Treadmill Tabata Workout #9: Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)

If you feel like a hamster in a wheel when running on a treadmill then this workout will throw you out of THAT loop in a good way, of course. Not only is it a short workout (it’s only 15 minutes), but it’s a metabolism boosting, fat burning butt kicker of a workout that is sure to shake things up a bit. If you’ve been looking for a workout to trim up for summer, throw this one into your plan weekly and watch how your body changes in ways you haven’t seen in awhile. Notice that the incline is never less than 1.0. That incline most represents outdoor running. It’s incredibly rare to run on exactly flat surfaces. The 1.0 incline helps prepare you to be able to run outside and the weather for that is right around the corner.

You will also notice the column on the right-hand side of the workout labeled ‘RPE’ which stands for rate of perceived exertion. This is your perceived intensity level or how hard you think you are working. Usually the scale of RPE looks like this:

I personally think that’s too many numbers to keep track of and if you’re working at the upper end of the scale, you won’t have the brain power to recall numbers! So many people simplify the scale (including myself) to a scale of 1-10 more like this:

With this chart in mind, make sure that for each Tabata segment you hit a 9 or 10 and then do your best to bring it down in the 10 second rest given. This will not be possible for someone who does not have an aerobic base built as a runner. Your heart, lungs and muscles won’t be conditioned for running so it will be challenged even at lower levels and will take a little longer to recover. Don’t shy away just because you’re not a runner. You can utilize the workout as an interval workout and make your rest segments longer. The more conditioned you become, the less rest you can take. As your heart gets stronger, your recovery time gets shorter. This is another great way to measure your success!

To get more Tabata and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Workouts) and a workout calendar, be sure to check out these posts.

One more Tabata post to finish out this month coming up!

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