Metabolic Workouts

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So we are into February now and for those of you who began a new exercise program at the beginning of the year this is a good time to check in and see how it is working for you.  Are you still getting the results you want or have you hit a plateau?  A great way to mix things up a bit and breathe some new life into your program is to try something completely different.  Lately the buzz in the fitness world is about Metabolic training and the great results you can have with this type of program.  So I wanted to take a look at metabolic programming and provide you with a sample to try on your own.

Metabolic programs are really just fast paced circuit programs; but with a bit more benefit to them.  Essentially what you do is perform weight lifting or body weight exercises and include your rest periods on a set time schedule.  The faster you perform the exercises, the more recovery time you have.

This type of programming has many benefits such as:

  • improved cardiovascular conditioning
  • burns fat
  • develop muscle tone
  • improved muscular endurance
  • improved overall strength

One of the points to remember when doing this type of workout is that it is not something you want to do day after day.  The workouts can be quite intense, so you want to allow plenty of rest for your body to recover and reap the rewards.  A good time to use this workout is when you are changing up your program, when you have hit a plateau and you need to shock your system a bit, or if you are on a recovery week from your current heavy lifting. 

Sample Metabolic Workout                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

  1. Suitcase squats    3 sets at 1:20/set                       
  2. Push ups                 3 sets at 1:20/set                        
  3. Standing Row       3 sets at 1:20/set                        
  4. Step ups                  3 sets at 1:20/set                      
  5. Shoulder Press     3 sets at 1:20/set                        
  6. Inverted Row       3 sets at 1:20/set                          

Here is how you execute this program:

Begin with the first exercise and perform 12 reps.  You have 1:20 to complete the 12 reps.  How ever much time is remaining once the reps are complete is how much rest you have.  For example if you perform all the squats in 20 seconds, that means you would have a minute to rest before you continue on.  Once the 1:20 is up you move on to the next exercise.  You follow this pattern through until you have completed 1 set of all 6 exercises.  Once that is done, without stopping to take a break, you move directly into the second set, following the same guidelines until you have completed all three sets.  Once you have completed all three sets, give yourself a 5 minute break and complete another round exactly as you did the first time.  So by the end of your workout you will have completed 6 sets of 12 reps of all the exercises.  You may be tempted to slow things down a bit as you get tired, but I recommend you keep the tempo up if you are able to so you can maximize the benefits of the workout and so you are able to take as long a rest break as you are able to.The key piece of equipment you will need for this workout is a good timer.  Try to get one that has a beeper function on it so you can focus on your technique and not needing to keep watching the clock. 

Because of the high intensity of this type of workout, I suggest you check with your doctor first before giving it a try. 

If you are looking for a great way to blast through a plateau, give this a try.


About Lisa

Lisa is a Certified Personal Trainer who is passionate about fitness and living an active lifestyle. She has a strong background in nutrition, having been a Chef for almost 15 years and applies this knowledge to helping her clients achieve their goals.
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