Perceptual, Mechanical, and Electromyographic Responses to Different Relative Loads in the Parallel Squat

J Strength Cond Res. 2019 Jan;33(1):8-16. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001867.


Chapman, M, Larumbe-Zabala, E, Gosss-Sampson, M, Colpus, M, Triplett, NT, and Naclerio, F. Perceptual, mechanical, and electromyographic responses to different relative loads in the parallel squat. J Strength Cond Res 33(1): 8-16, 2019-The effectiveness of the OMNI-RES (0-10) Scale and the electromyographic signal for monitoring changes in the movement velocity were examined during a set to muscular failure using different percentages of 1 repetition maximum (1RM) in the parallel squat exercise (PSQ). Twelve men (26.3 ± 5.8 years) were evaluated on 8 separate days with 48 hours of rest between sessions. After determining the 1RM value, participants underwent 7 tests until achieving muscular failure with the following percentage ranges: 30 to <40%, 40 to <50%, 50 to <60%, 60 to <70%, 70 to <80%, 80 to <90%, and >90%. An optical rotary encoder measured mean accelerative velocity (MAV), and the OMNI-RES (0-10) Scale was used to express the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) after every repetition of each set. In addition, the normalized root mean square signal of the surface electromyography (N-EMG) was calculated for the vastus medialis muscle. The RPE expressed after the first repetition and when the maximum value of MAV was achieved along the sets was lower (p < 0.001, d > 0.8) than the RPE that corresponded to a 10% drop in MAV and at failure. In addition, the initial RPE was useful to distinguish different loading zones by anchoring the OMNI-RES value to the magnitude of the relative load (<60%, 60 to <70% or ≤70% 1RM). Similar patterns were observed using the N-EMG. In conclusion, apart from differentiating between relative loads during a set to failure in the PSQ, the RPE and the N-EMG can both reflect changes associated with the initial, maximal, 10% drop in movement velocity and the muscular failure.

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Adult
  • Electromyography*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Posture
  • Quadriceps Muscle / physiology*
  • Weight Lifting
  • Young Adult