Metabolic training involves doing an intense routine that combines cardiovascular and strength exercises. If you want to design an effective workout that activates your metabolism take note of some of the tips for a training session with these characteristics.
A metabolic workout has some elements in common with a HIIT workout, but it is not exactly the same, because here the intense effort is carried out in a prolonged way and not in the form of intervals.
The objective of this training method is to accelerate the basal metabolism itself, so that the burning of calories and fat is increased, not only while you exercise, but also once the session is over. The idea is to raise the post-training oxygen consumption (EPOC) and to achieve this, it is necessary to design effective metabolic training workouts, which activates the cardiovascular system and also all the body musculature.
How to do your metabolic training
Metabolic workouts can utilise a range of different exercises and equipment, which is why you may of heard of different types of training focused on engaging your metabolism. Some of these include metcon workout, metabolic resistance training, metabolic strength training and metabolic stress training.
A metabolic workout is a complete and dynamic way of training, using a variety of exercises and speed. These tips are key to getting the most of your efforts so you improve your endurance and agility while losing weight and gaining tone in the large muscle groups.
1. Time counts
When planning metabolic workouts be aware of the duration of each exercise. To give you an idea of this; push ups for 30 seconds, rest 15 seconds, sit ups 30 seconds, rest 15 seconds. Given the intensity, the whole workout is generally between 20-30 minutes, with rest allocated between each intense activity.
You can, for example, design your own by program, 1 minute for each exercise and resting another 60-90 seconds between each of them. Another option is to do your metabolic training setting a specific number of repetitions, which you should try to complete in the shortest time possible.
Ideally you’d have 5-6 exercises in a circuit and then plan to run through that set 2-3 times in a single gym session with a longer break after each set. Combine that with a 5 minute warm-up and cool-down and you’ve got a very thorough workout for your metabolism.
2. Variety of exercises is key
The most important thing when creating a metabolic workout is to successfully combine different multi-joint exercises that allow you to activate your entire body. In addition, you should keep in mind that, in your plan, cardio and strength training movements must be balanced, paying special attention to controlling your heart rate. Ideally, your maximum heart rate should not drop below 60% at any time during training and you should try to reach 80-85% with some exercises.
Some exercises to consider might be: jump squats, mountain climbers, burpees, box jumps, kettlebell swings or cable flys.
3. Include gym equipment for training
As a way to increase the benefits from all your efforts is to add weight and resistance to achieve a more varied and dynamic routine. This will help you to keep making steady improvements to avoid a plateau in your gains. Think about using gym equipment like dumbbells, kettle bells, elastic resistance bands, or even a few minutes of battle ropes (rope training) are good “ingredients” in such a session. You could also look at equipment like exercise bikes and treadmills that are normally considered for good cardio workouts.
4. Moderate the weight and respect the breaks
When doing strength exercises it is important not to overdo the weight. This is not a muscle building workout. On the other hand, it is essential to control the minutes of rest between exercises. They should be the right amount that allow you a minimum recovery but that do not decrease or disrupt the rhythm achieved. Make sure that your heart rate does not drop below 130-120 during recoveries, and if so, shorten the breaks or increase the intensity.
As basic exercises that any metabolic training should have, the following stand out:
- Burgees (jump + plank)
- Squat (you can do it with a jump to increase the effort)
- Climber Steps (Mountain Climbers)
- Push-ups (recommended to do them combined with a side plank)
- Dumbbell Row
- Dead weight
If you don’t know where to start, a good example is to do 10 repetitions of 3 of these exercises, with 1 minute breaks in between, and complete your metabolic training 8-10 times. Remember that this type of training should not be done days in a row and that it should be started with the supervision of a qualified personal trainer. Your body needs to recover at least 24-48 hours, during which time your metabolism will continue to burn calories and fat.