Metabolic training is an intense form of exercise, which requires the individual to complete variations of compound exercises, simultaneously with minimal rest between sets. This kind of training will typically be done in a circuit using exercises which target various muscle groups. A typical metabolic training routine may look something like this –
Squats (60% 1rm) x 12 reps
Deadlift (60% 1rm) x 12 reps
3. Bench (60% 1rm) x 12 reps
4. Walking Lunges – 30 seconds
5. Rower (maximal speed) – 30 seconds
This routine would be performed continuously 3-12 times (dependant on fitness levels) with 30 seconds rest after the final exercise.
The benefits of training at this kind of intensity can have a profound impact on health, which includes -
The rate at which the body converts those precious calories we eat into energy is called your ‘metabolic rate’. This energy yield is essential for day-to-day bodily functions, such as digestion and heart function. The basic premise for fat loss in relation to ones diet is simple –burn more calories than you consume. Genetics play a fundamental role in an individual’s unique metabolic rate; however, metabolic training protocol will also massively help with speeding up this natural process.
When the muscles are undergoing intense exercise, the demand for energy production increases. In order to facilitate this energy yield, the body must draw upon its energy stores; fats, carbohydrates (glycogen) and protein (amino acids) to use and expend energy in the form of calories. Research suggests that this sort of high intensity exercise can increase the body’s metabolic rate (calorie expenditure) for up to 3 days post exercise!
Numerous studies have proven that this form of high intensity, resistance training stimulates the production of hormones which assist lipolysis (the breakdown of fats for energy). This type of training also has a positive impact on human GH secretion – a hormone which helps with building muscle tissue, burning fat and reducing the symptoms of ageing.
In order for fat to be utilized as an energy source, there must be oxygen present, which results is fat oxidisation > energy. Oxygen is carried around the body within red blood cells, therefore to meet this high oxygen demand, the heart must increase its bpm (beats per minute), this can often hit the optimal range (220bpm – age). This can lead to improved cardiac adaptations, such as increased stroke volume and reduced resting heart rate.
Furthermore, vo2 max increases as a result of this type of
training, essentially allowing you to improve your performance capacity during
optimal and sub-optimal exercise.
By Steve Watson
BSc Sport & Exercise Science