Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE)

Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) is a subjective tool used to measure your workload ⚖️

The Borg scale was first published by Gunnar Borg in 1982. The original scale was 6-20 with the idea being that it would correlate with heart rate (60-200 bpm). The new CR10 scale was developed later and as certain cardiovascular medications affect the HR, this is what we use in clinical settings. Plus it’s much easier for the patient/client!

It is slightly different for cardiovascular training and resistance training. The benefit of using RPE to guide your training is that today you may be deadlifting 100kgs at an RPE of 8. Next week you come in and you feel like garbage – poor sleep, not fuelled well etc. So 80kgs feels like an RPE of 8. But either way, you’re still working at an RPE of 8. As you use it more, you will get better at it estimating it over time.

The literature supports sub-maximal efforts for resistance training. 2 reps in reserve (RIR) seems to be the sweet spot for our main lifts for strength and hypertrophy training. This is an RPE of 8. 💪🏼

Have you used RPE before?

📚PMID: 26049792, PMID: 7154893

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