So, what exactly is RPE? Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) is an individuals objective view of how hard they feel they are working during exercise. That is head to toe, overall exertion when exercising. The chart is based on 6 – 20. 6 is not working hard at all, 20 you are working very, very hard. You may be asking yourself why 6 to 20. Dr. Gunnar Borg wanted to use a chart that would reflect one’s heart rate. If you feel you are working a 13 which is somewhat hard, multiply 13 by 10 and your heart rate will be very close to 130. That is if you do not take medications which lower your heart rate.
Ideally when you are exercising you want to exercise at an intensity between 13 – somewhat hard to 15 – hard.
Remember though to include feelings of shortness of breath, as well as how tired you feel in your legs and overall.
So, tell me how hard are you working?
Stuart Thilmany is the owner of Keep the Beat Wellness, a health and wellness studio specializing in personal and small group training for baby boomers, seniors and individuals with various medical conditions where exercise programs are tailored to the individual’s needs.