Purpose: Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) is a reliable method of assessing exercise intensity during isolated arm and leg cycling. The aim of this study was to assess the validity and reproducibility of perceptually regulated exercise responses during combined arm + leg cycling. Methods: Twelve males (age; 24.6 ± 5.3 years, height; 1.81 ± 0.7 m, mass; 83.1 ± 8.4 kg) initially undertook incremental exercise tests to volitional exhaustion for arm cycling (133 ± 14 W) and leg cycling (253 ± 32 W). On three subsequent occasions, participants undertook combined arm + leg cycling trials using two modified Monark ergometers involving three bouts of exercise at RPE 9, 13 and 17, in that order. Heart rate (HR), oxygen uptake (V˙ O 2) and pulmonary ventilation (V˙ E) were recorded continuously. Results: No significant differences were observed for HR (P = 0.086), V˙ O 2 (P = 0.525) and V˙ E (P = 0.899) between trials, whilst significant differences were observed between each level of RPE (all P < 0.001). For % peak V˙ O 2, the ICC increased with successive trials for all RPE levels. For % maximal HR the ICC generally decreased with successive trials. Conclusion: RPE can be used as a reliable frame of reference for the production of exercise intensity during combined arm + leg cycling without any formal familiarisation. Since combined arm + leg cycling elicits a greater energy expenditure than arm or leg work alone, this novel mode of non-weight bearing exercise might prove effective for aerobic conditioning and weight control.
- Combined arm + leg ergometry
- Effort perception
- Exercise mode
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Physiology (medical)