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Clever Stockholm scientist Borg developed this scale as a guide to how hard exercise is. It runs from 1 to 20, and as the numbers increase so does the perceived level of exertion.There is also a modified scale that runs from 1 to 10. As a basic rule of thumb it works well, but does have the disadvantages of not allowing for individual variations, medications, genetics, poor communication and those who don’t feel pain so much (like the olympic rowers!). Or hypochondriacs. Most personal trainers will use references to heart rate, for example, “work at 60 to 80% of MHR” would mean work at 60 to 80% of your maximum heart rate. (More on this later!)
So, if you were hypertensive, and we were giving you some fab personal training sessions, here’s a summary of the exercise recommendations and the type of programme you would be on.
A warm up should be done every session for 10 to 15 minutes up to about 60 to 80% of your maximum heart rate, or until you are getting breathless and feeling warm. The main session must include Cardio Vascular exercise 3 to 5 times a week. 20 to 60 minutes of rhythmic exercise using large muscle groups is recommended, like swimming, jogging, cycling, cross training and rowing. If you have any joint problems the rowing, cycling and cross training would be best. You should be working at a level that makes you breathless and sweaty, or RPE (more on this later) of 11-13.
Resistance training should be done 2 to 3 times a week. 1 to 2 sets (groups) of exercises should be done in a circuit format so that your heat rate is elevated, and at 15 to 20 repetitions on each exercise to loss of form. You should cool down after all of this, slowly decreasing the intensity for 10 to 15 minutes. Flexibility (stretching) should be done after every session, each muscle used in your workout should be stretched to a point of discomfort for 15 to 20 seconds, 1 to 3 times. There is a full set of stretches on our Knowledge page, as well as further information on resistance training, Cardiovascular work, nutrition and flexibility. Remember to ask your GP, have a health check, or even better have a free consultation with one of our personal trainers before commencing a new exercise regime.