, Volume 113, Issue 5, pp 1233-1239

The perceptually regulated exercise test is sensitive to increases in maximal oxygen uptake

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess the sensitivity of a perceptually regulated exercise test (PRET) to predict maximal oxygen uptake ( $ \dot{V} $ O2max) following an aerobic exercise-training programme. Sedentary volunteers were assigned to either a training (TG n = 16) or control (CG n = 10) group. The TG performed 30 min of treadmill exercise, regulated at 13 on the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale, 3× per week for 8 weeks. All participants completed a 12-min PRET to predict $ \dot{V} $ O2max followed by a graded exercise test (GXT) to measure $ \dot{V} $ O2max before and after training. The PRET required participants to control the speed and incline on the treadmill to correspond to RPE intensities of 9, 11, 13 and 15. Predictive accuracy of extrapolation end-points RPE19 and RPE20 from a submaximal RPE range of 9–15 was compared. Measured $ \dot{V} $ O2max increased by 17 % (p < 0.05) from baseline to post-intervention in TG. This was reflected by a similar change in $ \dot{V} $ O2max predicted from PRET when extrapolated to RPE 19 (baseline $ \dot{V} $ O2max: 31.3 ± 5.5, 30.3 ± 9.5 mL kg−1 min−1; post-intervention $ \dot{V} $ O2max: 36.7 ± 6.4, 37.4 ± 7.9 mL kg−1 min−1, for measured and predicted values, respectively). There was no change in CG (measured vs. predicted $ \dot{V} $ O2max: 39.3 ± 6.5; 40.3 ± 8.2 and 39.2 ± 7.0; 37.7 ± 6.0 mL kg−1 min−1) at baseline and post-intervention, respectively. The results confirm that PRET is sensitive to increases in $ \dot{V} $ O2max following aerobic training.

Communicated by David C. Poole.