I am trying to get 4 hours of cardio per day following a modified version of Lyle McDonald's rapid fat loss. The first hour I do incline treadmill at 15% grade at 3.0 mph. This is about 9.65 METs. Is it difficult to reach 9.65 METs using a bicycle or elliptical?


10 mets on a bicycle is the equivalent of ~ 14 mph. This is a fairly easy pace and should be easy to sustain for a while, unless you have never really ridden a bike much other than a beach cruiser around the block.

Here is a link for a met exercise equivalency chart, there are dozens of them scattered around the web that show MET's for various exercises.


  • So bicycling at ~14 mph and walking at 3.0 mph on a 15% incline should burn the same number of calories per hour? – cardioguy Nov 19 '14 at 16:14
  • @cardioguy - If the METS are accurate, then yeah, in theory it should be about the same. Although the chart I linked shows 3.0 mph walking uphill as 6 mets, not nearly 10. Don't know what grade they consider "uphill" though. – JohnP Nov 19 '14 at 16:18
  • Well my treadmill shows the mets for walking 3.0 mph at 15% incline so I am using that. – cardioguy Nov 19 '14 at 16:45
  • @JohnP, this source (visionfitness.com/blog/laymans_guide_to_mets) has 10 METs the equivalent of jumping rope which is pretty grueling. It would have 14mph bicycling much lower than 10. – Eric Nov 19 '14 at 18:33
  • @EricKaufman - 10 mets is around 14-18ish mph. That is outdoor, rather than trainer. Outdoors you are going to have higher effort due to overcoming air resistance. And IIRC, the 10 met range for rope skipping is at the 60 rpm mark (one hop per second) which is on the low side of effort for skipping. This paper shows 10 met as being 30km/hour, so slightly more (18 mph) than my first example. There will also be some variance due to testing setup and the training of the subjects. onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/clc.4960130809/pdf (The paper also gives the mets formula) – JohnP Nov 19 '14 at 21:17

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