Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Table

Quantifying the intensity of exercise is crucial for effective training programs. The Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale, developed by Gunnar Borg from Stockholm University, provides a valuable tool for this purpose. In this article, we will explore the RPE scale, specifically the 6-20 scale, and how it can be used to describe the intensity of training sessions.

The RPE Scale: A Handy Tool for Exercise Intensity

The RPE scale is a subjective measure that allows individuals to rate their perception of effort during physical activity. By using this scale, trainers and researchers can better understand the intensity of exercise. The scale ranges from 6 to 20, with higher numbers indicating higher exertion levels.

Understanding the RPE Scale

The 6-20 RPE scale has been designed to correspond with both heart rate levels and perceived exertion. For example, if someone rates their exercise intensity as “somewhat hard” (rating 13 on the scale), their heart rate is likely to be around 130 beats per minute (13 x 10). It’s important to note that variations of the RPE scale exist, such as the Borg CR10 scale, which ranges from 0 to 10.

Clarifying the Rating of ‘Extremely Light’

It’s worth mentioning that the rating of ‘extremely light’ on the RPE scale is commonly misunderstood. According to the original scale by Borg, this rating corresponds to 7.5. However, many online rating tables incorrectly place it at a rating of 7.

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Free Download: RPE Scale Reference

For those interested in using the RPE scale, we offer a free download of a single-page PDF. This reference document includes both the 1-10 scale and the 6-20 scale. It can be printed for easy access during training sessions.

References and Further Reading

  • Borg GAV. Borg’s Rating of Perceived Exertion and Pain Scales. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1998.


Q: How does the RPE scale help in training programs?
A: The RPE scale provides a simple and effective way to gauge exercise intensity, allowing trainers to tailor programs to individual needs.

Q: Is the RPE scale suitable for all types of exercise?
A: Yes, the RPE scale can be used for various types of activities, including cardio, strength training, and sports.

Q: Can I use the RPE scale to track my progress?
A: Absolutely! By monitoring your RPE ratings over time, you can track improvements in your fitness level and adjust your workouts accordingly.


The Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale is a valuable tool for quantifying exercise intensity. By understanding and utilizing this scale, individuals can optimize their training sessions and achieve their fitness goals more effectively. If you’re interested in learning more about the RPE scale and its applications, be sure to explore Auralpressure, your go-to resource for fitness, health, and wellness information.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not replace professional guidance. Always consult with a qualified fitness expert before making any changes to your exercise routine.

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