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Is there a relationship between the total volume of load lifted in bench press exercise and the rating of perceived exertion?

Edizione Minerva Medica
Publication Date
  • Workload
  • Physical Education And Training
  • Resistance Training


Aim. The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between the total volume of load lifted (TVLL) and the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) measures during different resistance training (RT) schemes using the bench press exercise. Methods. The present study was divided into two experiments. In the first experiment, 18 healthy men performed three different RT schemes: a strength oriented scheme (SS), a muscular endurance oriented scheme (ES) and a hypertrophy oriented scheme (HS). TVLL was calculated for each scheme. Mean-RPE and session-RPE were assessed. In the second experiment, 23 men performed two resistance exercise bouts at different intensities (50 %-1RM and 75%-1RM) with matched TVLL. Mean-RPE and session-RPE were also assessed. Results. SS and HS showed higher TVLL and greater RPE scores as compared to ES (P<0.05). No significant difference was observed between SS and HS. It was verified significant positive correlations between TVLL and session-RPE (SS r=0.63, HS r=0.64, ES r=0.56; P<0.05), and between mean-RPE and TVLL (SS r=0.55, HS r=0.52, ES r=0.47; P<0.05) for all schemes. No differences were observed for mean-RPE, session-RPE and TVLL between the 50%-1RM and 75%1RM. Significant positive relationships between TVLL and session-RPE (50 %-1RM r=0.61, 75 %-1RM r=0.66; p<0.05) and between TVLL and mean-RPE (50 %-1RM r=0.51, 75%1RM r=0.49; P<0.05) were observed. Conclusion. The results of this study have shown that the TVLL in RT influences RPE measures. These findings corroborates the existence of a relationship between total work performed (external training load) and perception of effort (internal training load).

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