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Rate of Perceived Exertion (ft. Coach Kyle)

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It’s Benchmark Wednesday at the CrossFit Box and the “Girl” WOD (workout) for the day is Helen!!


Helen is 3 Rounds for time of 400m Run + 21 Kettlebell Swings + 12 Pull Ups.  The coach rounds up the 5:30pm athletes and begins their warm up.  After the warm up is complete, the coach brings the athletes over to the white board to brief the workout.

He grabs the athlete’s attention and states, “Helen is a WOD where you HAVE to GO, GO, GO.   This is a workout where you pin your ears back and swing for the fences! You see…Intensity is being comfortable being uncomfortable; therefore the Intensity should be so HIGH that when you are completed with this workout you should be lying on your back or feeling very uncomfortable. ”


He then walks around to each athlete and gives them a goal time to shoot for.  A good time for any athlete, no matter if you are doing it as prescribed or scaled, is around 9-11 minutes.   If it takes you 20 minutes or more, more than likely you will leave the gym feeling like you didn’t accomplish much.

The athletes are ready…the coach yells 10 SECONDS!!!

3.2.1. GOOOOOO!!! The athletes are off!!

The time is passing by and the athletes are chipping away at the WOD.  As the coach watches, he sees some of his athletes push themselves like they have never pushed themselves before.  However…there are also a few athletes whom he is a little concerned about.   They look like they are just going through the motions.

You see…there is this thing called Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE Scale).  It is a way that you can measure Intensity!


It is important to understand the RPE scale and how it relates to you.   CrossFit is defined as “Constantly Varied, Functional Movements, performed at a High Intensity.”

Most of the workouts that are done in a class setting should be a 7-10 rating.

If you feel like a 4-6…well then you are only going to get 4-6 results.

You see…it is not about how much volume you put into a day or workout.  That is not what makes an athlete good or get really good results.  It is about what Intensity you put into your workout!


“Favorable adaptation includes improved body composition and improved health markers such as fasting glucose and triglycerides. It takes people from sick to well to fit.” (Cecil, 2016)

Think about it…when is a time you have felt like you gave it your all?

My guess is it was probably the CrossFit Open or a local competition WOD.

You see…this is the type of intensity that you have to bring to class with you each and every day!

Every time that you walk through those doors, you have to tell yourself I am going to leave it all out on the gym floor today.

I promise you that if you start to do this on a daily basis, not only will you see a difference in your performance but you will also see a major difference in your appearance.

Committed To Your Success,

-Coach Kyle