Strength & Fitness

What is RPE?

Ever come to class and you really wanted to hit a certain number, certain time in the wod, but everything felt off?
Just because your body did not have the same game-plan as your mind did, does not mean you are less fit or weaker.

See, your RPE may have still felt like a 9/10 even if the numbers you hit were more like a 7/10 from what you know you can do. Why is this?

First, let's finish explaining RPE or Rate of Perceived Exertion.
RPE might be easier to think about when you are doing a max lift or an all out sprint.

Say we had you row as hard as humanly possible for :30....RPE = 10/10 right.
4 sets of 10 Backsquat may be a 6/10.
Running a 5k could be anywhere from a 4/10 in the middle, a 8/10 on the hills and a 9/10 at the finish.

You get the idea.

What might the results from those examples look like?

On your best day...ate your Wheeties, slept great, no stress, on top of the world.
Your max distance :30 is 142 meters.
Your last Backsquat set was 205 for 10.
Your 5k time was 20:42.

On a bad day, even though the RPE felt the same as above:
Your max distance :30 is now 123 meters.
Your last Backsquat set was 175 for 10.
Your 5k time was 23:12.

It's frustrating isn't it?

If your RPE is the same whether its a good or bad day, the stress on the body is the same.
The bad/off days...it was just all your body had in the tank. There is nothing you could have done to change the outcome (in the moment).
You can only change the variables leading up to it!

This is why we ask you if you are sleeping well?
Are you eating enough throughout the day?
Are you working out on an empty stomach? (5:20'ers you too! Should have at least something in there!)
Is your stress managed well?
Have you recovered from your previous workout?
Are you over-training?
Etc and so on.

How can you use this information moving forward?
Next time your coach is explaining how this is a long workout and you should go at about 80%....same as saying it's a RPE of 8.
Fran = 9.5 if not 10/10
Our recent 8-6-4-2-2 for Deadlifts, first set of 2 = 7, last set of 2 = 9/10

To wrap up, just remember your body will have it's good days and bad.
Take it all in stride and try to hit the proper intensity.

More often than not, an undesirable score is rare occurrence. When they keep happening, then it may be time to seek out why.

Ryan King

Owner / Coach