If you are into fitness, you will know that metabolic training is all the rage at the moment. What exactly is metabolic training, and how does it work? Let's unpack everything you need to know about metabolic training and why it might just be worth every bit of hype.
Metabolic Training In a Nutshell
Simply put, metabolic training is a form of high-intensity training with insane calorie burn while you build muscle. Your metabolic system is the part of your body that burns calories while your body is at rest.
The idea of metabolic training is to speed that up, so you burn fat AFTER your workout, not just during. The workouts consist of a circuit made up of compound exercises with tiny breaks between each exercise combination. Think of it as the love child between cardio and strength training.
Training For the Apocalypse?
Why is this the latest fitness rage? It might seem like you are training for the apocalypse, and if that ever were to happen, metabolic training could help you out a little. All jokes aside, metabolic training is functional and logical.
You learn to use every part of your body in unison, improved fitness, and the ability to better use your body's natural resources. Metabolic resistance training can help you in almost every other sporting aspect and prepare you for your career if you are a firefighter or want to join the military.
Train Smart Not Hard
The concept was also created to get an insane workout in a short period of time. In today's day and age, we find ourselves constantly on the go, whether with work, home life, school, or just a generally busy life. If you are struggling to get your weight under control with limited time to work out, metabolic training might be the answer to your prayers.
Metabolic programs are highly effective at burning fat and stripping visceral fat off your body with one or two quick 30 minute sessions a week. Traditional weight training can take weeks of strict dieting and a few hours a week to get you the same results.
The Three C's of Metabolic Conditioning
There is a quick and easy way to think of metabolic training, the three C's:
Think of this as the road map. You need to get to the end goal. One of the essential parts of metabolic resistance training is planning. You need to move through your sets quickly, so mapping them out in a circuit is critical. It keeps the tempo and flow of the entire workout together.
Metabolic training requires compound exercises - training large muscle groups instead of focusing on isolating muscles. This means you can train more than one muscle at a time.
Plan your workout around combinations. Think of a deadlift, an upright row, and a press. You can essentially get three exercises in, sequential order making it much easier to move through the exercises one rep after another.
The Alternative C
An alternative to the third C is Complexes, which follows the same concept as a superset. It can be a little more challenging; you stick to the same piece of equipment and move through each exercise set using the same equipment, e.g., 6 deadlifts, 6 dumbbell curls, 10 sumo squats.
It minimizes the rest period between exercises and maintains the intensity.
The Break Down
How does this form of training work? To get the best results and reach the goals you have set, you need to know that metabolic resistance training is high-intensity; there should be very little rest between exercises.
It works for many people as an efficient weight loss and fat-burning session that works the entire body. Your whole body will be fatigued as it focuses on each quadrant of the body. You need to move quickly between the upper and lower body with a good amount of core work in-between.
The Nitty Gritty
Your body needs to get into an anaerobic state - the glycogen-burning phase. That is how your body takes carbohydrates and burns them for fuel. This is the crucial factor in any weight loss; cardio or aerobic exercise will happily burn from your muscle and tissue supplies of glycogen instead.
Metabolic training is created to help kick start your metabolism by feeding it rocket fuel. You will continue to burn fat off for up to 72 hours after your workout as your metabolism speeds up. Traditional cardio-like running is a run-and-done method of getting through your workouts. You won't continue burning many calories after a run in comparison.
Example Workout Template
Any great cake has a recipe, so do metabolic workouts. Due to the exercise's high intensity, you will become tired very quickly; try starting easy and assessing your fitness levels first before committing to a 12-week program. From there, adjust to suit your fitness levels.
Metabolic Interval Split
Paired Metabolic Superset
Another way to break the workout up is the following paired set method:
There have to be benefits to this training; otherwise, no one would be doing it, right? There are a LOT of benefits.
All great things have their risks - here are a few before you jump headfirst into training metabolic circuits every day of the week. Here are a few of the risks and how to avoid them.
Traditional vs. New Age Training
Traditional cardio can strip your muscle down a notch when combined with weight training. That is where metabolic training comes in; you are training using weights, bodyweight, resistance with an added intensity. You will feel the burn. As your metabolism is sped up, you will continue to burn calories off for 48 to 72 hours after leaving the gym.
If this sounds like your idea of fun, you should remember it is high-intensity strength training. This is not your regular training. You should only ever do metabolic training a few times a week. It is hard on your body, and you will feel it.
Jumping into metabolic training without proper planning can injure you, even if you're an experienced fitness fanatic. You will feel the ache and burn the next day and possibly the day after. Training sore muscles can injure them and put you out of the gym for longer than you should be.
Metabolic training in 20
Try this insane workout. Use this layout to map out your training. You will notice that metabolic training uses minimal rest periods between exercises.
The less time you have to think about the burn, the harder you work and the better the results.
Not For The Faint-Hearted
This training is not for the faint-hearted; it is intense, hard-working, and can leave you stiff and sore for days. However, it is fun, exhilarating and the results outweigh most of the risks. When you are aware of the risks, you can plan around them and prevent injury in most cases.
So grab a gym partner and go get your sweat on!