Perceptual Changes in Response to Two Regimens of Interval Training in Sedentary Women

Todd A. Astorino, Matthew M. Schubert, Elyse Palumbo, Douglas Stirling, David W. McMillan, Rachael Gallant, Ruthie Dewoskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This study examined acute and chronic changes in perceptual measures (rating of perceived exertion [RPE], affect, and arousal) in response to 2 regimens of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Twenty-Three healthy sedentary women (mean ± SD age and Vo 2 max 23.0 ± 5.7 years and 30.1 ± 4.4 ml·kg-1 ·min-1, respectively) were randomized to complete 12 weeks of one of 2 HIIT regimes, whereas an additional 7 women served as sedentary controls. Training was performed 3 days per week on a cycle ergometer and consisted of up to ten 1-minute bouts at moderate (60-80%Wmax moderate intensity [MOD]) or more intense (80-90%Wmax HI) workloads separated by active recovery. At baseline and every 3 weeks, RPE, affect, and arousal were measured during training using validated scales. Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to examine acute and chronic changes in these variables to HIIT. Data revealed significant (p < 0.001) increases in RPE and arousal and decreases (p < 0.001) in affect during acute HIIT, with RPE responses differing (p ≤ 0.05) between HI and MOD. However, acute changes in affect and arousal were similar in HI and MOD. Training led to a significant reduction in RPE, whereas both affect and arousal were unchanged (p > 0.05) after HIIT. Completion of moderate or more intense interval training reduces perceptions of RPE during training yet does not alter arousal or affect. RPE was reduced via training, yet large dependence on anaerobic metabolism during HIIT may minimize training-induced changes in affect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1067-1076
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of strength and conditioning research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • exercise training
  • interval exercise
  • perceived exertion
  • pleasure
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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