RPE Scale

The Borg Scale is a method to measure perceived exertion that personal trainers and strength coaches can use to determine a client’s intensity level. Research has shown that accurately using a Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale correlates to training heart rate, percentage of VO2 max and breathing rate. The original scale used a 15 point system (6-20) but in the essence of ease of use we will use the Modified Borg Scale, a 9 point (1-10) system.

The chart below gives side by side comparison for Traditional (TBS) and Modified (MBS) Borg Scales.

Modified Borg Scale Traditional Borg Scale
Your hardest race 10 20 Maximum Effort
Extremely difficult 9 19 100% Extremely Hard – near muscle exhaustion
8 18 95%
Really Hard 7 17 90% Very hard – can keep pace for short time period
16 85%
Hard 6 15 80% Hard – able to push but still maintain proper form
14 75%
Steady Pace 5 13 70% Steady Pace – somewhat hard, can talk in short sentences
12 65%
Easy Pace 4 11 60% Fairly Light – can talk in longer sentences
10 55%
Easy 3 9 50% Very Light – comfortable with slightly increased breathing
8 40%
Really Easy 2 7 30% Extremely Light – able to maintain pace easily
Rest 1 6 20% No Exertion – little to no movement