Purpose: The aim of this review is to (1) retrieve all data validating the Session-rating of perceived exertion (RPE)-method using various criteria, (2) highlight the rationale of this method and its ecological usefulness, and (3) describe factors that can alter RPE and users of this method should take into consideration. Method: Search engines such as SPORTDiscus, PubMed, and Google Scholar databases in the English language between 2001 and 2016 were consulted for the validity and usefulness of the session-RPE method. Studies were considered for further analysis when they used the session-RPE method proposed by Foster et al. in 2001. Participants were athletes of any gender, age, or level of competition. Studies using languages other than English were excluded in the analysis of the validity and reliability of the session-RPE method. Other studies were examined to explain the rationale of the session-RPE method and the origin of RPE. Results: A total of 950 studies cited the Foster et al. study that proposed the session RPE-method. 36 studies have examined the validity and reliability of this proposed method using the modified CR-10. Conclusion: These studies confirmed the validity and good reliability and internal consistency of session-RPE method in several sports and physical activities with men and women of different age categories (children, adolescents, and adults) among various expertise levels. This method could be used as "standing alone" method for training load (TL) monitoring purposes though some recommend to combine it with other physiological parameters as heart rate.
Keywords: competitions; individual sports; perceived exertion; team sports; training sessions.