Saturday, 9 January 2010

A Simple Measure of Training Intensity

The Borg Scale is a simple method of rating perceived exertion (RPE) and can be used by athletes and coaches as a way to gauge exercise intensity during a training session or competition. This is one method that we will use to quantify exercise intensity during our club training sessions. The Borg Scale is a 15 point scale starting at 6 and going up to 20. For example, a rating of 7 is very, very light exercise or a 30% effort and a rating of 19 is very, very hard exercise or a 100% effort. 20 is exhaustion!

Why start at 6 and go to 20? A high correlation exists between a person's perceived exertion rating times 10 and the actual heart rate during physical activity. A person's exertion rating may provide a fairly good estimate of the actual heart rate during activity (Borg, 1998). For example, if a person's rating of perceived exertion (RPE) is 14, then 14 x 10 = 140; so the heart rate should be approximately 140 beats per minute. Of course heart rate is very variable between individuals and depends on genetic factors, environmental factors and an individual's physical condition.

To get the best out of your training think about want you want to achieve in that session and consider what exercise intensity would be best to achieve the desired result. It is not desirable to always push yourself as hard as possible. This could result in over-training and/or injury.

See you at the next session. Tim (LFTC Coach)