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Resistance Training RPE

The Resistance Training RPE (Rating of Perceived Exertion) scale is a subjective tool designed to gauge an individual's effort and intensity during resistance exercises. It is a combined scale, based on a Rating of Perceived Exertion 1 to 10 scale and Repetitions in Reserve (RIR), a subjective measure of how many more repetitions the athlete thinks they could have performed.

bench press exercise1RM bench press exercise

The scale ranges from 1 to 10, with 1 representing no effort and 10 indicating maximal effort (Zourdos et al. 2016).

Rating Description of Perceived Exertion
10 Maximum Effort
9.5 No further repetitions but could increase load
9 1 Repetition Remaining
8.5 1-2 Repetitions Remaining
8 2 Repetitions Remaining
7.5 2-3 repetitions remaining
7 3 Repetitions Remaining
5-6 4-6 Repetitions Remaining
3-4 Light Effort
1-2 Little to No Effort

The Resistance Training RPE scale allows individuals to self-report their perceived level of exertion during various resistance exercises based on how difficult the workout feels, considering factors like muscle fatigue, discomfort, and overall effort. It aids in adjusting training loads, ensuring appropriate intensity and progression by aligning the perceived effort with the intended training goals, ultimately facilitating more effective and personalized resistance training programs.

Using the Resistance Training RPE

For example, if an individual rates an exercise as a 7 on the scale (indicating a "3 reps remaining" effort), they might choose to adjust the weight, repetitions, or rest intervals to align with their perceived effort and training goals. By incorporating the Resistance Training RPE scale into resistance training, individuals can tailor their workouts more accurately, ensuring they're working within the desired intensity range for optimal results and progression.


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