Perceived Exertion

There are a few ways to judge a person’s intensity when they are exercising. One of the easiest (without having to use any fancy equipment) is called “Perceived Exertion” or P.E.  It is a technique that requires the individual to judge their overall intensity while exercising. The accuracy of this test is dependent on a person’s ability to judge their own output of energy and not take into account any other influences they may be feeling (I.e sore knee or achy back muscles). Exertion is based on how you are breathing, energy, heart rate. The current rating scale is (1-10) 1 being the easiest.

The original P.E scale was 6 – 20.  Six basically being almost no exertion, and 20 representing your maximum effort. The other numbers like 11 = fairly easy, 15 = hard, 17 = very hard. The ideal behind this original scale was that you would add a zero to you P.E number at that would actually represent your heart rate. I have personally tested this and found it to be pretty accurate. 

A great way to see how “in-tune” you were with your body is to wear a heart rate monitor and guess your heart rate before looking at your monitor. If you can be accurate within a couple of beats of your heart rate monitor, you are learning how to be aware of your bodies physical cues.

There are exceptions to the scales listed above. Anyone take beta blocker or calcium channel checker medicine may find that heart rate monitors will not accurately correlate to their perceived exertion levels. If you are taking these types of medicines or with other certain medical conditions, you will need to consult your doctor for any specific guidelines to follow regarding the proper heart rate zones to exercise within, as well how to correctly judge your specific perceived exertion levels.


Call 847-772-3487 or click on the link below for more information.

Personal Training Information


Related Post