Still haven’t lost any weight since New Year’s?
Imagine this… what if you could cut half on the time spent in the gym and get the same or better results with your weight loss? That’s right, no more jogging or cycling for hours on end. You can become ultra lean, and have that butt that you envy so much from your fit friend on facebook in half the time! The secret is metabolic training, a effective way to utilize the proper energy systems and release the fat burning hormones that give you that hardened look. To utilize this type of training and activate the fat burning capability of the body, the work-out needs to be performed with minimal rests in between each exercise and the exercises needs to be performed with great speed.
Here is a quick, metabolic training infused workout:
10 x push-ups
10 x burpees
20 x mountain climbers
10 x DB shoulder presses
Rest for 30 seconds and repeat 5 rounds
This workout would only be needed to performed once a day. Start looking like a fit model in no time!
I hope you didn’t take anything I just said too seriously…
Because this is quite similar to what the other trainers are presenting to the edge-seeking people who want to lose weight. Though there is some truth to metabolic training, most of it is exaggerated to fit marketing gimmicks.
Let’s go ahead and talk about what metabolic training is and is not…
The definition itself is not as defined than most claim it to be. But in essences, it is training the metabolic energy systems within the body. There is three different systems within the body: Phosphate Creatine system, lactate system, and beta-oxidative system. What separates these systems is how the fuel is derived from substrates and whether or not oxygen is present or not.
Phosphate Creatine system is the first energy system that is utilized because it is immediately available. The source of energy that our bodies use is ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) and when it is broken down you are left with usable energy and ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate) which is considered to be spent fuel in this context. This spent fuel or ADP can be converted back to ATP when phosphate creatine is available within the body. There is nothing needed other than another phosphate to be reattached to make ATP again. But the availability of PC is very, very small and only lasts less than 10 seconds in untrained individuals. After that, the body starts focusing on using its glycogen stores and glucose that is available in the cells.
The glycolytic system or lactate system uses glucose as a substrate in energy production. Though it doesn’t need oxygen to produce energy, the products sent to produce ATP can use oxygen if it is around. Most of the time, this system will produce the byproduct lactic acid so energy can be produced without oxygen. We are all aware of the consequence of lactic acid build-up, but believe or not it isn’t lactic acid that causes the burn but the hydrogen that separates itself from latacte that creates the burning sensation. Though, there is plenty glucose to use as a fuel source, the means of converting energy runs out quickly because of the build-up of lactate and hydrogen as a by-product.
Beta-oxidative system or better known as the aerobic cycle is the only system that uses oxygen when converting energy. It also has the greatest yield of energy and last the longest compared to the rest of the energy systems. Its only draw back is that it takes time to “tool-up” because of the amount of time it takes to break down glucose in its entirety.
So where does metabolic training play into this?
This type of training is highly anaerobic, it involves short to medium bouts (30-90 seconds) with very high intensity followed by a very short to none rest intervals. By doing this you’re stressing the lactate system because the work the muscles is doing is so great that there is not enough time for oxygen to be used. Hence forth why you get the burning sensation in your muscles and if you are really working, the metallic taste at the back of your mouth not mention how much your lungs feel like they’re on fire.
When it comes to what exercises to do:
- multi-jointed exercises
- When more than one joint is being used
- overhead presses
- overhead press with squat
- bench press
- Single modality exercises
- These are your cardio exercises.
- running and sprinting
- rope skipping
- car pushing
“Dan, cut right to the chase, why should I even consider doing shorter workouts over my longer hour long sessions on the track or treadmill?”
That is a great question, and I’ll explain the suppose benefits that it offers. Anytime one does a highly anaerobic conditioning session, they are doing more than what the body can recover from. What I mean by that is the amount of oxygen consumption needed to recover the body (buffer hydrogen ions, stabilize o2 levels in the blood, etc.) is elevated after a workout. This is called Excessive Post Oxygen Consumption (E.P.O.C.)
The concept about EPOC has been passed around as something where the body is burning more calories throughout the day instead of what it normally burns. On the other hand, researchers quickly take the marketing gimmick magnifying glass off of this benefit. Australian researchers roughly a decade ago, determined that the highest that E.P.O.C. can contribute to the net burn of calories is 14% which is not very high (1) and that this percentage actually lowers to 1% the better in shape you are (2)
So what other reason that people do metabolic training when in fact the increase caloric burn is not significant?
Anytime the body has a increased presences of lactic acid, more precisely the hydrogen ions within the blood,there is a higher release of growth hormone (3). This hormone increases lipolysis or the breakdown of adipose tissue. This is certainly nice when you are a bodybuilder trying to gain mass but minimize fat gain as you inch closer to competition.
Metabolic training is a type of training that stresses the lactic acid energy system. In a nutshell, it is the type of training that the duration is short but the intensity is high. For those who are time strapped, this a perfect way to get a great workout and still fit it in your cramped schedule if you can handle it. Although, this training being a more effective weight loss regime would be far fetch and the more traditional model of longer duration, lower intensity would be a better option based on current research.
Although, no one should be knocked for doing this line of training for weight loss or for any reason for that matter. The hormonal profiles proves its worth, since the blood profile definitely shows the body is in lipolysis. And let us not forget to mention the challenge this type of training presents. Most individuals desire to push their bodies to the limit and take great pleasure taking such undertaking, that is why crossfit has such a cult following.
Regardless, treat each day of training as forward progress. The most important thing is that you are doing physical activity.
1.) Gore, CJ, J Laforgia, and RT Withers. “Effects of exercise intensity and duration on the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption..” PubMed.gov. 24.12 (2006): n. page. Web. 23 Jan. 2014. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17101527>.
2.)Gore, CJ, and RT Withers. “Effect of exercise intensity and duration on postexercise metabolism.” Journal of Applied Physiology . 68.6 (1990): n. page. Web. 23 Jan. 2014. <http://jap.physiology.org/content/68/6/2362.abstract>.
3.)Buckley, J, RJ Godfrey, R Quinlivan, and GP Whyte. “The role of lactate in the exercise-induced human growth hormone response: evidence from McArdle disease..” PubMed.gov. 43.7 (2009): n. page. Web. 23 Jan. 2014. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18184755>.
4.)Anaerobic Metaboliam during exercise. N.d. Infographic. utpb.eduWeb. 23 Jan 2014. <http://general.utpb.edu/fac/eldridge_j/kine3350/ch04_Plowman_files/v3_document.htm>.