Int J Sports Med 1992; 13(5): 377-383
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-1021284
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

The Effect of Training Intensity on Ratings of Perceived Exertion

E. M. Haskvitz, R. L. Seip, J. Y. Weltman, A. D. Rogol, A. Weltman
  • Exercise Physiology Laboratory (EMH, RLS, AW), Curry School of Education and Department of Pediatrics (JYW, ADR), Pharmacology (ADR), Internal Medicine (AW), Health Sciences Center; The Biodynamics Institute (ADR), University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
14 March 2008 (online)


We examined the effects of intensity of training on ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) at the lactate threshold (LT), fixed blood lactate concentrations (FBLC) of 2.0, 2.5 and 4.0 mM and peak in 25 untrained eumenorrheic women (x̄±SD: age = 30.9±4.1 yrs; height = 165.7±5.9 cm; weight = 65.5±7.6 kg) who completed one year of run training. Subjects were recruited as sedentary controls or were randomly assigned to one of two training groups: 1) at the lactate threshold (@LT) or 2) above the lactate threshold (> LT). The @LT group trained at velocity LT and the > LT group trained at the velocity midway between velocity LT and peak velocity. Training subjects were reevaluated every fourth menstrual cycle and training intensity was adjusted. The control group was reassessed at menstrual cycle 12. Before training no among group differences were observed for V̇O2 or velocity at LT, FBLC and peak. Both training groups increased V̇O2 at LT, FBLC and peak as a result of training (p < 0.05), with the > LT group exhibiting greater improvement than the @LT group (V̇O2 at LT, FBLC of 2.0, 2.5 and 4.0 mM and peak increased by 6.4, 5.3, 5.1, 4.0 and 4.7 ml/kg · min-1[email protected] and by 10.4, 9.2, 8.6, 5.1 and 5.9 ml/kg · min-1 for > LT; p < 0.05). Similar findings were observed for the velocity associated with these lactate concentrations. No pre/post differences were observed in V̇O2 or velocity for the control group. In spite of the differential training response, RPE remained stable at LT and FBLC of 2.0, 2.5 and 4.0 mM and peak (x̄ RPE = 12.3, 14.7, 15.8, 17.6 and 19.3, respectively). We conclude that RPE remains stable at LT, FBLC and peak independent of changes in fitness or training intensity. Therefore, if blood lactate concentrations are used for exercise prescription, RPE may provide a suitable means for regulating training intensity.