What’s the ‘RPE’ scale


The Best Ways To Use RPE For Gains? Processed Foods Bad? Rows Good For Biceps? Muscle Confusion? IF?

Video taken from the channel: Jeff Nippard


Why I Don’t Use The RPE Scale

Video taken from the channel: CanditoTrainingHQ


What Is RPE? | Discussing How I Train

Video taken from the channel: Russel Orhii


RPE Explained (part 1/2)

Video taken from the channel: Alan Thrall


What is RPE? Rate of Perceived Exertion Scale

Video taken from the channel: James Schultz, Ph.D.


RPE Rating of Perceived Exertion

Video taken from the channel: Vivo Phys Evan Matthews


The BORG SCALE And RPE Explained

Video taken from the channel: The PE Tutor

“The RPE scale was originally developed by the scientist Gunnar Borg who rated the scale on 6 to 20 (Borg scale), which was basically built around a heart rate range,” he says. “Whatever number you. The RPE scale is used to measure the intensity of your exercise. The RPE scale runs from 0 – 10.

The numbers below relate to phrases used to rate how easy or difficult you find an activity. The Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) is a way of measuring physical activity intensity level. Perceived exertion is how hard you feel like your body is working.

The RPE Scale Defined The Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion — RPE — is a rating scale ranging from six to 20 that gives an indication of your workout intensity level. A rating of six means you are not exerting yourself at all, while a. RPE—or the Rate of Perceived Exertion—is a scale used to identify the intensity of your exercise based on how hard you feel (or perceive) your effort to be.

The RPE scale typically runs from 0 to 10, with zero being literally nothing and 10 being the hardest you could possibly exert yourself. What Exactly Is RPE? Your rate of perceived exertion is a subjective assessment of how physically and mentally difficult an exercise is for you.

The Borg RPE scale is a numerical scale that ranges from 6 to 20, where 6 means “no exertion at all” and 20 means “maximal exertion.” When a measurement is taken, a number is chosen from the following scale by an individual that best describes their level of exertion during physical activity. • 6 – No exertion at all• 7 – Extremely light. The Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale To rate your perception of exertion when you exercise, don’t focus on just one sensation. Get a general sense of how hard you are exercising. Use your feelings of exertion rather than measures such as speed while running or cycling or comparing yourself to someone else.

Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) refers to a 1-10 scale to self-report the intensity of an effort. Our RPE scale is based largely on Matt Fitzgerald’s running and swimming RPE scale. We use it because it falls in line with what we consider correct exertion. That can be compared using the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) scale – probably to the annoyance of the exhausted runner, but they won’t have the energy to protest.

How do you score RPE? The.

List of related literature:

Participants use their subjective perceptions of intensity to rate their level of steady-state work on the 6 to 20 RPE scale or the 0 to 10 RPE scale developed by Borg (1982).

“Methods of Group Exercise Instruction” by Mary M. Yoke, Carol Armbruster
from Methods of Group Exercise Instruction
by Mary M. Yoke, Carol Armbruster
Human Kinetics, 2019

An RPE scale is designed to help clients monitor their exercise intensities using a rating system that accounts for all of the body’s responses to a particular exercise intensity.

“NSCA's Essentials of Personal Training” by NSCA -National Strength & Conditioning Association
from NSCA’s Essentials of Personal Training
by NSCA -National Strength & Conditioning Association
Human Kinetics, Incorporated, 2011

Currently, two RPE scales are widely used, the original which rates exercise intensity on a scale of 6 to 20, and the revised scale on which you can rate exertion from 0 to 10.

“Escape Your Shape: How to Work Out Smarter, Not Harder” by Edward Jackowski
from Escape Your Shape: How to Work Out Smarter, Not Harder
by Edward Jackowski
Atria Books, 2001

The Borg’s RPE is a measure scale where the patient rates his or her level of exertion during the activity on a scale of 6–20 (Table 13.14).

“Physical Rehabilitation” by Susan B O'Sullivan, Thomas J Schmitz, George Fulk
from Physical Rehabilitation
by Susan B O’Sullivan, Thomas J Schmitz, George Fulk
F.A. Davis Company, 2019

There are currently two RPE scales that are commonly used: the original or category scale, which rates exercise intensity on a scale of 6–20 and the revised or category-ratio scale of 0–10.

“Total Burn Care: Expert Consult Online” by David N. Herndon
from Total Burn Care: Expert Consult Online
by David N. Herndon
Elsevier Health Sciences UK, 2012

4 Use of a rating of perceived exertion (RPE) scale (see page 281) is often preferable to HR for monitoring exercise intensity, and patients are encouraged to work at an intensity of “somewhat hard” or 12 to 13 on the 6to 20-point Borg Scale.

“Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy E-Book: A Clinical Manual” by Joanne Watchie
from Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy E-Book: A Clinical Manual
by Joanne Watchie
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2009

When the RPE scale is used correctly, this system for monitoring exercise intensity has proven very accurate.

“Physiology of Sport and Exercise” by W. Larry Kenney, Jack H. Wilmore, David L. Costill
from Physiology of Sport and Exercise
by W. Larry Kenney, Jack H. Wilmore, David L. Costill
Human Kinetics, Incorporated, 2019

This value provides an indication of the intensity of the exercise, which when multiplied by the duration of the exercise provides an indication of the session volume load (i.e., session RPE), which is presented in arbitrary units.

“Essentials of Youth Fitness” by Avery D. Faigenbaum, Rhodri S. Lloyd, Jon L. Oliver, American College of Sports Medicine
from Essentials of Youth Fitness
by Avery D. Faigenbaum, Rhodri S. Lloyd, et. al.
Human Kinetics, 2019

An RPE more than 3 on a 0–10 scale is a signal of cardiac intolerance during exertion and also a sign that the patient should stop or modify the activity causing the exertion.

“All-in-One Nursing Care Planning Resource E-Book: Medical-Surgical, Pediatric, Maternity, and Psychiatric-Mental Health” by Pamela L. Swearingen, Jacqueline Wright
from All-in-One Nursing Care Planning Resource E-Book: Medical-Surgical, Pediatric, Maternity, and Psychiatric-Mental Health
by Pamela L. Swearingen, Jacqueline Wright
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2019

The RPE 6–20 scale was originally designed for whole body aerobic type activity where perceived responses are pooled to concur with the linear increments in heart rate and oxygen uptake, as exercise intensity is increased.

“Sport and Exercise Physiology Testing Guidelines: Volume I – Sport Testing: The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Guide” by Edward M. Winter, Andrew M. Jones, R.C. Richard Davison, Paul D. Bromley, Tom H. Mercer
from Sport and Exercise Physiology Testing Guidelines: Volume I – Sport Testing: The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Guide
by Edward M. Winter, Andrew M. Jones, et. al.
Taylor & Francis, 2006

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • *In Summary*:

    1. If new to bodybuilding, go to failure. If experienced, go until just before failure.
    2. Don’t cut corners, do bicep exercises to build your biceps/ do tricep exercises to build your triceps.
    3. Whole foods are preferable, put in the work and eat healthy.
    4. Don’t be a douche. Drink in moderation (No more than once a week and don’t get shit-faced)
    5. Muscle Confusion for Growth is a myth, but does make work outs more interesting.
    6. Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda)May or may not work for endurance training only. You have to try it yourself (in very small doses) to see if it works for you. Notemay cause gastrointestinal issues.

  • What do you think of training squats everyday? I recently started the Squat everyday programme by Matthew Perryman and have seen good progress. It’s similar to the bulgarian method and similar to what John Broz does. What do you think to this approach

  • How you feel and how much you are going to lift today do not have a straightforward relationship. I have hit PRs on days when I was stressed, didn’t eat well, and had trouble focusing in the gym. And the opposite is also true. A lot of what actually happens depends on your “gym personality”.  My gym personality is too aggressive for my strength and endurance, I am impatient about adding more weight, and my goals are consistently way too high. Autoregulation helps me ground that aggression.  So to me a huge part of how you structure you lifting has to do with being honest to yourself about your own gym personality.  That maybe different from your personality outside of the gym so one really needs to be able to look at themselves objectively. I’m sure no body here has trouble doing that…

  • Hey! I was reading about HRmax and how to calcute it by using the type 220-age, for example 40yr 220-40=180HRmax. Which equation should I do to place that into a board?

  • Rpe isn’t based on how you feel its based on bar speed, also why is a pr detrimental to training? The pr would be in context to the workout outlined for the day, your simply doing the optimal volume for the day.:)

  • Wow, cant imagine how long this took to film and edit. Love ur stuff dude, Thanks so much for all the true effort u put in. its beyond valuable.

  • I’m currently trying the baking soda, like a half tea spoon before my work out, and it works.. No bullshits, it works. You’ll never get tired.

  • Looking forward to that video during the week of what you do. I don’t use the scale, but was considering it and I had the exact concerns with the Rpe scale  and not being able to go heavier than the scale said you should go on the day, when clearly you could go heavier. 

  • I think Jonnie is right here.
    I’ve had days where I planned to max out. I felt really weak on my warm up sets but I went for a PR anyway and got it easily. Sometimes your mind plays tricks
    On you,

    Also, I am an intermediate lifter. I would say the RPE scale is only good for Advanced lifters, never for Intermediates

  • But who does dumbbell rows for arm size? I would assume the heavy barbell rows would potentially lead to more arm gains from the much higher weight, similarly with weighted pullups.

  • Does Russel even squat parallel? Would his squats pass in a meet? Im asking for myself because I seem to have the same problem of reaching depth and idk if im being paranoid or what.

  • Appreciate the video clarifying.

    To the people saying he needs to at least try a training cycle using RPEs, if he hasnt already, i agree. However, when you are competetive and making progress the way youre used to doing things its hard to justify the time spent in a new direction. If he stalls hard down the road maybe it will get tried or incorporated somehow.

  • This is why I like 5/3/1 and joker sets. The autoregulatory aspect isn’t determined by an arbitrary number, a percentage, or your feelings. it’s purely on how many reps you get in your work set. and if you’re really killing it as determined by how many reps you can churn out you can just do more sets. I really like having a final AMRAP set at the end of my work sets too. good day or bad, I never feel like I didn’t give it my all in the gym.

  • Jim, you are so likable! I started working with a trainer again. It took me two years to go from 101 lbs to 118. Gaining those muscles was hard work. Now, 10 years later, I am 109 lbs and trying to get some junk in my trunk!

  • damn thanks for this, I’m a grinder and I’m new to the gym, I always felt bad about myself cuz some guys just move so quick, even tho it feels good for me I’m just slow lol

  • Well, it seems to me you are misunderstanding RPE. As far as I understand, you are re supposed to evaluate your performance after every set. If you are using numbers from a previous (“lucky”) set from some other session, like you said, then your are not using RPE as it is defined.

  • Pretty interesting, athletes probably do RPE regularly, awesome! Also we are going to have to break into a dance after each set, love the moves brother ����

  • i might send you an email because this unrelated, but in your linear program im doing the strength/hypertrophy setup. i was wondering what your thoughts are on inverting the 3×6 sets to 6×3. i feel like this will allow me to focus on form and get more quality reps, then do rep work on the hypertrophy day. i appreciate any feedback, thanks!

  • I’d love to see a series or some shorts explaining some of your informed opinion about resistance bands. Maybe a few exercises to use in the event that we want to run a “modified program” integrating bands into our workouts, or maybe a program using only bands, which can later supplement normal weight workouts. I like bands for days that I don’t wanna go to a gym or use my weights in the basement.

  • Pretty good points, currently running a program that bases lifts off percentages but also uses an RPE scale on all lifts to give you more freedom. Best of both IMO.

  • You don’t base your weight off of your firs warm up set, but the last heavy sets before your main working sets which should be a pretty good indicator.

  • If you do continue making long discussion videos, you should consider uploading them to Spotify as it would please me to listen to this while at work, while not abusing my leftover data and battery life.

  • Hey Alan, after watching this I realised I always train at RPE 10. By this, I mean if I can get to the end of my sets at my target weight, then I increase the weight. This generally means I need to stop mid set and either rest before continuing the set or lower the weight, until the day I complete all sets at the target weight without stopping. Is this strictly a bad way to train? Why is it good to train at less than your maximum weight for a given number of reps?

  • Alan: “Read the ebook first”
    Me: Nah I’m good.
    Later, Alan: “You probably won’t read the ebook first.”
    Me: Damn, called out! Ok, now I have to go read it.

  • Cool stuff! Love the quote in your background too! WLC and subscribed! By the way, I have just launched my new Youtube channel. I would love some support and if you have time, here’s the link >>> https://bit.ly/2zSYARd

  • @Jeff Have you thought about branching out into other topics with a science explained series? a broad and probably too broad example I’d love to hear your take on would be vaccines, antibiotics, SSRI usage, nootropics, philosophy, Jordan Peterson…Ok, you can’t science explain him but you get the point. I’d listen to probably anything you vlogged about tbh. no homo

  • Love, love, love the video!!! You explain things well and adding all the research in is amazing! Too many fitness people give info but don’t back up what they are saying! I really needed the info on the RPE stuff…. for some reason I find it so hard to realize where I am RPE is in a set…. I have a significant back injury so I think that may be a factor as I am very limited in what I can do and how much weight I can lift (very little right now������������). Thank you so much for your videos!!������

  • How do you handle a workout when you’re feeling crappy?.. 1Feeling a bit under the weather or 2Having a low day such as feeling run down or fatigued.

  • No one doing RTS? Third way of using RPE
    Working with a set rep count up to @9 drop weight 4-9% do sets until @9 Congratulations you have accumulated 4-9% fatigue. (wichever % weight drop you did.)

  • I have a friend who literally will grind so hard for the first rep… but continue grinding reps and hit like 6-8 its so weird lmao

  • I think this can be useful but also potentially very subjective, depending on experience of the performer. In my experience, I’ve developed the ability to push my body harder, in terms of power and heart rate, with the same rate of perceived exertion. (Higher physical exertion/rpe ratio ). I subsequently think it’s hard to be precise with rpe but we all know when we are pushing against our habits during our exercise. Is what I’ve experienced a real phenomenon?

  • I’m to lazy for this. I just put weight on the from experience, my notes and roughly how many reps I want to make.
    And I always do max reps.
    If I do to many or not enough reps in a set I make a note and adjust the weight for next time.

  • i absolutely love this video please do more like hour long videos just talking about science i love just hanging out with my coffee taking notes on this stuff

  • Dude ur videos a great help I have some hard time to get acostum with the terminology but is something I need to learn as well, great in formation, ah by the way the way I edit ur videos is great too.

  • Just ordered the grey Candito-shirt as a nice Christmas present for myself. Hopefuly it will reach the Netherlands in time! Tnx for the discount Candito:)

  • RPE sounds really confusing. I am following a percentage based training and I perform singles at the 4th week. It’s a long process but I’ve made a lot of progress since stalling out on Stronglifts 5*5.

  • Loved the explanation of the RPE bro! And the understanding of how only the lifter knows how many reps they have left in the tank! Wise words brother! You’re smashing your training at the moment! Looking forward to seeing some big numbers being shifted in the next 4 weeks! You got this all day brahhhhh

  • Tbh you speak the information way to fast. Like bro I’m from! Jersey and I’m telling you you talk to fast, like your rushing to finish talking. Like where’s your “swag” bro

  • Hey man, I just want to let you know that yourself and a few other youtubers inspired me to start posting to YouTube, I just posted my first video on Biceps Curls and it would mean a lot if you checked it out ����

  • Yo This Is An Ultimate Unique Perspective. You Are Going To Go A Long Way With This Channel. I Can See It Now. Technical Speak With The Humor & Simplicity. You Are Like The Coolest Teacher In HighSchool!!!! Love The Energy!! “Do You Even Lift, Bro!!!”
    Almost Forgot ���� ����

  • I liked the video. Going through the entire thing was a good idea and I’d continue to watch them. Just took me awhile to actually sit down and watch it

  • Good point made that RPE looks different for each individual. I would question some of your RPEs based on speed sometimes but that makes so much sense now. Learnt me

  • You should not need to purchase a tendo unit in order to accurately measure bar speed. One tool that biomechanists use while conducting research involving velocity of an object is a software called MaxTRAQ. However, although it may be interesting to gather data it does take a long time to calculate. 

  • You’ve seriously just cleared up questions I had for you and like five other fitness YouTubers. Thanks for dropping the knowledge Russel.

  • i just found rpe too much unnecessary ^^
    maybe i’m just rather stable in performance but i autoregulate my percentages when needed now
    also i found i have a higher drive to progress with percentages


  • I had to go to the ER yesterday because I cracked my back and it spasmed. It’s killing even now. It’s not broken. Thank God but the doctor told me that my X-Rays showed degenerative changes in my spine. I am worried that I will never be able to lift again and I’m only 18. Lifting is the best part of my day and is something I have truely come to love and enjoy. You have inspired me to make sure I lift with proper form and to not ego lift. I have no idea why this happened and I am getting an MRI on Monday to tell me what’s actually wrong. I was wondering if you could make a video on DDD. Or degenerative disease disorder and ways to slow down the process. Keep up the amazing work.

  • I just use my percentage based program as a base. if im feeling good ill go for an extra rep or set or slight weight increase. The numbers for that day is just a minimum. 

  • Hey Jeff. I appreciate what you do! Was looking thru your video archive. I’ve seen the foam roller/SMR vid, the mobility videos and the overtraining videos. What about an evidence-based video on what specific exercises (or could even add specific sports/fitness types) have the highest risk of injury?? I know you often cover reducing injury risk when doing vids on specific movements. Picking out the top 3-7 exercises that the science says have the highest risk of injury would be awesome. Thanks

  • RPE is probably best used in conjunction with a percentage-based program.  If it’s a ‘scope on a rifle’, then I’ll stick to using my iron sights because I’m a damn good shot without an actual scope.  The scope might come in handy for a really long shot I guess.

    That’s just my opinion doe, you can do whatever the FUCK you wanna do.

  • In my mind I think I would undervalue my strength with squats every workout. When I see a weight and set given I know I will have to work to get those numbers and I rarely fail to get the volume and weight in. If I went by feel I would never even attempt the weight I have lifted.

  • Always wondered how long I should be getting sore?? I try to change up my style for day to day or every other week. Not that I work out that much �� ��������

  • Please make a video on Hypertrophic Cluster sets.
    8 sets of 3 reps vs 3 sets of 8 reps
    10 sete of 4 reps vs 4 sets 10 reps. Where speed matters and how effective they are

  • Bro! You’re the man and you deserve all the success in the world! Keep doing you and do let the game change you! You help me push myself everyday and help me be better every day.