RATING OF PERCEIVED EXERTION 
The Borg scale, Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE), was introduced in 1970 and is based on a 
scale from 6 to 20 roughly based on heart rate at rest to maximal exercise i.e., 60 to 200 
beats/min.  Generally speaking, for the majority of individuals, exercise intensity should be 
maintained between an RPE of 11 15 (fairly light to hard) for the majority of the exercise session 
for maximal training stimulus.  RPE can be adjusted up or down depending on individual levels of 
fitness and training goals. 
RATING 
DESCRIPTION 
6 
7 
Very, very light 
8 
9 
Very light 
10 
11 
Fairly light 
12 
13 
Somewhat hard 
14 
15 
Hard 
16 
17 
Very hard 
18 
19 
Very, very hard 
20 
Note: From G.A.V. Borg, "Psychological Bases of Perceived Exertion," Medicine and Science in 
Sports and Exercise, 14(5), 377 381.  American College of Sports Medicine, 1982. 






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