Ratings of perceived exertion and self-reported mood state in response to high intensity interval training. A crossover study on the effect of chronotype

Jacopo A. Vitale, Antonio La Torre, Roberto Baldassarre, Maria F. Piacentini, Matteo Bonato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of chronotype on mood state and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) before and in response to acute high intensity interval exercise (HIIE) performed at different times of the day. Based on the morningness-eveningness questionnaire, 12 morning-types (M-types; N = 12; age 21 ± 2 years; height 179 ± 5 cm; body mass 74 ± 12 kg) and 11 evening-types (E-types; N = 11; age 21 ± 2 years; height 181 ± 11 cm; body mass 76 ± 11 kg) were enrolled in a randomized crossover study. All subjects underwent measurements of Profile of Mood States (POMS), before (PRE), after 12 (POST12) and 24 h (POST24) the completion of both morning (08.00 am) and evening (08.00 p.m.) training. Additionally, Global Mood Disturbance and Energy Index (EI) were calculated. RPE was obtained PRE and 30 min POST HIIE. Two-way ANOVA with Tukey's multiple comparisons test of POMS parameters during morning training showed significant differences in fatigue, vigor and EI at PRE and POST24 between M-types and E-types. In addition, significant chronotype differences were found only in POST12 after the evening HIIE for fatigue, vigor and EI. For what concerns Borg perceived exertion, comparing morning versus evening values in PRE condition, a higher RPE was observed in relation to evening training for M-types (P = 0.0107) while E-types showed higher RPE values in the morning (P = 0.008). Finally, intragroup differences showed that E-types had a higher RPE respect to M-types before (P = 0.002) and after 30 min (P = 0.042) the morning session of HIIE. No significant changes during the evening training session were found. In conclusion, chronotype seems to significantly influence fatigue values, perceived exertions and vigor in relation to HIIE performed at different times of the day. Specifically, E-types will meet more of a burden when undertaking a physical task early in the day. Practical results suggest that performing a HIIE at those times of day that do not correspond to subjects' circadian preference can lead to increased mood disturbances and perceived exertion. Therefore, an athlete's chronotype should be taken into account when scheduling HIIE.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1232
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue numberJUL
Publication statusPublished - Jul 18 2017


  • Chronotype
  • HIIE
  • Mood
  • Physical activity
  • POMS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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