Friday, February 11, 2011

Ratings of Perceived Exertion

Sounds fancy, doesn't it? In reality, it happens to be quite the opposite. Determining your rating of perceived exertion is actually an easy way to gauge the intensity of your workout. And as you know, it's imperative that you reach a certain intensity to reap any benefits whatsoever. Us fitness professionals will tell you that this intensity is best achieved by working out at 60% to 70% of your maximum heart rate. But if you don't already know it, will you really stop mid-run to crunch some numbers? That's highly unlikely, right? (Especially if, like me, you detest numbers.) So instead, the RPE Scale comes into play. With a bit of subjective analysis, you can determine your rating of perceived exertion. All you have to do is assess how hard you're working based on the Scale itself:
How does it work? Ratings of perceived exertion taken into account just about everything: how fast your heart is pumping, how hard you're breathing, how tired your muscles are getting...generally speaking, how fatigued you feel. If you were simply standing still, your RPE would be 0. You aren't doing anything, you're not exerting any energy. Plain and simple. If you were running on the treadmill, going as fast as you could...just barely keeping up...well, then you'd have an RPE of 10. Make sense? If not, you can always give yourself the talk test.

So where should you be on the RPE scale? Generally speaking, you want to work hard while you're exercising. So aiming for an RPE between 4 and 7 makes sense. But to really, really push it—you'll need to take it up a notch. Of course, that isn't always necessary if the quality of your work at the "hard" to "very hard" stage is good. After all, at that stage, you should be feeling it. If not, assess your workouts and see if perhaps you need to switch something up a bit.

Speaking of switching things up. I found a gem of a peanut butter at the store yesterday. I was out, and headed straight for the all-natural store brand of peanut butter. It's cheap, and only contains peanuts and salt. No funny business that ups flavor or fat content. But as I made my way through the produce section, I happened to find this gem. Into the basket it went, afternoon snack it became:

Parker's All Natural Peanut Butter. Creamy, of course. Made of nothing but peanuts and salt. And oh, so very good. At just $3.99 a pop, it's quite inexpensive, too. At least compared to the other all natural varieties on the shelf. With it, I also purchased a Pink Lady apple. My personal favorite, and also one of the more expensive apples—but it was on sale. Sweet score! (If you live by me, head to Martin's and you'll find both items on the shelf.) Needless to say, I chopped up that apple right quick and paired it with my newly found nut butter.

If I turn into an apple dipped in peanut butter, not a single person will be surprised. Nor will they be surprised to find me on the on the dance floor tonight. Our favorite cover band is in town, and you can bet your britches we're gonna be there when they play:

Despite the dive bar atmosphere, these guys always guarantee a good time. And I wonder—what will my RPE be? I'll have to make note of it while I boogie down to "Summer of 69" or something equally shake-tastic. I hear they're doing Lady Gaga these days. Hello, fun...

REMINDER! Don't forget to enter my Green Giant giveaway! You just win a prize pack full of goodies. (Contest ends at midnight EST on Friday, February 11, 2011).  

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...