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Fine-Tuning Your Training: Using RPE to Your Advantage





Understanding how to optimally gauge and adjust your training intensity is key to hitting your goals and what a number of people forget to do within their training. In this blog post let's dive into the practical benefits of incorporating the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale alongside traditional percentage-based approaches.


Traditional methods often involve sticking strictly to set percentages for workouts, which can sometimes lead to a rigid routine that doesn't always align with your body's daily fluctuations and energy levels.


The RPE scale, on the other hand, provides a more personalised and dynamic approach. Instead of being confined to predetermined percentages, the RPE scale allows you to gauge your effort on a scale from 1 to 10. This flexibility is valuable in adapting to your body's responses, ensuring that each workout remains challenging yet sustainable.


Here's how both methods can work in harmony to optimise your training:


Precision and Individualisation: RPE lets you adjust your intensity based on your body's signals. Feeling fatigued? Ease off a bit. Full of energy? Push a little harder. This personalised approach ensures your training aligns with how you feel on a given day.


Goal-Specific Intensity: Different training goals require different intensities. Whether you're aiming for muscle growth, strength, or endurance, RPE provides the flexibility to tailor your workouts accordingly. It's about what works best for your goals or the phase of training you’re in. In a deload or working currently in season playing sport? Working at a lower RPE will be much more beneficial for you.


Adaptability to Progress: RPE accommodates your progress over time. As you get stronger, your perceived effort for a given load may decrease, allowing for seamless progression without constantly recalculating percentages.


If your goal is muscle growth, don't feel bound by fixed percentages. Instead using the RPE scale can be much more effective for you. Target an RPE of 7-8 to ensure optimal intensity to drive hypertrophy but also to make sustainable progress.


In conclusion, as you fine-tune your training approach, consider using the RPE scale alongside percentages. It can be a great tool for you to auto regulate your training whilst dealing with the curve balls that life throws at you; you might have slept badly, been overrun with work or simply not feeling at your strongest and its a great way to ensure you get the most out of your time in the gym.


Written by Charlie Hitchcock

Owner at Optimum Fitness Tetbury


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