Ratings of perceived exertion as an indicator of the tolerable exercise duration


  • Fabiano Aparecido Pinheiro Escola de Educação Física e Esporte da Universidade de São Paulo, EEFE/USP-SP
  • Bruno Viana Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências do Esporte e do Exercício, Universidade Gama Filho, UGF-RJ, Brasil.
  • Flávio Oliveira Pires Universidade de São Paulo




The ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were originally suggested to estimate the exercise intensity, as RPE may respond to cardiopulmonary and metabolic responses such as alterations in HR and blood lactate concentrations. However, this interpretation does not agree with physiological responses observed exercising as RPE increases linearly with intensity, despite a physiological steady state is reached earlier. In this review article the disagreement between theory and experimental results is discussed as it could be associated with RPE’s generation and modulation mechanisms. RPE’s generation mechanisms through the central nervous system may be influenced by the exercise intensity, while the peripheral physiological responses may modulate the RPE and indicate the physiological state during which the exercise is performed. Thus, RPE may indicate the tolerable exercise duration for a given intensity.





Review Article