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Rate of Perceived Exertion

Rate of Perceived Exertion is often referred to by its acronym, RPE. It is a subjective measurement used to gauge the intensity or effort level of an exercise or set of exercises. RPE is typically assessed on a numerical scale, with the most commonly used scale ranging from 0 to 10.


The RPE scale is based on how hard an individual perceives the exercise to be, taking into account factors such as fatigue, muscle discomfort, breathing difficulty, and overall effort required. Here's a general breakdown of the RPE scale:

  • RPE 0: No exertion (complete rest)

  • RPE 1-3: Very light exertion (minimal effort required)

  • RPE 4-6: Moderate exertion (somewhat challenging but manageable)

  • RPE 7-8: Hard exertion (challenging and noticeably difficult)

  • RPE 9-10: Very hard to maximal exertion (extremely challenging or near-maximal effort)

Weightlifters often use RPE as a tool to regulate and adjust training intensity. By assigning an RPE value to a set, they can gauge their effort level and adjust the weight or repetitions accordingly. This allows lifters to autoregulate their training, taking into account daily fluctuations in strength, fatigue levels, and overall readiness. By using RPE, weightlifters can make more informed decisions about when to push themselves and when to ease off to prevent overtraining or injury.

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