The efficacy of subjective and objective indices of recovery during and following exhaustive resistance exercise

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Monitoring recovery status within and between exercise sessions can optimize training adaptations. As such, it is critical that the tools we use to monitor recovery status are both valid and reliable. One such tool, perceptual recovery status (PRS), has been developed to assess recovery status between days of repeated sprinting exercise. Yet, few studies have investigated the validity of PRS as a marker of recovery between sets or days of resistance exercise, or how fatigue influences the stability of performance indices. We conducted three studies to address these gaps. Study 1 investigated the utility of PRS as a marker of daily recovery following a bout of resistance exercise. Performance tests and PRS were recorded as baseline, 24, 48, and 72 h following a fatiguing high-volume back squatting protocol. Strong correlations were revealed between PRS and countermovement jump, bar velocity, isokinetic knee extension, and isometric mid-thigh pull (r = .61 to .86; p < .001). Study 2 evaluated the validity of PRS as a marker of inter-set recovery using bar velocity metrics during a high-volume back squatting protocol. Peak and mean bar velocity, as well as their decrements within a set were calculated across 4 sets of back squat. Main effects for time were observed for PRS and mean bar velocity metrics (p < .05) where all metrics tended to decrease throughout the bout. Strong correlations were observed between PRS all bar velocity metrics (r = .55-.65; p ≤ .001). Study 3 investigated the influence of fatigue on the stability of performance indices following a single bout of resistance exercise. Daily recovery scores––calculated from performance tests recorded at baseline and again at 24, 48, and 72 h post-fatiguing protocol––were used to represent four different fatigue states (FS). Reliability analyses for each performance test revealed that intraclass-correlation coefficients (ICC) remained high (ICC > .79) and standard error of the measurement values were comparable regardless of an individual’s FS. Therefore, PRS can be used as a subjective metric of recovery between sets and days of exercise and FS does not affect the stability of objective performance metrics.

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