Estimated Max Lifts:
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Have you heard the phrase “RPE” before in your gym class or sports practice? This refers to the Rating of Perceived Exertion. This article explains how RPE helps quantify and monitor workout intensity through your subjective feeling of effort.
Perceived exertion is your internal sense of how hard you feel your body is working during physical activity. This includes feelings of increased heart rate, breathing rate, sweating, muscle fatigue, and strain.
Since people experience effort differently, RPE allows individuals to quantify intensity based on their tolerance vs standardized metrics.
RPE uses a 1-10 scale to self-assess exertion:
No exertion at all
Very, very easy
Very, very hard (Max effort)
An RPE of 5-7 is often recommended for beginners, while 8-10 is intensely difficult.
Paying attention to RPE helps:
Using RPE data, coaches can ensure athletes work optimally for goals and don’t exceed safe effort thresholds.
To ensure accuracy:
RPE takes practice to use effectively - learning your body’s signals provides very useful pacing and fitness feedback.
Paying attention to your perceived exertion during training:
Use RPE alongside other metrics like heart rate to optimize workouts and track improvements!
One of the most widely used tools for rating perceived exertion is known as the Borg Scale. Developed by Swedish scientist Gunnar Borg, this 15-grade scale rates intensity from 6 (no exertion) to 20 (maximal exertion).
The Borg Scale matches levels to verbal anchors such as:
The advantage of the extended Borg Scale is greater sensitivity to subtle changes in effort. However, the simpler 1-10 RPE scale is more commonly used in practice for convenience.
RPE is a subjective scale used to assess the intensity of exercise based on an individual's perception of effort. It allows individuals to gauge how hard they feel they are working during physical activity.
RPE is measured on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being no effort at all, and 10 being maximum effort. Individuals rate their perceived exertion based on factors like breathing, heart rate, muscle fatigue, and overall discomfort.
RPE helps individuals tailor their exercise intensity to their abilities and goals. It allows for effective monitoring and adjustment of workout intensity, ensuring that individuals are working at an appropriate level for their desired outcomes and avoiding overexertion or under-exertion.
RPE provides a simple subjective scale for quantifying your intensity throughout any workout. Tuning into exertion levels helps pace training appropriately, prevent burnout, and progressively overload over time. Paying attention to how hard exercise feels for you specifically has huge value!
Please note, that the calculator is for entertainment only. Consult a medical specialist for accurate assessments.