What is Metabolic Training?
Metabolic Resistance Training (MRT) has recently gained mainstream popularity as a tool to increase fat loss. Technically, MRT includes any type of training that improves the efficiency of certain energy systems, which is just about any exercise. More recently, MRT has been associated with training that uses challenging, compound (multi-joint) resistance exercises which train your large muscle groups, with short, but very important rest intervals. This type of workout can be performed as a circuit, pairs or groups of exercises, or single full body exercises.
Metabolic Training does NOT:
- Use single joint exercises (ex: seated bicep curls, leg extensions, triceps press downs)
- Skip the rest between sets (if you are not resting, your body does not have time to recover to perform the next set at a high intensity)
- Last much longer than an hour (if you are able to perform your workout for much longer than an hour, your intensity probably isn’t high enough)
Why use MRT?
The goal of metabolic training is to achieve the holy grail of training: build muscle and burn fat. Through a well-designed and well executed MRT program, you can not only improve your body composition by building muscle and burning fat, increase your cardiovascular health, and improve your hormone profile. Another benefit of MRT is that it’s efficient and you don’t have to waste precious time to get great results. Also, even though it’s tough to admit while you’re in the middle of your third set of weighted burpees, MRT is fun! For most people, performing a dynamic, full body workout is a lot more fun and engaging than sitting on your a** doing bicep curls.
How to create a MRT program:
There are countless ways of designing your MRT program and the best way is to talk to a qualified and experienced fitness professional. The exercises used in MRT can use:
- High intensity
- Heavy weights
- Compound (multi-joint) and full body exercises
- Short (but valuable) rest periods
- Alternating couplet sets, groups, circuits
Some indicators that you are performing a MRT workout:
- You are breathing (very) heavy – you should be creating a great demand for oxygen for recovery
- Increased heart rate – your heart should be pumping hard to get oxygen to your muscles
- Your muscles burn
- Your workout is relatively short – if you are performing your MRT workout correctly (high intensity), it shouldn’t last for 2 hours. You should aim for a workout that lasts closer to 45 minutes (and you should be pretty exhausted by the end of it)
Visit our favorite online personal training website to see a sample MRT workout: