Using the Borg Scale to Measure Intensity

Exploring Intensity

Using the Borg Scale to Measure Intensity

Screen-shot-2013-10-10-at-2.41.48-PM At Cardio High we like to measure the intensity of our workouts. The Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (or Borg Scale) is one of the fitness industry standards for measuring the intensity of exercise.

The scale runs from 6 to 20.

Starting at 6 may seem totally random, but the scale’s creator, Dr. Gunnar Borg, designed the scale to try to match perceived exertion to a person’s heart rate. The numbers on the Borg scale multiplied by 10 should match heart rate. If a person reports their exertion level at an 9, their heart rate should be near 90 beats per minute.





The key Borg numbers are:

  • 9 corresponds to a healthy person walking at a slow pace.
  • 13 is considered somewhat hard, but they can continue.
  • 17 is difficult for them to continue to exercise
  • 19 is the most strenuous exercise they have ever performed.
  • 20 is max exertion.

A typical Cardio High session will range from a 10 to an 18 on the Borg Scale:

  • 10-12 for a Dynamic warm-up
  • 13-15 for First intervals
  • 15-18 for Closing intervals
  • 7-9 for the Cool down

When/If we integrate alligator wrestling into sessions, clients can expect to hit a 19 or 20.

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