Many people assume that it’s not possible to burn fat metabolic workouts using resistance training. They think the two are totally separate and that one must be exclusive of the other. This couldn’t be further from the truth. With a little knowledge and whole lot of effort, you can burn fat while simultaneously increasing strength and musculature. It’s far from easy but it’s a lot more fun than staring at a wall while mindlessly trudging on a go nowhere track as it goes round and round beneath your feet. The answer to your fitness and physique lies in metabolic training.
What is a metabolic workout?
Metabolic training is a highly effective and efficient method of working both the muscular and cardiovascular systems. It is an intense, fat burning, physique-defining workout incorporating supersets or circuits composed of compound movements in rapid succession with incomplete recovery. Metabolic training effectively utilizes both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems, making it highly effective in conditioning the cardiovascular system. There are two types of metabolic training that can be used separately or combined, depending on your fitness goal.
Metabolic training for conditioning
This type of workout consists mainly of numerous, multi joint, compound exercises put together in a circuit type format. Very little rest is taken between circuits, allowing for only a partial recovery before beginning the next round. The training is very similar to high intensity interval training, creating the same effects and benefits on the cardiovascular system while providing an improvement in muscular endurance. The fat burning potential and excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) is similar, if not even preferable to that of an interval sprint workout since every muscle in the body is being worked.
Metabolic conditioning workouts are designed to use high reps and either light weight or body weight exercises in a multi exercise, circuit type session. All exercises are multi joint, compound exercises to allow for as much stimulation as possible while pushing into the anaerobic threshold. For example, a circuit may include 5 exercises like body weight speed squats, chin ups, burpees with a push up, prisoner lunges and body weight dips with a rep range of 15 to 20 and no rest between the exercises. Enough rest is taken between circuits to nearly fully recover and the circuit is then repeated. This is how metabolic training can be compared to interval training. The heart rate skyrockets and you are well into anaerobic territory.
Metabolic resistance training
Metabolic resistance training is the same concept as metabolic conditioning but with a strength focus as opposed to muscular endurance. Heavier weights are combined with fewer reps in a superset or circuit design to stimulate a growth and/or strength response along with working within the same energy systems as conditioning circuits.
A typical workout may use a superset combination of deadlifts and a one arm incline dumbbell press for 8 reps for example, or a barbell split squat followed by a one arm dumbbell row for 10 reps. The point again is to use compound movements while alternating body parts and muscle groups in order to keep the heart rate up while allowing rest and recovery. While circuits can be done, the number of consecutive exercises will need to be limited depending upon the weights used and exertion put forth. If your workout consists of numerous big exercises like squats, deadlifts, rows and bench presses, with weights heavy enough for an 8 to 10 rep range, it may be best to group them into 2 or 3 at a time. Pushing the limits is crucial, but you also want to have the steam to give the workout everything you’ve got.
Benefits of metabolic training
The positive gains from metabolic training are seemingly limitless. Both the resistance and conditioning specific metabolic training methods have a huge effect on fat burning, in a number of ways. First of all, the calories required to complete one of these workouts properly is immense. Depending upon your current condition, body composition, genetics and most importantly, the effort put forth, you can expect to assign hundreds of calories to the task.
Metabolic training creates a significant oxygen debt, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. This means your body will be hard at work paying back that debt for hours after you down your post workout shake. It requires energy (calories) for our systems to return to a state of homeostasis, and the harder we´ve worked, the longer that process takes, melting the fat off at the same time.
Fat burning hormone spike
The combination of working every muscle in the body, little recovery time and constantly switching energy systems, creates a spike in fat burning growth hormone and adrenaline. This precious rise in growth hormone and adrenaline lasts for a limited time. By using the 60-minute post workout time frame to refuel those exhausted muscles, you can take full advantage of this muscle and strength building opportunity. The greater the intensity is during the workout, the larger the spike in fat burning hormones will be, so keep that in mind to maintain motivation.
Metabolic training workouts are typically short. You simply cannot put forth such intensity for long, extended periods of time. If you can, you’re not working hard enough.
That means this type of training is perfect for those of us with a busy schedule. Not having enough time will no longer be on the list of excuses for a missed workout.
Less stress on the joints
Endless hours on the treadmill or pavement can lead to joint pain, injury, lost toenails and a number of other conditions. Similarly, repeated sets and numerous reps of isolated exercises working the same body part or muscle group can lead to tendonitis or other joint problems that can hinder your workouts. Metabolic training can spare you from these annoyances since the exercises involved are compound, multi joint exercises limiting the repeated load placed upon one single joint. The muscles and joints work together, supporting, pushing and pulling weight in a combination of movements and different planes of motion. Assuming the prescribed guidelines are adhered to, there is less risk of incurring an injury due to overuse.
Metabolic Training Summary
While metabolic training is intense and exhausting, the hard work is well worth the outcome. Good things come to those that work hard and those that work smart. By combining the two and adding metabolic training to your program you will drastically increase your fat burning, undoubtedly improve your health, fine tune your muscle development, increase your cardiac capacity and turn heads on the beach.