Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) and Reps in Reserve (RiR) is a method of measuring physical activity intensity levels.


10  0 – Maximal effort Heavy
9.5 0 – Could lift a heavier weight but not more repetitions 
9 1 repetition remaining 
8.5 1-2 repetitions remaining Moderate 
8 2 repetitions remaining
7.5 2-3 repetitions remaining
7 3 repetitions remaining
5-6 4-6 repetitions remaining Light
3-4 Very light effort
1-2 Little to no effort 


Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE)

RPE is the level of intensity one feels during physical activity. This is based on the physical sensations one feels during exercise, such as increased heart rate, breathing rate, sweating, and muscle fatigue.

Reps in Reserve (RiR)

RiR is a score based on your estimation how many more reps you feel you could have performed after completing a set.

Tips to incorporate RPE and RiR

  • After each set of exercise you complete, have a think about what rating you would give your level of intensity.
  • If you find yourself in the light intensity range for your exercise then this may be a sign that you are not lifting enough.
  • Think about progressing and talk to your Exercise Physiologist or Physiotherapist it.


Peter Lee (EP Student) and Charlie Nothling (PT Student)

Morishita, S., Tsubaki, A., Nakamura, M., Nashimoto, S., Fu, J. B., & Onishi, H. (2019). Rating of
perceived exertion on resistance training in elderly subjects. Expert review of cardiovascular
therapy, 135-142.

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