How to Best Design your Metabolic Workout for the Gym

metabolic workout

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Combining high-intensity and moderate-intensity exercises is one of the keys to your metabolic workout. How do you get the best results from this workout? Add these ideas to help burn more calories in your next session.

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A metabolic workout is an intense routine that combines cardiovascular and strength exercises. The goal is to efficiently burn the most calories you can. It’s really a full-body workout.

Some elements of the metabolic workout have a lot in common with a HIIT workout. With metabolic training, you use intense effort in a prolonged way and not in the form of intervals.

Our aim of this is to accelerate the basal metabolism itself, to increase the burning of calories and fat. Activation takes place not only while you exercise, but also once the session is over. The idea is to raise the post-training oxygen consumption (EPOC). These metabolic training workouts activate the cardiovascular system and the body’s musculature.

What Is A Metabolic Workout?

A metabolic workout can utilise a range of different exercises and equipment. This may be why you have heard of different forms of training focused on engaging your metabolism. Some of these include:

  • the shortened version of ‘metabolic workout’ is metcon workout
  • metabolic resistance training
  • metabolic strength training
  • or metabolic stress training

This way a metabolic workout is a complete and dynamic way of training, using a variety of exercises and speed.

The tips below are key to getting the most of your efforts. You will improve your endurance and agility while losing weight and gaining tone.

How To Do Your Metabolic Workout

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
man doing push ups

The whole workout is generally between 20-30 minutes, with rest between each intense activity.

You can, for example, design your program. Try 1 minute for each exercise and rest another 60-90 seconds between each of them. Or complete a specific number of repetitions in the shortest time.

Ideally, you’d have 5-6 exercises in a circuit. 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. The Key To Your Metabolic Workout

When creating a metabolic workout you need to combine a variety of multi-joint exercises. You want your whole body activated.

Keep a balance of cardio and strength training movements and control your heart rate.

women working out on plyometric boxes

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
  • cable flys.

3. Include Gym Equipment For Training

Increase the benefits from all your efforts by adding weight and resistance. Gym equipment, all the different options, should be added throughout your program.

This will help you to keep making steady improvements, activating the whole body, and help you to avoid a plateau.

metabolic workout using battle ropes

Think about using gym equipment like:

  • dumbbells
  • kettle bells
  • elastic resistance bands, or
  • battle ropes (rope training)

You could also look at equipment like exercise bikes and treadmills.

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. 

Remember also to control the minutes of rest between exercises. Rest should allow you a minimum recovery but that does 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.

metabolic workout needs recovery

Where Do You Start With Your Workout?

When you are planning for metabolic training you could include the following exercises:

  • Burgees (jump + plank)
  • Strides
  • 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)
  • Money
  • Dumbbell Row
  • Dead weight
this workout includes a range of exercises

If you don’t know where to start, a good example is:

  1. 10 repetitions of 3 of these exercises,
  2. with 1 minute breaks in between,
  3. and complete your metabolic training 8-10 times.

You can incorporate it as part of the alternating workouts and exercises you use.

What You Need to Remember for your Metabolic Workout

Remember that you should not do this type of training on consecutive days.

Ideally, it is best to get started with the supervision of a qualified personal trainer. To get the best results a guide can help you learn the correct technique and intensity.

Not to mention, you can learn how to help yourself recover properly. Your body needs at least 24-48 hours for the recovery process. Plus, it needs time to allow your metabolism to burn calories and fat.

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