Metabolic finishers are the magical fat loss workout secret of trainers, not only for their clients, but for themselves. Just read what Certified Turbulence Trainer Mike Whitfield did in a recent fat burning workout to burn belly fat during a weekend of bad dietary choices…
The last night I was in San Diego for the TT Summit, my friend Daniel and I got a craving for something sweet (don’t judge us trainers, we’re humans, too). So, we made a pit stop on the way back to the hotel at a Ghirardelli Shop. The size of my Sundae was epic. I hadn’t eaten anything sweet all weekend and after all, I torched roughly 1,844 calories doing one of Craig’s boot camp workouts (OK, it wasn’t 1,844, but my shirt was wet 4 minutes into it).
Daniel and I made an executive decision to fast the next day and we hit the local 24/7 Gym for a quick workout before we left town. We did a meathead workout and talked ourselves into a metabolic finisher to torch some fat at the end. It was awesome. It went like this:
Do the following superset resting only as needed. In the first superset, you will perform 10 reps of each exercise. In the next superset, you will perform 9. Continue in this fashion until you complete 1 rep of each exercise.
1A) Lunge Jumps (10 ea leg, 9 ea leg, down to 1 ea leg)
1B) Explosive Push-up (hands leaving the ground between reps) (10, 9, down to 1)
If you try this one, don’t be angry with me. Be happy because you just set your body up to burn fat. We were exhausted. Boom goes the fat-burning dynamite. Let me explain…
We could have hit the treadmill for intervals, but I prefer Metabolic Finishers over interval training because the possibilities with finishers are just about endless, you stimulate more muscles, and I enjoy the mental and physical challenges. I started experimenting with finishers almost three years ago with some of my clients as well as myself. The results were amazing.
If you are not sure what finishers are, they are basically a fat-burning sundae, sprinkled with awesomeness and drizzled with coolness. That sentence made the article? Wow. Anyway, finishers are basically a way to perform interval training. However, they work more muscles, resulting in faster results.
For example, when you hop on the stationery bike for intervals, you work your legs quite a bit and you certainly get a metabolic response (in English, that means you burn fat). But what if you did a circuit of inverted rows, body squats and push-ups? Let’s compare:
Bike interval training workouts – you work your legs
Bodyweight exercise circuit – inverted rows (back), body squats (legs) and push-ups (chest), not to mention all the smaller muscles and your core being worked as well
As you can see, the circuit stimulates more muscle groups compared to the bike intervals, therefore burning more calories and helping you get six pack abs. Imagine doing this type of circuit (aka metabolic finisher) with the appropriate rest periods for 10 minutes compared to bike intervals for 10 minutes. Your belly fat doesn’t have a chance.
You can incorporate finishers into just about any sensible exercise program or metabolic resistance training workout.
To run sprints after a tough leg workout can be a tall order. Your performance of the sprints might be poor, resulting in less calories being burned. Instead, try performing a finisher circuit of jump roping, pull-ups and push-ups. Since your upper body muscles are fresh, you can give a better effort, along with the heart-pumping benefits of jump roping.
Now that you performed a leg workout and included a finisher that uses the upper body muscles, you have stimulated all major muscle groups, burning more calories. My wife will love this because she’s a math teacher:
A solid nutrition program
+ A well-designed workout program
+ A well-designed workout finisher
= burning more fat in less time
Math and burning fat is cool.
Now keep in mind that just like intervals, you will have more success with quality over quantity. You don’t have to go crazy and do 10 rounds, and of course, I certainly don’t write finishers for my clients that require you to perform an exercise to failure. It’s not necessary and can easily lead to over-use injury. I also typically keep myself as well as my clients down to 3-4 finishers a week.
If you’re not careful, you can over-stress the nervous system and burn out. That’s not the idea of finishers. As a matter of fact, it’s the opposite. I started to design finishers with just the right amount of stimulation so that my clients looked forward to working out, simply due to the mental and physical challenge of the finisher. That leads to consistency, which is a big part of a transformation.
Bodyweight exercise finishers are one of my favorite ways to torch calories after a workout. I will do a circuit of Prisoner Jump Squats, Close-Grip Push-ups, Suicide Drills, On/Off Planks (good times) and Burpees and call it a day. That’s how I stay lean, and the bodyweight finishers really come in handy when I’m not at the gym or I’m on the road.
If you have access to kettlebells, than consider yourself awesome-ized. Kettlebells bring a whole new dynamic to Metabolic Finishers. The possibilities are endless, keeping you coming back for more. You can use:
KB Swings (2-Arm)
KB Swings (1-Arm)
KB Turkish Get-ups
KB Front Squats
KB Elevated Push-ups
I use metabolic resistance training finishers with both female and male clients. My female clients love the bodyweight metabolic finishers. The males tend to enjoy the upper body focused finishers (surprise, surprise). But more importantly, anyone who wants to gain muscle likes the finishers because it keeps the fat at bay while gaining lean mass. Philip and Lisa, a couple of winners from the 11th Turbulence Training Transformation Contest, used metabolic finishers in their programs.
After my workout today, I did what I call the “Swing and Get Thrusty” Finisher (By the way, I take pride in the names of my finishers). It went like this:
Do the following circuit 3 times, resting 20 secs between circuits:
1A) DB Swings (30)
1B) Spiderman Push-ups (10)
1C) Modified Burpees (10 in the first circuit, 8 in the second circuit and 6 in the third circuit)
Boom goes the fat-torching dynamite,
Certified Turbulence Trainer