RPE - Rating of Perceived Exertion
NOTE: THIS FEATURE IS AVAILABLE SINCE V3.3 OF STRONGLIFTS FOR iOS
RPE stands for Rating of Perceived Exertion. It's a scale used to measure how difficult a set was.
Gunnar Borg came up with the concept of RPE in the 1980s. My coach Mike Tuchscherer started used it for powerlifters in the mid 2000s. I use RPE's in my own training since 2011. The StrongLifts app now uses RPE to help you estimate your 1 rep max.
Estimated 1 Rep Max
- Start workout - tap the weight of an exercise - tap "Estimated 1 Rep Max"
- Change the RPE value to get a more accurate estimated one rep max calculation.
- RPE is a 1 to 10 scale. But we don't use ratings below 6 - they're too light to judge, and are more like warmups in terms of training effect.
How to rate your RPE
- Right after your set, ask yourself: "how many more reps could I have done had I gone all out?"
- In the example below, if you think you DEFINITELY could have done 2 more reps, then select RPE 8.
- "Reps in the tank" => how many more reps could you have done.
- Note that the question is NOT - how many more reps could you have done if you had slept more, eaten better, moved the bar better, put better music on, whatever. It's how many more reps could you have done given the current circumstances?
- It's normal to over/understimate the RPE in the beginning. This is a skill - you get better at it by doing it more.