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5-Point Rating of Perceived Exertion Hand Scale

Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scales are commonly used for subjective measures of exercise intensity levels. They are used in research studies and training programs to describe the intensity of exercise. Presented here is a novel 5-Point Rating of Perceived Exertion Hand Scale (RPE-5) that is simple to use and understand. See also my 10 point RPE hand scale.

Although this method is based on the traditional Borg Rating Scales, it is something I created and it has not been scientifically validated. You should also look at the two original (and scientifically validated) RPE scales as developed by Borg: the RPE Scale between 1-10 with ratings from 0 (nothing at all) and 10 (extremely hard) and another RPE scale with the RPE scale between 6-20.

stop hand rpe

My Five Point Scale

You may ask why do we need another RPE scale when there are others that are well used and scientifically tested? This RPE scale was created for a bit of fun, but it also may serve a purpose, and has some advantages over the other scales, and may be useful to someone one day. For this RPE Scale, the subject just holds up the fingers of their hand to indicate the intensity level - from 1 to 5. The benefits of my scale:

Rating Long Description
1. not all all hard
I’m feeling great and could keep up this pace all day long.
2. slightly hard
I’m still comfortable, but am breathing a little harder and starting to sweat.
3. moderately hard
This is a good workout.
4. very hard
It is getting pretty tough, I could only keep at this pace for a short time period.
5. Extremely hard
It's too hard, I need to STOP!


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