How to Replace Intervals with Metabolic Finishers

Today we have a new metabolic finishers article on how to replace intervals with this popular workout method.

By Mike Whitfield, Certified Turbulence Trainer

The weather here in Georgia is awesome in the mornings.  I love this time of year.  As a matter of fact, I’m asking for a kettlebell for my birthday so I can do some workouts in my backyard.

I got the idea when Craig Ballantyne saw a picture of my backyard on his fan page on Facebook.  He said it looked like a great place to do a workout.  I then thought, “A smart guy that CB is.  Where’s my birthday list?  Nevermind.  Here’s a post-it note”.  I then wrote “birthday list – kettlebell, the end.”  – True story.

As I daydream about my hopeful gift, I’m wondering how I could do metabolic finishers for the times I do work out at home.  Needless to say, I don’t have a treadmill or bike at home to do interval training.

I prefer metabolic finishers over interval training, but some people enjoy interval training more.  That is great, because either one of those are definitely better than long, boring cardio.  My clients have some good questions though.  One of them is, “How do I replace intervals with metabolic finishers?”  That’s like asking me, “How do I make something that is already awesome into something awesomer?”

Let’s say you are facing one of these problems:

1)      You’re out of town and lacking equipment

2)      You used to enjoy intervals, but you found yourself in a rut or you find yourself constantly sore from interval training

3)      You can’t make it to the gym

Insert cheesy saying here – Have no fear, The Workout Finisher Guy is here.  I promise you that sounded better in my head.  Moving on…

OK, you usually do interval training at the end of your workout on the treadmill.  You are on a program where you run at a difficult pace (9/10 exertion) for 30 seconds, followed by 1 minute of recovery (3/10 exertion).  You usually do this 6-8 times for a total of 9 to 12 minutes.  Here is how to replace that with a metabolic workout finisher:

Do the following circuit 3 – 4 times:

1) Prisoner Squats (30 secs)

Rest 10 secs

2) Spiderman Push-ups (30 secs)

Rest 10 secs

3) Jumping Jacks (30 secs)

Rest 10 secs

4) Mountain Climbers (30 secs) (Your six pack abs are having a blast!  Party! Party!)

Rest 30 secs

If you do the math, it takes just about the same amount of time to do the metabolic finisher above as it would to do the interval training.  It also doesn’t require equipment.  I guess you can say, “A smart guy that Mike Whitfield is”?

Another great method of interval training is KB swings.  A popular method to use kettlebells for interval training is to do KB Swings for 30 seconds, and then rest for 30 seconds.  That’s a great way to burn fat, but how about we tweak it a little bit for a fantastic metabolic finisher?

You can shorten your time of KB Swings to 15 seconds, followed immediately by Explosive Push-ups for 15 secs, then rest for 30 seconds.  (Don’t give me that look about the Explosive Push-ups – it’s just 15 seconds).  With you reducing the amount of time invested in KB Swings, your legs won’t be as sore the next day.  Also, you worked your upper body along with your lower body for extra calorie burning without having to add time to your workouts.  Boom goes the productivity dynamite.

Since I’m on a roll, let’s take a look at yet another way to replace interval training with metabolic finishers.  You don’t feel like doing interval training on the bike like you usually do. Your program calls for you to go hard (8/10) for a minute, followed by a recovery period (3/10) for a minute.  You do this for anywhere between 12-16 minutes.  Here is your plan of attack to replace intervals with a metabolic finisher:

Do the following circuit as shown twice, resting for 1 minute between circuits:

1)      Bodyweight Split Squat (1-1/2 rep style) (30 secs ea leg)

2)      Spiderman Climb (30 secs)

3)      Inverted Row (30 secs)

4)      Close-Grip Push-ups (30 secs)

5)      1-Legged Deadlift (30 secs ea leg)

6)      Modified Burpees (no jump or push-up) (30 secs)

That metabolic finisher takes 9-10 minutes, which is less time than the bike intervals, and you hit all major muscle groups.  This rocks, and here’s why:

A)    You hit all major muscle groups, burning more calories (on the bike, the emphasis is on the legs and episodes of Judge Judy)

B)     You are spreading the exertion all over the body, which allows your legs to be more fresh at your next workout

C)    You did more in less time

You just literally turned on the six pack abs igniter.

Just this morning, I had someone ask me how to get away from the elliptical and start incorporating metabolic finishers instead.  Needless to say, I was pleased because I’ve never been a big fan of the elliptical.  It’s just awkward to me.  I guess I’m old and set in my ways.  I was happy to show him a countdown circuit of lunge jumps, overhand grip inverted rows and elevated push-ups. This way he will burn a lot of calories but his body will still be ready for his next workout, whether it is an upper body workout, a lower body workout or a total body workout.  After all, if you’re constantly sore, more than likely you won’t stick to your workout routine.

Those are just a few ways to replace traditional interval training with metabolic workout finishers.  Your legs will be fresher for your intense Turbulence Training workouts and you will finally “finish” off that belly fat.  Ohhh man, that was a good sentence.  Besides, most interval training methods use the legs, so why not allow the rest of your body to help burn more fat in less time?

metabolic finishersFinish strong,

Mike Whitfield

Certified Turbulence Trainer

8 Responses to “How to Replace Intervals with Metabolic Finishers”

  1. Kelley says:

    I really don’t understand the metabolic finishers. I don’t get how they are different from doing the TT supersets I’m already doing. For my intervals, I will jump rope, jumping jacks, butt kicks, etc. I don’t do the stationary bike or treadmill…too boring for me.

    Can you explain the difference? Thanks!

    • Hi Kelley, great question. Finishers are another option for interval training. They actually compliment TT workouts. They tend to be more high-rep and with less rest for a conditioning effect. Basically, TT workouts + Finishers = Awesomeness.

  2. Clement says:

    Thanks for the recommendations, Mike.

  3. John says:

    Can you use the metabolic finishers as your workout?

  4. Joe says:

    I made up this one back in Feb:
    Home Metabolic Conditioning Workout:
    complete exercises in a row without any rest.
    If needed, rest 1 min after each group.

    30 body weight(BW) squats
    40 reg push-ups
    45sec side bridge L&R
    10 SB Roll Outs
    15 SB hip raises
    15 Hanging leg raises
    15 band pull aparts

    30 Bw Squats
    30 close grip push ups
    45 sec side bridge L&R
    10 SB Roll Outs
    15 SB hip raises
    15 hanging leg raises
    15 band pull aparts

    30 prisoner Squats
    20 SB push-ups
    12 rotating band pulls L&R
    10 SB roll outs
    15 SB hip extensions
    15 back extensions with Y scap raises
    SB stir the pot
    12 Band lat-pulldown

    30 prisoner Squats
    20 SB elevated push-ups
    12 rotating band pulls L&R
    10 SB pikes
    15 SB hip extensions
    15 SB back extensions with T scap raises
    SB stir the pot
    12 Band lat-pulldown
    15 band face pulls

  5. Virginia says:

    I was already doing metabolic finishers without even realizing it!!!!!! That’s awsome, especially for someone that hates anything to do with ellipticals, stationary bikes and treadmills. LOL

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