You don’t need to be an MMA athlete to gain the benefits from metabolic training. This type of training has become popular with fitness enthusiasts who want to improve their VO2 max, strength, power and agility.
Metabolic training is the basis of program design for many of the popular high-intensity training protocols used with TRX®, CrossFit, MMA, Kettlebells and boot camps. It involves a series of compound exercises with short rest intervals, optimizes the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems, increases metabolic rate during and after exercises and maximizes calorie burn.
You can easily incorporate key metabolic training principles and exercises into your workouts to become leaner, fitter and stronger.
Key features of metabolic training include:
• Compound exercises that use large muscle groups
• Multi-joint compound exercises that require a maximum amount of energy such as a squat with an overhead press or a bench press followed by a pull-up
• High intensity exercise interspersed with short rest intervals – To produce a significant metabolic effect you have to work harder than what your body is accustomed to and push outside of your comfort zone.
• Circuit and interval training – Training usually performed in a circuit of 3-10 exercises with short rest intervals and repeated for 2-3 sets. Adequate recovery between metabolic training sessions is critical; therefore, this type of workout should be performed only 2-3 times a week to allow for optimal rest and recovery.
• Uses both energy systems – Both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems are incorporated into metabolic training formats. This increases metabolism and optimizes calorie burn.
• Produces an EPOC effect – EPOC or excess postexercise oxygen consumption refers to the elevated state of oxygen consumption after exercise in an effort to bring the body back to its preexercise homeostasis. The calorie burn during a 30-minute metabolic training workout is around 500 calories. This type of training increases metabolic rate 10 – 25% for up to 48 hours, with some studies showing an increase in metabolic rate for up to 72 hours. The higher metabolism generated during metabolic training results in increased fat burning during and after exercise!
Metabolic Training Workout
Make sure the body is completely warmed up before beginning a metabolic training workout. An easy metabolic training format involves timed sets, such as 1 minute of exercise followed by 15-30 seconds of rest. The number of exercises per set can vary from 3-10. This is usually repeated for 10-15 minutes. All the variables will be dependent on your fitness levels and abilities.
Check out these 5 metabolic exercises and this training circuit from Doug Balzarini’s Strength and Conditioning for Combat Athletes CE course.