I love using a 1-to-10 scale. It’s a fast way to get a read on just about anything, and exercise is no exception. During appointments with clients, I use a 1-to-10 scale to check effort and intensity throughout all parts of the workout.
The rating scale on a strength move goes like this:
1-2: Very easy; don’t really feel it.
3-4: Feels good; I could do this for a while.
5-6: Feeling it start to burn.
7-8: It is burning at an increasing rate.
9-10: It is very intense, with a deep burn; I’m not sure how much more I can do.
Let’s say I’m having you do tricep presses. During the exercise, you rate the effort you’re giving or how much the exercise is burning your arms. If you give it a 5, I will tell you to keep going until you feel the burn at a 9.5 or 10. So keep going until you reach this level. That’s how you’ll get results.