UEFP’s Favorite Metabolic Workouts
Metabolic workouts can be explained in one word: challenge. They’ll set your lungs on your fire while you fall into a state of mediation and discover things about yourself you never knew. Plus you’ll have a fun workout!
All kidding aside, metabolic conditioning does help build some grit and determination. It’s definitely one of those things in which you never knew you had it in you until you did it. You’re basically spending the next 10 to 30 minutes in training hell doing various forms of high intensity exercise. Clients at the studio think I’m nuts when I lay the session out in front of them, but when all is said and done, you can tell they give themselves a “self-high five” when the workout is over.
There’s also some science to back all this up. Researchers found that doing a burppe had a higher metabolic cost (the amount of oxygen you have to take in during exercise and its effect on your metabolism) than doing circuit training or battle ropes (1). Athletes can develop workouts to help improve strength or power endurance; it’s one thing to be fast and strong at the beginning of the game, but you also want to perform well at the end.
Here’s a list of some of Upper Echelon’s favorite metabolic workouts. Keep in mind that the workout needs to be designed based around your fitness level as well as your goals (fat loss, sports specific training, etc):
- The Tri-Set: Simply take three moves and perform them in a row. The moves should be compound movements: so you can’t go wrong with a push-squat-pull set up or a pull-hinge-push tri-set. You should rest slightly less than it took you to do the work (once again, depending on the needs of the athlete). Check out this sample workout:
A1. Inverted Ring Row x 15 reps
A2. Back Squat x 10 reps (65%)
A3. Feet Elevated Push Up x 12 reps
- Kettlebell Ladder: Grab a kettlebell and pair it with another move (bodyweight squat, chin up, the list goes on and on). Pick a number and work your way down: start with a kettlebell swing and then go immediately to the other move, like this:
KB Swing x 10 reps
Push Up x 10 reps
KB Swing x 9 reps
Push Up x 9 reps
KB Swing x 8 reps
- Explosive Circuit: This can be used for those who need to build some power endurance. Take several movements and try to get in a minimum of 30 seconds of work. You could make this circuit last up to several minutes; just make sure to leave the least technical movements for the end. An athlete could try this:
Jump Squat x 6
Long Jump x 20 seconds
Speed Squat x 30 seconds
- Track Work: We don’t get the greatest weather here in Michigan, but when we do, I send clients to the track. There they can work on different forms of intervals and even get some mid-distance work. Distances can be as minimal as 25 meters and up to 800 meters (two laps around the track). Once again the point is simple: do a good chunk of work with a little bit of rest.
You have enough variety here for several months of good workouts. So shut the laptop down, grab the sweats, and go enjoy some deep meditation……and a great workout.
1. Ratamess, N, et al. “Comparison of the Acute Metabolic Response to Traditional Resistance, Bodyweight, and Battle Rope Exercises.” (2014) Journal of Strength and Conditioning Journal. 29;1