Rate of Perceived Exertion... as a Workout Focus?
Psssst.... Want to learn a critical skill that will have you smashing your workouts? Check this out!
This is an unusual workout where the main target for the cardio segment is Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) over a set distance (as opposed to achieving a set distance in the shortest time possible). See the graphic below to familiarize yourself with this scale. This is a modification of a workout programmed by Matt Chan, a firefighter and former CrossFit Games athlete who created the functional fitness online program TrainFTW. I follow this programming for my own workouts and it is amazing!
Targeting RPE and the ability to move between easier and more difficult levels of exertion is a valuable skill for CrossFit and endurance athletes as well as for general recreational athletes. It’s a way to continue to make progress in the workout (accumulating reps, distance, etc.) while achieving some level of recovery from the more difficult movement sequences (in this case, the Devil’s Press). Proficiency with this skill allows you to keep going rather than stopping to rest all together.
5 min of your selected cardio modality
· 10 Air Squats
· 10 Burpees
· 10 light dumbbell shoulder press
Watch the Devil’s Press video before this workout!
Take 5-10 min to practice the Devil’s Press and find your best weight for the workout. This is a moderate to heavier weight given the small number of repetitions. If you are proficient with the Devil’s Press, try that heavier weight. If you are new to this movement, double the repetitions and choose a lighter weight.
800m Run, Row or 1 mile bike (RPE 2-3)
6 Devils Press (heavier weight if you are proficient) or 12 reps with a lighter weight if you are new to the Devil’s Press)
400m Run, Row or ½ mile bike (RPE 2-3)
4 Devil’s Press (alternative – 8 reps with a lighter weight)
200m Run, Row or ¼ mile bike (RPE 6-7)
200m Walk, easy row/ easy bike (RPE 1)
Total workout time 30-40min.
Integration Tip! This is a longer mixed modality training sequence so I would recommend giving this workout its own dedicated day. For athletes training twice daily, heavy strength or a mobility segment would pair best with this workout.