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A detailed quantification of differential ratings of perceived exertion during team-sport training

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Iain SpearsORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


© 2016 Sports Medicine AustraliaObjectives To investigate the application of differential ratings of perceived exertion (dRPE) to team-sport training. Design Single cohort, observational study. Methods Twenty-nine professional rugby union players were monitored over a six-week intensified training period. Training sessions were classified as: high-intensity intervals, repeated high-intensity efforts, speed, skill-based conditioning, skills, whole-body resistance, or upper-body resistance. After each session, players recorded a session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE; CR100®), along with differential session ratings for breathlessness (sRPE-B), leg muscle exertion (sRPE-L), upper-body muscle exertion (sRPE-U), and cognitive/technical demands (sRPE-T). Each score was multiplied by the session duration to calculate session training loads. Data were analysed using mixed linear modelling and multiple linear regression, with magnitude-based inferences subsequently applied. Results Between-session differences in dRPE scores ranged from very likely trivial to most likely extremely large and within-session differences amongst dRPE scores ranged from unclear to most likely very large. Differential RPE training loads combined to explain 66–91% of the variance in sRPE training loads, and the strongest associations with sRPE training load were with sRPE-L for high-intensity intervals (r = 0.67; 90% confidence limits ±0.22), sRPE-B for repeated high-intensity efforts (0.89; ±0.08) and skill-based conditioning (0.67; ±0.19), sRPE-T for Speed (0.63; ±0.17) and Skills (0.51; ±0.28), and sRPE-U for resistance training (whole-body: 0.61; ±0.21, upper-body: 0.92; ±0.07). Conclusions Differential RPE can provide a detailed quantification of internal load during training activities commonplace in team sports. Knowledge of the relationships between dRPE and sRPE can isolate the specific perceptual demands of different training modes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McLaren SJ, Smith A, Spears IR, Weston M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport

Year: 2017

Volume: 20

Issue: 3

Pages: 290-295

Print publication date: 01/03/2017

Online publication date: 06/07/2016

Acceptance date: 30/06/2016

Date deposited: 08/06/2020

ISSN (print): 1440-2440

ISSN (electronic): 1878-1861

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.jsams.2016.06.011

PubMed id: 27451269


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