Using session RPE to monitor different methods of resistance exercise

Document Type

Journal Article


Assist Group, university of Uludag


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Computing, Health and Science




Egan, A. D., Winchester, J. B., Foster, C., & McGuigan, M. R. (2006). Using session RPE to monitor different methods of resistance exercise. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 5(2), 289-295. Available here


The purpose of this study was to compare session rating of perceived exertion for different resistance training techniques in the squat exercise. These techniques included traditional resistance training, super slow, and maximal power training. Fourteen college-age women (Mean ± SD; age = 22 ± 3 years; height = 1.68 ± 0. 07 m) completed three experimental trials in a randomized crossover design. The traditional resistance training protocol consisted of 6 sets of 6 repetitions of squats using 80% of 1-RM. The super slow protocol consisted of 6 sets of 6 repetitions using 55% of 1-RM. The maximal power protocol consisted of 6 sets of 6 repetitions using 30% of 1-RM. Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) measures were obtained following each set using Borg’s CR-10 scale. In addition, a session RPE value was obtained 30 minutes following each exercise session. When comparing average RPE and session RPE, no significant difference was found. However, power training had significantly lower (p < 0.05) average and session RPE (4.50 ± 1.9 and 4.5 ± 2.1) compared to both super slow training (7.81 ± 1.75 and 7.43 ± 1.73) and traditional training (7.33 ± 1.52 and 7.13 ± 1.73). The results indicate that session RPE values are not significantly different from the more traditional methods of measuring RPE during exercise bouts. It does appear that the resistance training mode that is used results in differences in perceived exertion that does not relate directly to the loading that is used. Using session RPE provides practitioners with the same information about perceived exertion as the traditional RPE measures. Taking a single measure following a training session would appear to be much easier than using multiple measures of RPE throughout a resistance training workout. However, practitioners should also be aware that the RPE does not directly relate to the relative intensity used and appears to be dependent on the mode of resistance exercise that is used.

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