Metabolic Conditioning – What You Need to Know
Metabolic conditioning is the latest hype and a great sales pitch for newcomers at the gym. I must admit, metabolic conditioning does sound all fancy and high tech, but what is it really?
What is Metabolic Conditioning?
Everyone thinks that metabolic conditioning is some new way to burn fat and tone up, but it has always been there inside your body. It only seems new because science has only recently been able to conduct proper research on it. The basic principle of metabolic conditioning is that you do a certain workout routine in a certain way. This will make you burn more calories for up to 48 hours after your workout. Let’s dive deeper into this topic and let’s explore how, and when to do which metabolic conditioning workout.
Your Metabolism After a Metabolic Conditioning Workout
Metabolism refers to the human body’s process of converting food into fuel, allowing the muscles to perform work. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the chemical responsible for fueling muscles and is derived from carbohydrates, fat and occasionally protein. The intensity of your workout determines the rate of ATP production and consumption. This means that your metabolism will be running at a higher rate, repairing your muscle fibers and your oxygen intake will also be higher for up to 48 hours after your workout. So you will be burning more calories than what you did after your regular workout.
The Basics of a Metabolic Conditioning Workout
Metabolic conditioning doesn’t really describe a specific workout, but more a type of workout designed to challenge the three major energy systems that I spoke about previously. It is able to target all of these energy systems in the same workout by using high-intensity whole body movements along with very short rest periods in between.
That means you go from one exercise to the other with little or no rest in between. You do this for certain intervals, anywhere from 20 seconds to more than 2 minutes. Some examples of exercises you might do are burpees, lunge jumps, pushups or bear crawls, and there are many more.
How You Can Get Started With Metabolic Conditioning
If you are not ready for high-intensity training, there are some changes you can do in your own workouts to slowly build the endurance and power you need for more intense workouts:
Do some circuit training. Circuit training is the basics of MetCon, taking you from one exercise to another with very short, or even no rest between exercises. Practice by doing your exercises one after another with 30 or more seconds between exercises. As your fitness improves and you get used to this kind of training, start reducing the rests each time, going down to 10-15 seconds or, eventually, removing them altogether. This simple act will increase the metabolic demand on your body and that’s what MetCon is all about.
Change different elements of your workouts. Changing the metabolic demand on your body can be as simple as lifting heavier weights, working a little harder during cardio sessions, trying interval training, doing combination exercises or even putting short bursts of cardio into your regular strength training program. Once you can perform these changes with ease, you can move on to metabolic training.
The 3 Main Metabolic Conditioning Workout Types:
HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. This means that you mix up high-intensity intervals of 30 seconds to 2 minutes. with lower intensity intervals of the same time frame. With little or no rest in between intervals. This is a great workout to torch fat. It also keeps your metabolism elevated long after you are finished your workout. This is what I like to call the afterburn.
This also increases your level of growth hormone and noradrenaline. These hormones help break down stored fat and help to burn this fat as energy.
You need to work out intensely to get maximum results. That makes HIIT a winner when it comes to weight loss and getting into shape. This is an advanced workout type so make sure you are ready for it beforehand.
2. Circuit Weight Training
The traditional way to lift weights is to do a set, rest for a minute or two, and then do another set of the same exercise, rest another couple of minutes, and so on. This is still a very good way of working out, but if you really want to benefit from circuit weight training, you are going to need to mix things up a bit.
You can do this by doing one set of one exercise and then go straight into another set of another kind of exercise with little or no rest in between the sets. And keep going in this manner until you have completed your workout.This will keep your heart rate elevated so that you continue burning the maximum number of calories throughout your workout. It’s a good way for you to tone up and blast away fat:
The best way to do circuit training is by structuring the workout around the “push/pull” system. for example, you can mix it up with a set of bench press(push) followed by a set of rows (pull). Or a set of curls(pull) followed by a set of tricep extensions(push). As you progress, you can start doing 2, and even 3, full reps of your entire circuit to really get your metabolic conditioning going.
3. Compound Training
Compound training means that you combine two different exercises into one movement. You can do this with almost any two exercises, but it’s generally best to pair a lower body exercise with an upper body exercise. For example, a squat into a shoulder press, or a lunge into a bicep curl You can get creative can come up with many different moves.
Compound training is great because it increases the amount of muscle you are using to perform the exercise. This means that you will be burning more calories than just doing only the squat or lunge on its own. You should try to include as many multi-joint movements as possible. These are exercises that involve more than one joint. For example, a dumbbell row is a multi-joint movement. The shoulder and elbow joints are needed to carry out the exercise. Do a line-up of these exercises and you will be burning calories faster. You will also be cutting your workout time shorter. This is a great PLUS for anyone who has a tight schedule.
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