Physiologic response to a prescribed rating of perceived exertion on an elliptical fitness cross-trainer

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2003 Sep;43(3):300-5.


Aim: Perceived exertion during physical exercise is a major intrinsic factor for making decisions regarding intensity levels. The use of perceptual indices as a prescriptive guide of exercise intensity may be a valuable tool, should it be concomitant with physiological responses. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the physiologic response during exercise on an elliptical fitness cross-trainer at a prescribed level of perceived exertion.

Methods: Twenty, recreational exercisers (8 males, 12 females) were habituated to the elliptical cross-trainer and then assessed for their peak oxygen utilization (VO(2)) and peak heart rate (HR) using an incremental protocol. The point of volitional fatigue during the maximal test was used to anchor a modified Borg Category Ratio (CR-10) scale. Following a rest period of 48-72 hours, a second exercise session was performed at a prescribed perceived exertion level of 6. The subjects were instructed to manipulate the resistance and striding cadence to maintain the prescribed perceived exertion level for 15 min, during which VO(2) and HR were analyzed.

Results: The results from this study demonstrated that at exercise steady state, which occurred 4 min after the start of the protocol, relative VO(2) averaged 75.2+/-12.9% and relative HR was 91+/-.01%. Oxygen utilization and HR values were found to be significantly higher than a corresponding relative RPE in 20 recreational exercises when exercising on an elliptical fitness cross-trainer.

Conclusion: This response has implications when using RPE as a prescriptive means of intensity regulation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Peptides
  • Perception / physiology*
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Reference Values
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Peptides
  • RCS-RF