Whether you're just getting started with your fitness program, or you've been at it for quite some time, chances are you would like to see a higher return on your workout investment. One of our favorite ways here at Proactive Evolution to do that is through what is called "Metabolic Training".
How Metabolic Training Burns Fat
Metabolic Training intended to torch fat involves performing a series of multi-joint, large-muscle exercises at high intensity with a minimal amount of rest between each exercise. There are other forms of metabolic training that have goals other than burning fat, but this article will focus on the fat burning type.
Research has shown working out this way is as effective as long-duration (boring) cardio at burning fat, while having the added benefit of developing lean muscle mass which in turn helps you burn even more calories. Unlike long-duration cardio (which actually causes the loss of lean muscle mass), the fat burning benefits of increased lean muscle mass and density extends well beyond the end of your workout. In fact, the fat burning effect can extend up to 72 hours after you finish!
It should be noted here that if you're a woman concerned about bulking up, rest assured that you have nothing to worry about except greater definition and a leaner body. Big bulky muscles are the result of high testosterone levels.
Schools of Thought
There are several different schools of thought about how to perform metabolic training for fat loss. Some have you perform a certain number of repetitions of an exercise, while others have you perform the exercise until fatigue. The problem with both of these methods is that not everyone will be able to perform the specified number of reps (which has a profound effect on motivation) and the closer you get to fatigue the more likely your form will suffer and that's when injuries tend to occur.
The method we use at Proactive Evolution is to make the reps time-based. In other words, using a timer, you perform as many reps as you can within the interval period, rest, and then move on to the next exercise. So, if you're a beginner and you can only perform one rep in the interval period, that's fine. If you already have a good level of fitness, you will be able to perform more reps. The key, again, is to perform as many reps with good form as you can.
Torching the Fat
If you're doing it right, you'll find that Metabolic Training is challenging. Whether you're doing the workout that I've given you below, or one of the workouts I'll design for you during a Personal Training session with me, keep the following in mind:
Proactive Evolution Bodyweight Metabolic Workout
Warm-up with dynamic stretches for 5-10 minutes
Stretch and/or foam roll.