What is RPE and why should you care?

RPE- Rate of perceived exertion is a scale used to measure the intensity of exercise. The simplest scale is from 1-10, 1 being sitting on the couch and 10 being the last 9 reps of Fran. With an understanding of RPE you can decide for yourself if… you are working hard enough, if you are working too hard to sustain yourself during a longer metcon. Are you using your energy wisely and are working towards results?

There are many ways to apply RPE to the work you do at the gym. Once you begin to explore how you feel when you are working out it will begin to make sense in all the other modalities of strength and conditioning.

When you do your warm up row today consider the below scale. The exertion we are after is a 3. Not exactly easy but not too bad. You want to get a little sweat going but not winded.


Consider this too,

Rest =0%-Easy talking



4=70% Conversation slows down, breathing between words

5=80% Talking in short replies

7=85%- Talking stops



Please be advised, if you have time to chitchat during your metcon, you are absolutely NOT working. At all.

We are athletes just like CrossFit, constantly varied. Not everyone gets the same output from the same weights in a work out. The beauty of us as humans and CrossFit is that we can scale to meet our needs. We look at a short Metcon like Fran and have to understand the goals of the workout. This one is a gasser, a lung burner. The weights are light so that they can be moved fast. Fran will be done in less than 10 minutes. She should be done in less than 5. This is not time for practice, this is time to beast right through. If you are not yet doing thrusters at 95/65# then ask yourself at what weight can I use to drive myself through this workout and it still be really, really hard at the end? If you choose a PVC, you’ve missed the point.

Warm up
Row 1000 m Perform at 70% effort / RPE 3
coaches choice

Warm up with 5@40% 3@50% 3@60%
Shoulder Press 5 reps @ 65%
Shoulder Press 5 reps @ 75%
Shoulder Press 5+ reps @ 85%

21-15-9 reps, for time of:
Thruster, 95/65 lbs


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