Sunday, March 08, 2009

Metabolic Resistance Training defined

In my article titled "Why Cardio Is Not Your Answer to Weight Loss!" I talked about metabolic resistance training being the most important type of exercise to do for weight loss.

Q: What exactly is “metabolic” resistance training?

A: Metabolic resistance training, simply defined is: training with resistance that elevates your metabolism. The calories that you burn AFTER you train are what count in this type of training. The goal is to create more work for your body, restoring itself to pre-workout levels, so that you’re burning more calories for the next day and a half. A low intensity workout will burn calories during your session, but a higher-intensity workout can also increase your EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). During this time your body is going through hormone balancing, replenishment of fuel stores, cellular repair, innervation, and anabolism. The more disruption of homeostasis you put your body though, the more oxygen its using, and the more calories it expends getting you back there.

There is no single way to do a metabolic resistance training workout. The possibilities are limitless.

Resistance can include your body weight, dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, machines, tubing, medicine balls, sandbags, or anything else you can resist against or that resists against you.

The higher intensity is created by increasing the volume and density of work you do. Working all your biggest muscle groups in the session, shortening your rest periods to actually ensure incomplete rest, and using supersets or circuits, are all used to get your entire body working harder. Workouts can be organized by reps or by time: keep going until you hit the goal number of reps – even if you have to rest briefly in between to get them done, or do as many reps as you can in a certain amount of time.

A simple example of a metabolic susperset would be pairing 12 pushups with 12 squats. Do the exercises back-to-back, rest 60 seconds, and repeat. Try that 4 times in a row and tell me your heart rate isn't up!

Yes, you should work up if you’re a beginner. Don’t kill yourself on a first session. It's okay to rest in the middle of a set if you need to. Just jump right back in as soon as you're able. And be continually aware of how many reps you got in, in how much time, so you can try to beat that in your next session. Pushing yourself is key.

During these workouts, your heart rate will be elevated and your entire system will feel taxed. You’ll be able to tell you’re burning more calories later, since you’ll feel the recovery process going on. Tired afterward? You did a good job!

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Committed to your health,

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