Perceived Exertion

General questions in the strength and conditioning world go something along the lines of “hey should I go hard on this, or pace myself?” “Should I take a short rest period or long rest period?” “How much weight? ” “How many reps?”


Only YOU know your body best. Only YOU honestly know what you ate, how you slept, what you did the day before and how your body is feeling, so YOU must decide and dictate your Exertion. One of the main concepts to understand about training is that each day is different and every person, every work out, every situation, every day, DEPENDS!

Using a scale from 1 to 10, you choose a rating number to describe how hard the activity feels. You base the number on how tired you are, how hard it is to breathe, and how hard it is to do the activity.

How you slept the night before, what you did the day before, how you ate, what exactly you are training for (your goals) should all be factored into this equation. For example, if you didn’t sleep much the night before and you have go work out at 5am, you should use the lower end of the scale or you will obviously leave feeling “ran into the ground” for simplicity.

If you use a 10 when you shouldn’t you may get away with this for a work out or two. However eventually you will over train. Over training leads to lack of frequency in the gym, overuse injuries, sleep disruption, overall fatigue and potential weight gain. On the other hand using too low of an exertion on days where your body and mind felt good to go, will lead to under training and obviously you will not reach your goals.

Hope This Helps!




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