The Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE)

In my article on heart rate training, I offered a set of intensity indicators that dictate the various training zones. These indicators included: lactate threshold (LT), VO2 max and maximum heart rate (MHR).

One alternate to these indicators worth mentioning is the Borg Rate of Perceived Exertion. This is another method of measuring the intensity of a workout if you are not using a heart rate monitor.

By the Numbers
The Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion is a 1 to 20 scale. The range was developed because it represents about 10% of the heart rate experienced by a moderately fit 20-something person. In other words, 6=60bpm, or roughly a resting heart rate (no exertion), and 20=200bpm, or a maximum heart rate. The chart below depicts the RPE scale in detail.

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