What are watts and how do they determine my exercise intensity?

National Academy of Sports Medicine
National Academy of Sports Medicine
Watts measures the rate of energy conversion. It is defined as one joule per second. In the case of cardiovascular exercise, it is the power that you are producing when training. The more power you are producing, the harder you are working. The best way to explain this power is in calories. When you are producing power, you are burning more calories. This is a very important way to design your program and progressions if you are trying to lose weight. Much like resistance training, you need to slowly overload the muscles and have a recovery period before overloading again. Over time, you will produce more power. For athletes, watts are the key to their sports. The more power you can generate, the faster you can accelerate in a play, the more weight you can push for an offensive lineman in football, or the higher you can jump in basketball. Training your cardiovascular energy system to create this power is very important in achieving your results throughout the game.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.