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What Are METs Anyway?

Many of you have heard the WellBound trainers refer to METs when people are on cardio equipment. But what are METs anyway? We get this question all the time! It sounds like a complex topic but in short, it’s one way to measure the intensity of your workout. If you have had a personal training program designed for you then your trainer has probably written on your program what MET range you should be in while doing your cardio workouts.

What is a MET?

MET stands for metabolic equivalent of task. A MET is a ratio of your working metabolic rate relative to your resting metabolic rate. Metabolic rate is the rate of energy expended per unit of time. 1 MET is the energy you spend sitting at rest, this is your resting metabolic rate. So for example when you reach 3 METs on the ArcTrainer that means you are exerting 3x the amount of energy as when you are at rest.

How do you know how many METs you are working at?

At WellBound all of the cardio pieces of equipment will tell you how many METs you are working at. The number will scroll through the screen along with other data. Just wait until you see METs and the number will be right next to it. On the ArcTrainers you can press the MET button and it will only display your MET number.

How do you increase your METs?

Not hitting your MET goal set by your trainer? There are two ways to increase your METs. 1. You can move faster or 2. You can add resistance or incline to your machine. Anytime exercise is feeling more difficult you are increasing your MET level. If you find yourself going over your set MET range then it is time to slow down or decrease your resistance or incline.

That is METs in a nutshell. Next time you are on your favorite cardio piece take a minute to check in on how your METS are looking and make sure you are sticking to the range set for you by your trainer.

Stay Well!

~The WellBound Team

Hopson, J. L., Donatelle, R. J., & Littrell, T. R. (2012). Get fit, stay well! (2nd ed.). Benjamin Cummings.

Wing, C. (2013). Acsm/Nchpad resources for the Certified Inclusive Fitness trainer: The Definitive Resource for physical activity and ability (1st ed.). American College of Sports Medicine.

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