The Post-Workout Questionnaire: Session RPE, Enjoyment, and Workout Notes
As a coach, you know that one of the keys to success for your athletes is tracking their progress and making adjustments to their training plans accordingly. That's why we're excited to introduce a new feature in the Volt training app that will make it even easier to monitor your athletes' progress: a post-workout experience that prompts them to enter key data points.
With this new feature, after each workout, athletes will be prompted to rate their Session RPE (Rate of Perceived Effort or Exertion) on a scale of 1 to 10, as well as their enjoyment level on a 4-point scale (from “Hated it” to “Loved it!”). They'll also have the opportunity to enter notes about their workout, such as how they felt or any challenges they faced.
This data will be displayed in the app for athletes to see, allowing them to track their progress and identify patterns in their training. But perhaps more importantly, this data will also be visible to you, their coach, in the Volt coach platform.
By having access to this information, you'll be able to better understand your athletes' experiences and make more informed decisions when it comes to adjusting their training plans. For example, if you notice that an athlete consistently rates their Session RPE at a higher level than usual, you may decide to adjust their workload to avoid burnout.
This new post-workout experience is designed to help you and your athletes get the most out of Volt and achieve your training goals.
How reliable and valid is Session RPE as a measure of training load?
Session RPE has been extensively used and studied in exercise science research. In fact, Session RPE is considered one of the most reliable and valid measures of internal training load, which is a key component of monitoring athletes' training and preventing injury.
There have been numerous research studies that have used Session RPE to investigate the effects of training on various outcomes, such as changes in fitness, fatigue, and injury risk. For example, a 2017 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that using Session RPE to monitor training load can help reduce injury risk in elite youth soccer players.
Other studies have looked at the relationship between Session RPE and other measures of training load, such as heart rate and power output. For example, a 2020 study published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance found that Session RPE was strongly correlated with both heart rate and power output in cyclists.
Overall, the use of Session RPE as a measure of internal training load has become increasingly common in exercise science research and is considered a powerful tool for coaches and researchers alike.
How can I use Session RPE data to inform my programming decisions?
Session RPE is a valuable tool for coaches to use in making programming decisions for their athletes. Essentially, Session RPE is a subjective measure of how hard an athlete feels they worked during a training session, taking into account not only the intensity of the workout but also the duration and overall effort required.
As a coach, you can use the Session RPE data entered by your athletes to help you make informed decisions about their training plans. Here are a few examples:
- Adjusting workload: If an athlete consistently rates their Session RPE at a higher level than usual, this may be a sign that they are experiencing fatigue or stress. In this case, you may decide to adjust their workload to avoid burnout and prevent injury.
- Measuring progress: By tracking Session RPE over time, you can get a sense of how an athlete is progressing in their training. For example, if an athlete is able to maintain the same Session RPE rating but increase their training volume or intensity over a period of weeks (such as during the course of a training block), this may be a sign of improved fitness.
- Identifying weaknesses: If an athlete consistently rates their Session RPE as low for certain types of workouts, this may be a sign that they need to focus more on these areas in their training.
- Planning recovery: By tracking Session RPE in combination with other recovery metrics (such as sleep quality), you can get a sense of how well an athlete is recovering between workouts. If an athlete consistently rates their Session RPE as high, this may be a sign that they need more rest and recovery time.
By tracking this data over time and using it in combination with other metrics, coaches can help their athletes achieve their fitness goals while minimizing the risk of injury and burnout.
Where can I see my athletes’ Session RPE data?
Athletes can view their Session RPE data — along with their enjoyment rating and workout notes — on their workout summary in the training app. In the coach platform, coaches can view this information on the athlete’s workout summary, which can be accessed either from the group Dashboard or the User’s profile page.