You can measure how fast you’re running on a treadmill. You can see how heavy those gym weights are. You can look at the clock to know how long you’ve been exercising. And then comes the fun part, when you can use the scale to tell you how much weight you’ve lost!
But it’s harder to measure something just as important: exertion. How can you explain to someone how intense your workout was? Being proud of a really challenging workout can be difficult since “intense” is a relative term to each person. For instance, running at 7 miles per hour for 5 minutes might be a simple warm-up for a track star, but it can be really grueling — and an exciting achievement — for someone who’s just getting back into exercise.
We’ll make it easier for you! This chart will help you measure your rate of perceived exertion, or RPE for short. Use this 1 to 10 scale to monitor your intensity by simply rating your effort level based on the outline below:
Keep in mind that a higher intensity means you’re burning more calories per minute, and that’s great, but you don’t want to push so hard that you’re sore for a week. Gradually work up your exertion just enough to challenge yourself!