A comparison of workload quantification methods in relation to physiological responses to resistance exercise

Kyle Genner, Matthew Weston

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to (a) assess the usefulness of volume load (VL), session RPE (SRPE), RPE load (RPEL), and a modified RPEL (RPEL-2) to estimate internal load from resistance exercise (RE), and (b) to further assess the interactions between SRPE, VL, and RE intensity. Twelve healthy males (25 ± 4 years) completed RE sessions at 55%, 70%, and 85% 1RM. VL, SRPE, RPEL and RPEL-2 for each session were calculated, compared, and correlated with change values () for blood lactate and salivary cortisol. There were substantial increases in all measures of training load with progressive decreases in %1RM. There were clear substantial increases in lactate and cortisol following RT at 55% 1RM when compared to 70% and 85%. Within subject correlations with cortisol were small with SRPE (r = 0.25; 90% confidence limits; 0.32), RPEL (r = 0.23; 0.32) and RPEL-2 (r = 0.19; 0.32) and trivial for VL (r = 0.01; 0.28). Correlations with lactate were moderate
with VL (r = 0.42; 0.29) and RPEL-2 (r = 0.38; 0.29), and small with SRPE (r = 0.25; 0.32) and RPEL (r = 0.25; 0.32). Correlation between SRPE and VL was large (r = 0.55; 0.25). Whilst lactate and cortisol did not follow the same trends as measures of workload, VL may be superior to estimate internal load from RE, particularly when measured via lactate. When viewing training load globally RPEL-2 may offer the greatest advantage. Finally, our results suggest that SRPE appears to be more closely related to VL than %1RM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2621-2627
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Volume28
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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