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.
Very, very light
Very, very hard
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.