Saturday, April 24, 2010

The "Talk Test"

Many folks talk about "rate of perceived exertion" or RPE as a way to measure your level of output when exercising. A simple 1 through 10 methodology is used to measure RPE.

However, another practice, known as the "talk test" can also help you identify your RPE.

With the talk test, the goal is to work at a level where you can talk, but not comfortably carry on a conversation. If you have to take a breath between every word you say, you're working out too hard. On the other side of the extreme, you're probably not working hard enough if you can sing or carry on an active conversation with a workout partner.

Work at an intensity that allows you to breathe comfortably and rhythmically throughout all phases of your workout -- and talk! This will help you maintain a safe and comfortable level of exercise.

Check out this post from the Centers for Disease Control's website ( that offers more ways to measure workout intensity, including the talk test --

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