body exercise prescription/regulation. Eight rowers completed an incremental cycling test (CY), and incremental handcycle (HC) tests before (HCpre) and after three weeks of handcycle training (HCpost). RPEc was higher during CY (17.4±2.4) compared to HCpost (15.9±1.9). However, RPEo was higher during HCpost (9.1±0.6) compared to CY (8.3±1.1). During the HC tests, RPEL was consistently higher than RPEO at the same PO. Training resulted in higher RPEc (HCpre: 14.6±2.6; HCpost: 15.9±1.9) and RPEo (HCpre: 7.9±0.9; HCpost: 9.1±0.6). No differences were found for RPEL between CY and HCpost (8.7±1.1; 9.3±0.4) and after HC training (HCpre: 9.1±1.0; HCpost: 9.3±0.4). At the point of exhaustion, RPEc was higher in CY than during HCpre and HCpost, suggesting RPEC is not causing exercise termination in HC. Furthermore, RPEL is perceived higher than RPEO during all stages of the incremental HC tests compared to CY. This suggests that in contrast to cycling, local factors during arm work are perceived more strongly than central or overall cues of exertion.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0283620
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalPLoS One
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2023

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