Regulating Oxygen Uptake During High Intensity Exercise
Using Heart Rate and RPE

C.W. Herman, P.R. Nagelkirk, J.M. Pivarnik, C.J. Womack

The purpose of this study was to comparatively evaluate the use of heart rate (HR) or rating of perceived exertion (RPE) in eliminating the slow component of oxygen uptake (VO2) during high-intensity aerobic exercise. METHODS Nine sedentary males (age = 23.9 � 4.6 years, height = 177.4 � 10.1cm, weight = 75.28 � 12.95 kg) completed three 15-minute submaximal exercise cycle ergometer tests based on: 1) constant power output (PO) corresponding to 75% VO2max (PO75), 2) HR corresponding with 75% VO2max (HR75), and 3) RPE response corresponding with 75% VO2max (RPE75). VO2, HR, RPE, and blood lactate concentration [La-] were measured during all tests. Data were analyzed using repeated measures analysis of variance and post-hoc means comparisons were performed using a Fisher�s LSD test. RESULTS End-exercise VO2 was significantly higher than the respective minute 3 VO2 for the PO75 and RPE75 tests, but not the HR75 test. End-exercise VO2 was significantly greater for the PO75 test than both the RPE75 and HR75 tests, but there was no significant difference between end-exercise VO2 for the RPE75 and HR75 tests. End-exercise HR and RPE were significantly higher for the PO75 test than both the RPE75 and HR75 tests. There were no significant differences between the RPE75 and HR75 tests for end-exercise HR or end-exercise RPE. CONCLUSION Results suggest using both HR and RPE are effective at reducing the slow component of VO2 that occurs during high-intensity exercise.

This study has been accepted for publication in Med Sci Sports Exerc (to be published in 2003)

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