Making Shift Happen

153. Should You Use Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) or Heart Rate?

Jan 22, 2024 | Podcast | 0 comments

Jen is wearing a white tank top and black capris as she is jumping up onto a plyo box. The title of the episode is in sky blue font on a white background.

I’m talking about Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) and Heart Rate because you may be obsessed about these things. Instead, I want you to experience the joy of getting in touch with your body through RPE.

Knowing your RPE and how it corresponds to your overall performance is so important when it comes to not being so dependent on devices or technology to tell you how you’re feeling. So, listen to this episode to get an idea of what to aim for and what to listen for during your workouts and training sessions.

Here are some other episodes on training that you will want to check out:

  • 0 – 2 = Active recovery: Zone 1, 50-60% max HR, <55% of FTP, hardly trying, can maintain for hours. Sitting, reading, stretching, mobilizing, very easy spinning with no pressure on the pedals. Lifting lightweight for mobility, recovery, and focus on form. Also, easy conversation and breathing.
  • 3 – 4 = Light activity, Endurance pace, all-day pace: Zone 2, 60-70% max HR, 55-75% of FTP, <70-87% of LT. This pace feels good and like you can maintain it for up to 4 hours. This is lightweight for lifting weights.
  • 5 – 6 = Tempo pace, moderate activity: Zone 3, 70-80% max HR, 75-91% of FTP, 87-95% of LT. Not able to maintain pace all day but can maintain for a few hours, not difficult for 45-60 minutes. You can keep a short conversation but breathing heavier. Lightweight lifting mostly for form.
  • 7 = Sub-Lactate or Lactate Threshold (LT): Zone 4, 80-90% max HR, 91-100% of FTP, 95-100% of LT. Starting to hurt, you may be able to sustain this effort for 60-90 minutes at most. Conversation is possible, but not for long. ~5-7 reps if lifting weights.
  • 8 = Supra Lactate Threshold (LT): vigorous activity, very heavy weights, Zone 5 at 80-90% max HR, 100-110% of FTP, 100-105% of LT. You can speak in syllables or a short sentence with very heavy breathing. You’re beginning to hit 2-4 heavy reps.
  • 9 = VO2 Max: Very hard activity, Zone 6 at 90-100% max HR, 110-135% of FTP, 105%-Max% of LT. You can only sustain for 3- 8 minutes continuously. Very heavy weight; one more rep left in the tank, but it is difficult. Also, you can speak in syllables, and very heavy breathing or gasping.
  • 10 = Anaerobic capacity: Max effort activity, full-on sprint. Zone 7 at an all-out effort and heart rate. 135+% of FTP. Sustainable only for 1-30 seconds if sprinting or up to 3 minutes if more controlled. You are at your max, you have no more reps left in the tank. Also, you are unable to talk, and gasping for breath.
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#ShredStrong Starts a New Cycle Every Month – A New Cycle Starts Every Month – Next one is on January 29th!

#ShredStrong may have started, but you can always join any time you want! it is my signature year-round strength and conditioning program specifically for mountain bikers. It includes 3 strength workouts and an intervals session per week that easily fit into biking season, plus a mobility plan to help you relax and stabilize those biking muscles of yours. You also get coaching feedback and guidance from me on your movement that you record and send me via video.

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