Validity and reliability of the session-RPE method for quantifying training in Australian football: a comparison of the CR10 and CR100 scales

J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Jan;27(1):270-6. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182541d2e.


The purpose of this study was to examine and compare the criterion validity and test-retest reliability of the CR10 and CR100 rating of perceived exertion (RPE) scales for team sport athletes that undertake high-intensity, intermittent exercise. Twenty-one male Australian football (AF) players (age: 19.0 ± 1.8 years, body mass: 83.92 ± 7.88 kg) participated the first part (part A) of this study, which examined the construct validity of the session-RPE (sRPE) method for quantifying training load in AF. Ten male athletes (age: 16.1 ± 0.5 years) participated in the second part of the study (part B), which compared the test-retest reliability of the CR10 and CR100 RPE scales. In part A, the validity of the sRPE method was assessed by examining the relationships between sRPE, and objective measures of internal (i.e., heart rate) and external training load (i.e., distance traveled), collected from AF training sessions. Part B of the study assessed the reliability of sRPE through examining the test-retest reliability of sRPE during 3 different intensities of controlled intermittent running (10, 11.5, and 13 km·h(-1)). Results from part A demonstrated strong correlations for CR10- and CR100-derived sRPE with measures of internal training load (Banisters TRIMP and Edwards TRIMP) (CR10: r = 0.83 and 0.83, and CR100: r = 0.80 and 0.81, p < 0.05). Correlations between sRPE and external training load (distance, higher speed running and player load) for both the CR10 (r = 0.81, 0.71, and 0.83) and CR100 (r = 0.78, 0.69, and 0.80) were significant (p < 0.05). Results from part B demonstrated poor reliability for both the CR10 (31.9% CV) and CR100 (38.6% CV) RPE scales after short bouts of intermittent running. Collectively, these results suggest both CR10- and CR100-derived sRPE methods have good construct validity for assessing training load in AF. The poor levels of reliability revealed under field testing indicate that the sRPE method may not be sensible to detecting small changes in exercise intensity during brief intermittent running bouts. Despite this limitation, the sRPE remains a valid method to quantify training loads in high-intensity, intermittent team sport.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Australia
  • Football / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Running / physiology
  • Young Adult