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Borg Scale

The Borg Scale (Borg 1982)[1] is a simple method of rating perceived exertion (RPE) and can be used by coaches to gauge an athlete's level of intensity in training and competition. Perceived exertion is an individual's rating of exercise intensity, formed by assessing their body's physical signs such as heart rate, breathing rate and perspiration/sweating.

Types of scales

There are a number of RPE scales but the most common are the 15 point scale (6-20), and the 11 point scale (0-10).

15 Point Scale

  • 6 - 20% effort
  • 7 - 30% effort - Very, very light (Rest)
  • 8 - 40% effort
  • 9 - 50% effort - Very light - gentle walking
  • 10 - 55% effort
  • 11 - 60% effort - Fairly light
  • 12 - 65% effort
  • 13 - 70% effort - Somewhat hard - steady pace
  • 14 - 75% effort
  • 15 - 80% effort - Hard
  • 16 - 85% effort
  • 17 - 90% effort - Very hard
  • 18 - 95% effort
  • 19 - 100% effort - Very, very hard
  • 20 - Exhaustion

10 Point Scale

  • 0 - Nothing at all
  • 1 - Very light
  • 2 - Fairly light
  • 3 - Moderate
  • 4 - Some what hard
  • 5 - Hard
  • 6
  • 7 - Very hard
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10 - Very, very hard

Correlation

Research by Borg et al. (1983)[2] found that there is a correlation between an athlete's rate of perceived exertion (RPE) and their heart rate, lactate levels, %VO2 max and breathing rate.

Referenced Material

  1. BORG, G. (1982) Psychophysical bases of perceived exertion. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 14 (5), p. 377-81
  2. BORG, G. et al. (1983) A category-ratio perceived exertion scale: relationship to blood and muscle lactates and heart rate. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., 15 (6), p. 523-528
  3. BORG, G. (1970) Perceived Exertion as an indicator of somatic stress. Scandinavian journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 2 (2), p. 92-98

Associated References

  • BORG, G. (1998) Borg's perceived exertion and pain scales. Human kinetics.
  • EKBLOM, B. and GOLOBARG, A. N. (1971) The influence of physical training and other factors on the subjective rating of perceived exertion. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica, 83 (3), p. 399-406.

Page Reference

The reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2003) Borg Scale [WWW] Available from: http://www.brianmac.co.uk/borgscale.htm [Accessed

Associated Pages

The following Sports Coach pages should be read in conjunction with this page: