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European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 119, Issue 9, pp 2083–2094 | Cite as

Treadmill running using an RPE-clamp model: mediators of perception and implications for exercise prescription

  • Kristen C. Cochrane-SnymanEmail author
  • Terry J. Housh
  • Cory M. Smith
  • Ethan C. Hill
  • Nathaniel D. M. Jenkins
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

The mediators of the perception of effort during exercise are still unclear. The aim of the present study was to examine physiological responses during runs using a rating of perceived exertion (RPE)-clamp model at the RPE corresponding to the gas exchange threshold (RPEGET) and 15% above GET (RPEGET+15%) to identify potential mediators and performance applications for RPE during treadmill running.

Methods

Twenty-one runners (\({\dot{V}\mathrm{O}}_{2}\)max = 51.7 ± 8.3 ml kg−1 min−1) performed a graded exercise test to determine maximal oxygen consumption and the RPE associated with GET and GET + 15% followed by randomized 60 min RPE-clamp runs at RPEGET and RPEGET+15%. Mean differences for \({\dot{V}\mathrm{O}}_{2}\), heart rate (HR), minute ventilation (\({\dot{V}}_{E}\)), respiratory frequency (\({\mathcal{F}}_{R})\), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), and velocity were compared across each run.

Results

After minute 14, \({\dot{V}\mathrm{O}}_{2}\), RER and velocity did not differ across conditions, but decreased across time (p < 0.05). There was a significant (p < 0.05) condition × time interaction for \({\dot{V}}_{E}\), where values were significantly higher during RPE-clamp runs at RPEGET+15% and decreased across time in both conditions. There were no differences across condition or time for HR, and only small difference between conditions for \({\mathcal{F}}_{R}\).

Conclusions

HR and \({\mathcal{F}}_{R}\) may play a role in mediating the perception of effort, while \({\dot{V}\mathrm{O}}_{2}\), RER, and \({\dot{V}}_{E}\) may not. Although HR and \({\mathcal{F}}_{R}\) may mediate the maintenance of a perceptual intensity, they may not be sensitive to differentiate perceptual intensities at GET and GET + 15%. Thus, prescribing exercise using an RPE-clamp model may only reflect a sustainable \({\dot{V}\mathrm{O}}_{2}\) within the moderate intensity domain.

Keywords

Rating of perceived exertion Exercise prescription Running Rpe-clamp 

Abbreviations

GET

Gas exchange threshold

vGET

Velocity associated with GET

vGET + 15%

Velocity associated with 15% above GET

\({\mathcal{F}}_{R}\)

Respiratory frequency

\({\mathcal{F}}_{R}\)max

Maximal respiratory frequency

HR

Heart rate

HRmax

Maximal heart rate

LT

Lactate threshold

(La)b

Blood lactate concentration

RCP

Respiratory compensation point

RER

Respiratory exchange ratio

RERmax

Maximal respiratory exchange ratio

RPE

Rating of perceived exertion

RPEmax

Maximal rating of perceived exertion

RPEGET

RPE corresponding with GET

RPEGET+15%

RPE corresponding with 15% above GET

\({\dot{V}}_{E}\)

Minute ventilation

\({\dot{V}}_{Emax}\)

Maximal minute ventilation

vRPEGET

Velocity corresponding to the RPE at GET

vRPEGET+15%

Velocity corresponding to the RPE at 15% above GET

\({\dot{V}\mathrm{O}}_{2}\)

Oxygen consumption rate

\({\dot{V}\mathrm{O}}_{2max}\)

Maximal oxygen consumption rate

\(v{\dot{V}\mathrm{O}}_{2max}\)

Velocity at \({\dot{V}\mathrm{O}}_{2max}\)

Notes

Author contributions

KCS and TJH conceived and designed the research. KCS, NDM, CMS, ECH conducted the experiments. KCS wrote the manuscript. TJH, NDM, CMS, ECH read and approved manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflicts of interest related to this study.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of KinesiologyCalifornia State UniversityFresnoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health and Human Performance, College of Innovation and Professional ProgramsConcordia University ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Nutrition and Health SciencesUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA
  4. 4.College of Health Sciences, KinesiologyUniversity of Texas At El PasoEl PasoUSA
  5. 5.Division of Kinesiology, School of Kinesiology and Physical TherapyUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA
  6. 6.School of Kinesiology, Applied Health and RecreationOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA
  7. 7.Department of Nutritional SciencesOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA

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