The KDR RPE Scale – How hard are you working?

The KDR RPE Scale – How hard are you working?

How hard are you really working during your workouts?

At the end of the day, you have to have burned more calories then you consumed to lose weight.  You can accomplish this in only one of two ways:

  1. You eat less food.
  2. You burn more calories through activity.

There is a saying in the fitness field that goes – “You can’t outwork a bad diet.”  That’s 100% true.  However, you can absolutely work hard enough to stabilize a bad diet, and in some cases, actually, move the needle in the way you want it to go.

Meaning, let’s say you have to eat 2000 calories to lose weight.  You eat 2500 calories.  But through exercise, you burn off 700 calories.  You will certainly lose a very miniscule amount of weight over the long term (year).  You just won’t be fitting into those skinny jeans anytime soon.

So…how hard do you actually have to work to “outwork” a bad diet?  Well…let’s dive into that!

In fitness there is something called an RPE scale, it stands for “Rating of Perceived Exertion”.  It’s an objective scale used to quantify subjective feelings and is often used in research studies looking at different aspects of fitness.  It’s also something personal trainers and fitness coaches can use to help figure out how much weight to put on the bar.

Researcher – “How hard did you feel you were working.”

Subject – “Hard.”

Researcher – “Ok.  But how hard.”

Subject – “Really hard.  Stop talking to me I’m out of breath ***hole.”

It usually goes like that.  But with the RPE scale it can go more like:

Personal Trainer – “On a scale of 1-10 how hard did you feel you were working.”

Client – “I think I was at a 6.”

Personal Trainer – “Ok great!”

This is an 8! Good job Winny! Winny for Mayor!

It’s a great scale to use, but generally, it has some limitations:

  1. When it comes to fitness, most people don’t know what a true 10 feels like.
  2. Most people don’t understand the difference between an 8 and 9, or 6 and 7, or even 3 and 4.
  3. People don’t rank their exertion in terms of numbers, they rank it terms of “I could have done 4 more reps or gone for another 30 seconds.
  4. Great, your a 6, but how do we get you to an 8?

As you can see…pretty basic and plain.  BORING!

This is more like a 4. Or what you should look like resting.

So….that’s why we came up with the KDR RPE scale!  It fixes the above problems by:

  1. Emoji.  Man…emojis.  You might not know what a 10 feels like, but if I showed you an emoji with X’s over its eyes, you can understand that’s working almost to the point where you want to pass out.  That’s a 10.
  2. Quantifying exertion during a personal training session or fitness work out.  Think you can do 5 more reps, add 10 pounds.
  3. Asking the simple question – “How much more could you have done?”  And, “How did that feel?”  

Why use the RPE Scale?

As a personal trainer working in the fitness field for over 15 years, I can attest that the hardest thing to do is to pick the proper weight for someone to use.  This doesn’t matter if their goal is weight loss, rehab or just improving their health/fitness.  There is no certification you can take, no books you can read…it’s more of an art that gets honed over years and years of seeing people lift weights.  And, truth be told, it’s by far the hardest thing to nail down in regards to fitness.

Most people don’t work out hard enough, even sometimes with a personal trainer.  A lot of personal trainers don’t feel comfortable pushing people that hard, again, there isn’t a course you can take in the fitness field to address this.  And ultimately, I don’t think it’s the trainers job to say “hey let’s add more weight.” because if the client doesn’t feel comfortable adding more weight, a lot of times it’s a recipe for disaster.

That’s where an open dialogue has to occur between the personal trainer or fitness coach and their client as far as “how did it feel, do you think you could have done more reps or lifted more weight for the same amount of reps.”

The average person usually thinks their 6 is an 8, but in reality, it’s actually a 4.  It’s not really their fault…the average person doesn’t have to do ANYTHING that is as hard as doing a back squat for 10 reps with a load they can maybe handle for 12 reps.  That’s an 8 by the way…exactly where we want you.

Most of the time we want you at an RPE of a 7-8.  That means you could have done an extra 1 rep, maybe 2.  An 8 RPE is the perfect spot for most resistance training sessions because it means your working hard, but not hard enough that your form would substantially suffer.

Another way to look at it would be looking at it in terms of weeks or workouts on a fitness plan.

Week 1/start a new program = RPE 5-6.  You’re just learning the moves, take it easy.

Week 2/2nd time on the program = RPE 5-6.  However, work to really master the form, try and be at a solid 6 on your last set.

Week 3-4/3rd and 4th time on the program = You know what you’re doing, now push it!  You should be at a 7 during these weeks, with your last set at an 8.

Week 5-6/5th and 6th time on program = CRUSH IT!!!  PUSH THOSE WEIGHTS!  Your whole work out should be at a 7-8 with maybe even touching a 9 or 10 if you feel VERY confident in the movement.

We rarely want you working below a 5 unless you’re really working on mastering a lift, but even then, you have to increase the load of the exercise eventually to challenge your ability to perform that exercise.

So, without further ado…I give you the KDR RPE Guide!  Use it…love it…share it with all of your friends.  Live a lifted life.

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KDR Healthy Eats: Baked Lime Chicken Bowls

KDR Healthy Eats: Baked Lime Chicken Bowls

Baked Lime Chicken Bowls

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 6 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large resealable bag, combine olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  2. Cut chicken into cubes and add to marinade. Toss to coat. Marinate for 2 hours or up to overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Pour marinated chicken onto baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  4. Serve with cooked quinoa and Lemon Green Beans Amandine or Roasted Brussels Sprouts (or other green vegetable). Enjoy!
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KDR Healthy Eats: Bacon Avocado Egg White Breakfast Sandwich

KDR Healthy Eats: Bacon Avocado Egg White Breakfast Sandwich

Bacon Avocado Egg White Breakfast Sandwich

INGREDIENTS:

  • cooking spray
  • 1 1/3 cup AllWhites® 100% liquid egg whites
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 strip of bacon
  • 2 avocados, mashed
  • 2 whole wheat english muffins, halved and toasted
  • 1 tablespoon diced green onions
  • optional: sriracha

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Line a large plate with paper towels. Line up the strips of bacon 1″ apart on prepared plate. Cover with paper towel.
  2. Place bacon in microwave. Cook on HIGH for 2 minutes. Remove and flip the bacon. Cook another 2 minutes. Flip again. Cook another 2 minutes. Remove and let sit.
  3. Spray a small ramekin (2.5″) with cooking spray. Pour 1/3 cup of the AllWhites® 100% liquid egg whites into the ramekin. Season with salt & pepper.
  4. Place ramekin in microwave and cook on HIGH for 1 minute. Remove.
  5. Assemble the Breakfast Sandwich: toasted english muffin half, 2-3 tablespoons of avocado mash, 1 strip of bacon (halved), cooked egg whites, garnish with green onions and sriracha. Serve!

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KDR Healthy Eats: Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini Spaghetti

KDR Healthy Eats: Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini Spaghetti

Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini Spaghetti

INGREDIENTS:

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Cook until onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool.
  3. In a large bowl combine onion mixture, ground turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, and herbs. Season generously with salt and pepper. Mix with hands until fully combined. If the mixture is too wet, add additional breadcrumbs.
  4. Form mixture into 12 meatballs. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-18 minutes until just cooked through. Turn oven to broil and cook an additional 3-5 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Meanwhile, fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Trim the ends from the asparagus and chop into 1-inch pieces. Add asparagus to boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Remove pieces from boiling water (reserve water), and immediately submerge in ice water to stop the cooking.
  6. Place spiraled zucchini spaghetti in a large bowl. Pour remaining boiling water over the noodles to lightly cook.
  7. Heat remaining olive oil and garlic in large skillet until garlic is fragrant. Add red pepper flakes.
  8. Drain zucchini spaghetti and add to skillet with garlic and olive oil. Add asparagus and parmesan cheese. Toss to coat. Serve with meatballs and garnish with fresh herbs.

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KDR Healthy Eats: Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet

KDR Healthy Eats: Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet

Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lbs extra-lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup onions, diced
  • ½ cup yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 ½ cups sweet potato, diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A pinch of red chili flakes
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh parsley for garnishing

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In an iron cast skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add ground turkey and garlic. Use a wood spoon breaking up the turkey while it cooks. Stir occasionally and cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add onions and yellow peppers and cook until onions are soft.
  4. Add the sweet potato, chili pepper, salt, and pepper.
  5. Cover the skillet and cook until they are tender. Don’t forget to stir occasionally. If necessary, add more olive oil or a little bit of water to cook the sweet potato faster.
  6. While the sweet potato is cooking, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  7. When the sweet potato is tender, add shredded mozzarella cheese and bring the skillet to the oven to melt the cheese* (see note below).
  8. When the cheese melts, remove from the oven, and garnish with parsley.

* You can just put the lid on the skillet for 5 minutes. The cheese will melt.

**You can keep this recipe in the fridge for up 6 days.

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Its not a secret that we love Kettlebells at KDR. But why?

Its not a secret that we love Kettlebells at KDR. But why?

When people first come to KDR they are usually (this is based off on our experience and the clientele that comes in) de-conditioned and not as strong as they could be.  Plus, they are generally intimidated!  Coming into a weight room full of equipment you don’t know how to use or have never seen before can be very overwhelming.  So, we need a tool that isn’t intimidating, can help bring up someone’s conditioning level fast and that also helps to build strength quickly.
 
Kettlebells are a great way we can accomplish these goals, i.e. improve your aerobic fitness and get you stronger at the same time.  PLUS!  Thanks to social media and TV, KB’s are a piece of gym equipment most people have seen before so for beginners, KB’s aren’t that intimidating.  After all…it’s just a ball with a handle.
 

According to a recent study by American Council of Exercise demonstrated that Kettlebell training significantly boosts aerobic capacity, while also improving strength and dynamic balance.
 
“Kettlebell training increases strength, which you’d expect, but you also get these other benefits,” says Porcari. “You don’t really do resistance training expecting to get an aerobic capacity benefit, and you don’t do resistance training and expect to improve your core strength unless of course, you’re specifically doing core-strengthening exercises. But with kettlebells, you’re able to get a wide variety of benefits with one pretty intense workout.”
 
 
 
My training is heavily influenced by kettlebells as well as most of our members. Here are just a few things I have witnessed due to training with KBs:
  • Increased ability to go longer during runs – without running.
  • Increased ability to go faster during runs – without running.
  • Increased strength in core, glutes, hamstrings AND back.
  • Decreased back pain.
  • Decreased knee pain.
  • Better posture.
  • More power and explosiveness.
 
Link below for your research pleasure.
 
 
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