The OMNI-Resistance Exercise Scale (OMNI-RES) uses verbal, pictorial and numerical descriptions to rate an
individuals perceived exertion. Although this scale has been successfully validated with young adults from both
genders1, it remains to be determined if reliable rates of exertion are achieved with older adults during resistance
exercise. The present study examined the OMNI-RES in resistance trained older men and women.
Twenty-nine trained men and women aged 65-81 years (9 female and 20 male) underwent three experimental trials. A
single-set of four exercises (the leg extension, biceps curl, leg press and chest press) with intensity set at 65% of one
repetition maximum (1-RM) was performed altering the number of repetitions each testing day (i.e., 4, 8 and 12) and
order of exercises in a counterbalanced fashion. The OMNI-RES was assessed for the mid-repetition active muscle,
final-repetition active muscle and overall body exertion for each exercise.
The OMNI-RES increased from 4- to 8- and 12 repetitions for mid-repetition active muscle, final- repetition active
muscle (Figure 1) and for overall body exertion for the four exercises (P < 0.01). The comparison between upper and
lower body single- vs. multi-joint exercises showed similar exertion levels between the biceps curl and chest press but
higher exertion levels (P < 0.01) for leg extension compared to the leg press (Figure 1). The OMNI-RES constantly
increased (P < 0.01) from mid-set active muscle to final-set active muscle with lower values for overall body exertion
for all four exercises (Figure 2). Positive linear regression coefficients (P < 0.001) were found between total weight
lifted and the OMNI-RES at mid- and final- repetition active muscle and overall exertion.
Since resistance training is commonly prescribed to improve muscle strength and functional performance in older
adults, the OMNI-RES may be a valuable instrument to use in the prescription to control the intensity of exercise.
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