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RPE Scale

The RPE (Rate of Perceived Effort) Scale is a helpful way to self-assess and understand your effort within an exercise or workout. I often use this with my 1:1 online coaching clients, as well as with KATHLETICS Trail members, as a way to encourage listening to your body in regard to your effort level and to continue to progressively overload week after week.

The way I use the RPE Scale for clients who lift and do aerobic activity (run, hike, bike, etc.) is slightly different in cues. For example, in lifting we consider it in terms of how many more reps you think you could complete. It's common, especially in women, to underestimate how many more reps can be completed. It's important to recognize that RPE 8 is a tough challenge. If it doesn't feel that way, you could be working more in the range of RPE 6, 5 or less.

RPE Scale for lifting

The cues for aerobic activity is mostly based on abilities to breathe and speak. The RPE Scale for aerobic activity is a method that can be used alongside Heart Rate Zone training or intensity training. I like to use the RPE Scale with clients who are building their aerobic base (generally less than one year of consistent cardio training), don't have access to a heart rate monitor, or prefer to use this method, in general.

RPE Scale for aerobic activity

Learn more about my 1:1 online programming here.


Katharine Moustakes
Hey, friend!

I'm Katharine.

I'm a personal trainer, running coaching, and nutrition coach who's stoked about lifting, the outdoors, summit snacks, and my dog.


I understand that fitness is not your whole life. Fitness is a PART of your life. I approach training in a way that adds value to your life and longevity, so you can enjoy being active whether you're romping around in the mountains, playing with your kids, or signing up for your first 10K race.

I'm here to meet you where you are, so you can train safely and effectively, and gain strength and confidence both in the gym and on the trails.

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