Faculty Mentor

Katie Taylor

Document Type


Publication Date



Physical Education, Health and Recreation


High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a popular and effective time-efficient alternative to moderate-intensity continuous training for improving cardiorespiratory fitness. However, there is limited research investigating the most effective and practical way to prescribe training intensities for HIIT. PURPOSE: To determine heart rate (HR) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) responses across a bout of HIIT. Additionally, the relationship between HR and RPE was examined. METHODS: Young adults (n=16; age 21.8±1.4 years; 10 females) visited the lab on two separate occasions. At the first visit, participants completed an incremental exercise test on a cycle ergometer to determine peak power output (PPO). During the second lab visit participants completed the HIIT protocol which involved ten, 1-minute bouts of cycling at 80% PPO interspersed with 1-minute of active rest cycling at 20% PPO. HR and RPE were measured at the end of the first, fifth, and tenth work intervals using the CR10 Borg scale. Differences in HR and RPE across the training session were determined using one-way repeated measures ANOVAs. Pearson correlations were utilized to assess relationships. RESULTS: HR and RPE both significantly increased from the first (HR 157±16 bpm; RPE 5.0±1.8) to the fifth interval (HR 174±14 bpm; RPE 6.8±1.7; p0.05 for both). There were no significant relationships between HR and RPE for any of the time points (r=-0.01 to -0.34, p=0.19 to 0.89) or the average of the session (r=0.37, p=0.16). CONCLUSIONS: HR and RPE both increased initially during the HIIT session with no further increase after mid-point. There were no significant relationships between HR and RPE. These findings suggest that RPE, using the CR10 Borg scale, may not replicate HR for determining intensity during HIIT. Future research may be beneficial to determine a practical method for prescribing exercise intensity during HIIT.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.