What are METs and how do they fit into your workouts?
You may have seen that every workout in FITIV contains a metric called METs. This metric is associated with the intensity of your workout. METs can be a helpful and simple way to measure and compare different workouts of different types.
METs are a ratio of your energy used during your workout vs your energy spent at rest.
When you elevate your heart rate and begin to use up your body’s energy your calorie expenditure increases.
For example: If your body naturally burns 70 calories per hour at rest (due to processes like digesting, breathing and thinking) then 70 calories per hour equals 1 MET. If you do intense exercise and your calories burned go up to 700 calories per hour this is equivalent to 10 METs.
Your workout has an associated METs value that equals the average energy expenditure increase for the entire workout.
How can I use METs data?
One of the greatest benefits of METs as a metric is the possibility of comparing workouts and performance between different people and different exercises.
Often when trying to see how effective a workout is people will look at the calories burned during the workout. This is, unfortunately, not always a great way to really analyze performance for a few reasons.
Firstly, calories are very difficult to compare between people. Calories burned depend heavily on factors like height, weight and gender and age. If you are female, lighter, or older you will burn substantially fewer calories for a workout of the same intensity and duration as someone much younger, heavier, or male.
Another issue with calories burned is that shorter workouts with high intensity can compare with very long very low-intensity workouts, despite the fact that they have very different effects on your body and fitness. If you want to compare the intensities of different workouts of different lengths calories are just not going to give you the whole picture.
METs allow these workouts to be compared, and also factor heavily into the formula for FITIV Points.