1. Keteyian, Steven J. PhD
  2. Kerrigan, Dennis J. PhD
  3. Ehrman, Jonathan K. PhD
  4. Brawner, Clinton A. PhD


Purpose: To describe exercise training workloads, estimated as metabolic equivalents of task (METs) both upon exit from cardiac rehabilitation (CR) and as the change in MET level following CR, stratified by age, sex, initial MET level, number of sessions completed, and qualifying event at entry into CR.


Methods: A retrospective study involving 8319 (31% female) patients who completed >=9 exercise training sessions in the early outpatient CR program at Henry Ford Hospital. Exercise training MET levels achieved during CR were estimated on the basis of the speed and grade recorded from a treadmill. Exercise training METs at the start of CR were defined as the average of the second and third sessions, whereas MET level upon exit from CR was determined from the average of the last 2 patient encounters.


Results: The overall mean MET level while training just prior to exit from CR was 3.9 +/- 1.4 (4.1 +/- 1.4 and 3.3 +/- 1.0 in men and women, respectively). The mean change in METs after CR was 1.3 +/- 1.1 (+45% +/- 37%) and 0.9 +/- 0.7 (+40% +/- 32%) in men and women, respectively.


Conclusions: In a large and demographically diverse cohort of patients who participated in CR, increases in mean workload (ie, METs) during exercise training were observed that approximated 45% in men and 40% in women. These data could be considered when establishing benchmarks for program-related performance outcome measures.