How to Use the Borg RPE Scale

 

How to use the BORG Rate of Perceived Exertion Scale (RPE)

 

Each MyFitScript exercise program incorporates a method for determining how hard you are working. Some programs utilize a heart rate zone chart that allows you to monitor your workload via your heart rate. Certain medications or conditions may not allow you to use the heart-rate method therefore the Borg RPE Scale is a wonderful tool to help you safely exercise within your perceived limitations.

 

The optimum training target zone for a healthy adult is 12-16 on the scale, which allows you to receive the most cardio respiratory benefit from the exercise. This intensity approximates an exertion of 60 – 80% of the Target Heart Rate range using the Karvonen Heart Rate Reserve method. It is further estimated that an RPE of 6-11 is equivalent to 30-55% of the maximum heart rate reserve. Exercising in the 17-20 RPE zone is not recommended. A good rule of thumb is that if you can walk and talk you’re at a sustainable level of intensity for training…however if you can belt out a show tune chances are you need to pick up the pace!

 

Please note that your MyFitScript individualized exercise prescription may identify an RPE specific to the program so please follow your prescription. In addition, it is recommended that you consult your physician or healthcare provider before you begin an exercise program.

 

BORG 6-20 Rate of Perceived Exertion Scale (RPE)

No Exertion

6

Little to no movement, very relaxed

Extremely Light

7

Able to maintain pace

 

8

 

Very Light

9

Comfortable and breathing harder

 

10

 

Light

11

Minimal sweating, can talk easily

 

12

 

Somewhat Hard

13

Slight breathlessness, can talk

 

14

Increased sweating, still able to hold conversation but with difficulty

Hard

15

Sweating, able to push and still maintain proper form

 

16

 

Very Hard

17

Can keep a fast pace for a short time period

 

18

 

Extremely Hard

19

Difficulty breathing, near muscle exhaustion

Maximally Hard

20

STOP exercising, total exhaustion