Skip to content

    Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE)

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Topic Overview

    Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) can help you measure how hard your body is working when you exercise.

    Using a scale from 6 to 20, you choose a rating number to describe how hard the activity feels. You base the number on how tired you are, how hard it is to breathe, and how hard it is to do the activity.

    For most people, working at a moderate (RPE 12 to 13) to vigorous (RPE 14 to 17) level will help you get the most benefit from your exercise. If you have health problems, your RPE goal may be different. Talk with your doctor before you start an exercise program.

    How hard do you feel the exercise is?
    Rating number Perceived exertion
    6 Very, very light
    7
    8 Very light (You feel comfortable.)
    9
    10 Light
    11
    12 Somewhat hard (You feel tired but you can keep going.)
    13
    14 Hard
    15
    16 Very hard (You feel very tired, and you are pushing yourself to keep going.)
    17
    18
    19 Very, very hard (This is like the hardest exercise you have ever done.)
    20
    1

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: June 04, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Topics

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    Balding man in mirror
    Treatments & solutions.
    No gym workout
    Moves to help control blood sugar.
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    acupuncture needle on shoulder
    10 tips to look and feel good.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    woman biting a big ice cube
    Habits that wreck your teeth.
    pacemaker next to xray
    Treatment options.
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    Myths and facts.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.