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Rating of Perceived Exertion Scales

The RPE Scale is a common method for determining exercise intensity levels. It is used in some research studies for that purpose, but may also be used in training programs to describe the intensity of training sessions. The scale of perceived exertion is how hard you feel your body is working, and therefore is a subjective measurement.

The commonly used scale is based on the research of Gunnar Borg, and is therefore also called the Borg Scale.

There are three versions of this scale on this site:

RPE ScaleInstructions for Use

The RPE measurement should be taken while the subject is undertaking the exercise, not jsut after they have stopped. Prior to exercising, the subjects should be given instruction about how to use the RPE scales. Use the following text as an example of what to say.

Do not concern yourself with any one factor such as leg pain or shortness of breath, but try to focus on your total feeling of exertion. Look at the rating scale while you exercising. Choose the number that best describes your level of exertion. Try to evaluate your feeling of exertion as honestly as possible. It is your own feeling of effort and exertion, not how it compares to other people's scores.

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