RPE Calculator

An image illustrating the step-by-step process of using an RPE calculator. The image shows a user performing a physical activity, such as running, biking, or weightlifting, and gauging their perceived exertion level on a scale from 1 to 10. The next step displays the user entering their perceived exertion level into the calculator's input field. Then, the image demonstrates the user clicking on the 'Calculate' button and the calculator providing a corresponding estimate of their actual exertion level, which can be useful for setting training intensities or monitoring exercise intensity. 
						This image visually guides the user on how to use the RPE calculator tool, which helps individuals assess and track their perceived effort during different types of physical activities.

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.

What is Perceived Exertion?

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.

The RPE Scale

RPE uses a 1-10 scale to self-assess exertion:


Perceived Exertion

Effort Level


No exertion at all

Very, very easy






Somewhat hard






Very, very hard (Max effort)

An RPE of 5-7 is often recommended for beginners, while 8-10 is intensely difficult.

Why RPE Matters

Paying attention to RPE helps:

  • Prevent overtraining and burnout
  • Reduce injury risk
  • Gauge need to modify intensity mid-workout
  • Track if fitness is improving over time

Using RPE data, coaches can ensure athletes work optimally for goals and don’t exceed safe effort thresholds.

Tips For Accurate RPE

To ensure accuracy:

  • Check RPE regularly every few minutes
  • Focus on full-body sensations vs just one area feeling the strain
  • Take time to distinguish between numbers before selecting
  • Use the verbal cues on the scale to inform decisions
  • Track RPE right after a tough interval or set

RPE takes practice to use effectively - learning your body’s signals provides very useful pacing and fitness feedback.

Benefits of Monitoring RPE

Paying attention to your perceived exertion during training:

  • Enables personalized quantification of workout intensity
  • Provides insights on the level of conditioning
  • Fuels motivation and competitiveness with self
  • Prevents overexertion injuries
  • Allows self-adjustment of pace/load if rating seems too high

Use RPE alongside other metrics like heart rate to optimize workouts and track improvements!

Borg Scale Of Perceived Exertion

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:

  • 7 - Very, very light
  • 11 - Fairly light
  • 13 - Somewhat hard
  • 17 - Very hard

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What is RPE (Rating of Perceived Exertion)?

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.

Q2: How is RPE measured?

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.

Q3: Why is RPE important during exercise?

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.

Read More: Rate of perceived exertion (RPE): Scale, what it is, and more

                How To Calculate RPE With A Calculator?