The Borg scale of perceived exertion is another way of determining how hard you are working. Using your own subjective Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) on a scale of 6-20 or a scale of O-10, you determine how hard you *feel* you are working. A rating of 12-16 ("somewhat hard" to "hard" on the 12-20 scale) or a rating of 4-6 ("somewhat strong" to "very strong") on the 0-10 scale reflects a heartrate of 60-90% of maximum and should be the target area for which to strive.
Original Scale Revised Scale 6 0 Nothing at all 7 Very, very light 0.5 Very, very weak 8 1 Very weak 9 Very light 2 Weak 10 3 Moderate 11 Fairly light 4 Somewhat strong 12 5 Strong 13 Somewhat hard 6 14 7 Very strong 15 Hard 8 16 9 17 Very hard 10 Very, very strong 18 * Maximal 19 Very, very hard 20
Source: ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 5th Edition, p. 68, Williams and Wilkins
The talk test is another measure of intensity. You should be able to talk without gasping for air while working at optimal intensity. If you cannot, you should scale down. On the other hand, if you can sing an aria from Madame Butterfly, then you need to work harder.
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