What is RPE and How Do You Use It?

Do you know what RPE stands for when you see it in an article or blog post about exercise? Do you know what the RPE scale is? Well, I’m going to give you a quick lesson so it will make sense to you.

First of all, RPE stands for Rate of Perceived Exertion Click To Tweet. In other words, how hard do you feel like you’re working out. The scale goes from one (1) the easiest to ten (10) the hardest effort. While you want to make sure that you’re working out hard enough to make changes to your fitness level, you don’t want to overdo it either. Even though heartrate monitors have become more reasonably priced now, sometimes I don’t want to take the time to get it and put it on or I totally forget so instead there is the other option of the RPE scale. Though the heartrate monitor is more accurate, the RPE scale still gives you a good idea of how hard you need to push yourself or back off.

So, here’s a short breakdown of the numbers and I’ve also included a graphic down below for you to refer back to.

1 – Very Light activity. Think watching television or sleeping.

2-3 – Light Activity. Here you feel like you could maintain this level for hours and carry on a complete conversation.

4 – 6 Moderate Activity. At this level, you can hold a short conversation but you’re breathing heavily.

7 – 8 Vigorous Activity. You’re short of breath and can only speak a sentence at a time. Starting to get uncomfortable.

9 – Very Hard Activity. Really difficult to maintain this level of intensity of exercise. You can only speak a few words at a time and you can barely breathe.

10 – Max Effort Activity. You’re completely out of breath and unable to talk. It feels almost impossible to keep going and you can’t maintain this level for more than a very short time period.

Did that clear up what RPE is for you? Good, because soon I’m going to publish a free walking for exercise program that will use RPE to gauge your efforts. Stay tuned…..

And in the meantime my last post, “The 3 Crucial Elements of a Successful Exercise Program for Women Over 40” might help you: http://getfitnowwithcheryl.com/fitness-2/the-3-crucial-elements-of-a-successful-weight-loss-program-for-women-over-40/

RPE Scale

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Author:cherylo

I have been an International Sports Science Association Certified Personal Trainer since 2009, a Certified Boxing Fitness Trainer and I love helping women over 40 stay fit and healthy or getting their health and fitness back after spending all their time taking care of others.
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