Using the Rating of Perceived Exertion and Heart Rate to Quantify Training Intensity in Female Soccer Players: Validity and Utility

Júlio A. Costa, João Brito, Fábio Y. Nakamura, Pedro Figueiredo, António Rebelo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Costa, JA, Brito, J, Nakamura, FY, Figueiredo, P, and Rebelo, A. Using the rating of perceived exertion and heart rate to quantify training intensity in female soccer players: validity and utility. J Strength Cond Res 36(1): 201–206, 2022—The aims of this study were as follows: (a) to analyze associations between session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) and training impulse (TRIMP); (b) to verify whether significantly different ranges of percentage of heart rate peak (%HRpeak) would be reached in each discrete RPE category; and (c) to investigate the amount of time spent .90% of HRpeak and associated intraplayer and interplayer variability during soccer technical training sessions with similar contents and duration. This was a single-group observational study that measured the internal training load during 6 weeks of the competitive period in 17 high-level female soccer players. All training sessions started around 9 PM. and lasted on average 94 6 5 minutes. During each training session, RPE, sRPE, TRIMP, HRex (% HRpeak), and time spent at .90% of HRpeak were assessed. A very large correlation was found between sRPE and TRIMP (r 5 0.78; 95% confidence interval: [0.74–0.82]). Significant differences were observed between %HRpeak associated with each RPE value (i.e., RPE 5 2 arbitrary unit [68%; 65–69% of %HRpeak]; RPE 3 [72%; 69–75%]; RPE 4 [79%; 76–82%]; RPE 5 [84; 81–87%]; x2 5 73.34; df 5 3; P, 0.001). Intraplayer and interplayer coefficients of variation for the time spent .90% of HRpeak (;8% of training time,;7 minutes per session) during training sessions were 73 and 92%, respectively. In conclusion, it was confirmed that sRPE and TRIMP displayed good convergent validity, and different %HRpeak were observed for each discrete RPE. However, because of the high variability in the time .90% of HRpeak, careful monitoring of individual exercises should be performed to ensure the desired training stimulus for each player.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-206
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • : training monitoring
  • Internal load
  • Physical training
  • Team sports

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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