Nutrition and Health Sciences, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



Sports 2015, 3, 369-382; doi:10.3390/sports3040369


Copyright © 2015, the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Open access, Creative Commons Attribution license 4.0.


This study examined patterns of responses for physiological and perceptual variables during cycle ergometry at a constant rate of perceived exertion (RPE) within the moderate and heavy exercise intensity domains. Nineteen (mean age 21.3 ± 0.5 years; 43.4 ± 2.0 mL·kg−1·min−1 VO2Peak) moderately trained cyclists performed an incremental test to exhaustion and two 60 min constant RPE rides at the RPE corresponding to the gas exchange threshold (RPEGET) and 15% above the GET (RPEGET+15%). Oxygen consumption (VO2), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), heart rate (HR), minute ventilation (VE), breathing frequency (FB), and power output (PO) were monitored throughout the rides. Polynomial regression analyses showed VO2, RER, HR, and VE (correlation = −0.85 to −0.98) tracked the decreases in PO required to maintain a constant RPE. Only FB tracked RPE during the moderate and heavy intensity rides. Repeated measures ANOVAs indicated that VO2 during the 60 min rides at RPEGET was not different (p > 0.05) from VO2 at GET from the incremental test to exhaustion. Thus, monitoring intensity using an RPE associated with the GET is sustainable for up to 60 min of cycling exercise and a common mechanism may mediate FB and the perception of effort during moderate and heavy intensity cycle ergometry.