The evolution of metabolic resistance training (MRT) has brought this powerful form of fat loss workouts to the forefront of the fitness world today. You’re seeing MRT being used in bootcamp workouts, by bodybuilders in transformation contests, and even in bodyweight exercise programs.
But to a lot of people new to MRT, many questions remain. For example, just what is this fancy sounding way of exercise that millions of people are using today for their fastest fat burning results ever?
“Metabolic” Resistance Training
To answer that question, we have to look at the evolution of metabolic resistance training, and we need to look at what fitness experts mean when they use the word, “metabolic”.
After all, resistance training is straightforward. That simply means strength training, where you perform weighted or bodyweight exercises, generally within a repetition range of 1-15 reps. However, adding in the word, “metabolic” completely changes your definition – and the feel – of a traditional strength training workout.
So I’ll grab some plutonium and then we’ll jump in our Strength-Training-Time-Machine (it’s that car over there with the weird doors on it), and we’ll go back in time to the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when resistance training was beginning to get popular. At that time, researchers were focusing on strength gains from resistance training.
There were two popular beliefs. First, one researcher named Berger found that doing three sets of six repetitions was the best way to build strength. But another researcher named DeLorme found that three sets of ten was best.
Either way, the workouts weren’t much different, and neither would be classified as metabolic resistance training because long rests were given between sets. Plus, if you used this system for your workouts, you’d only build strength and muscle, but it’s unlikely you’d burn enough calories to lose body fat. So you’d just end up with a bigger version of your body now, which likely isn’t your goal.
Now you might have also noticed a clue I gave about MRT workouts. You see, when we do metabolic resistance training, these workouts do not have long rest periods between sets. In fact, the workouts are set up so that you can go from exercise to exercise with as little rest as possible while still maintaining high-intensity training.
It sounds simple, but believe me, as a fitness expert who has written for Men’s Health magazine over 50 times, most people don’t know how to organize a workout – especially a metabolic resistance training workout – for maximum results. In fact, if you put the exercises in the wrong order, you could end up hurting yourself or developing a long-term, chronic overuse injury. So read on to find out the best way to design an MRT program.
Now let’s scoot forward about a decade to the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Arnold Schwarzenegger popularized bodybuilding with his multiple-set, heavy weight, high-volume workouts. And yes, the way Arnold trained is closely related to today’s MRT workouts, but there is one flaw in how Arnold trained compared to how YOU want to train for maximum fat loss. More about that in a second.
But it’s also worth mentioning another type of resistance training that was beginning to get popular around this time. It is called High-Intensity Training, and is characterized by doing only ONE set per exercise to failure with a heavy weight. Again, there are similarities to MRT workouts, but it’s still not the method we’re looking for.
So how do these two types of training differ from MRT workouts? Well, Arnold’s program focused on doing one bodypart per day at such a high volume that only two things were going to happen.
First, if everything went according to plan, you’ll build a massive amount of muscle. And second, what happened in most other cases (i.e. in people who were NOT using steroids), was that the high volume of chest exercises in one day would lead to shoulder injury. If it didn’t, then the high volume of shoulder exercises or back exercises in the next two to three days would cause shoulder injury.
The bottom line is that Arnold’s bodybuilding had too much bodybuilding volume in it, and that’s not the way of MRT workouts. As you’ll soon see, MRT workouts tend to be total-body resistance training workouts done with multiple sets of a variety of exercises. That’s the similarity between MRT and High-Intensity Training (bodybuilding version of HIT – this is different from HIIT which refers to high-intensity interval training) from the early 1980’s.
Whereas Arnold would do only chest on Monday, back on Tuesday, legs on Wednesday, etc., high-intensity workouts were total body, and done infrequently. However, lifting heavy weights to failure is not part of the MRT plan.
So leaving that era of fitness, we take away two valuable factors that are now part of the legendary fat burning MRT workouts used by men AND women all over the world. First, the multiple sets done in a repetition range of 8-12 are used because these activate the exact metabolic processes in the muscle that we need in order to burn a maximum amount of calories and stimulate a maximum amount of muscle – thus boosting post workout metabolism.
And second, the total body workout style done on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule used by the HIT gang was one of the best systems for setting up a fat burning MRT workout schedule for busy people. However, there’s been another advancement in MRT workouts that allows you to train up to 4 days per week with MRT programs and bootcamp workouts, and this might be the best schedule to give you the maximum combination of lean muscle building and fat burning for that ultimate body transformation.
Strap on your seatbelt in the Strength-Training-Time-Machine and let’s journey into the 1990’s where circuit training became popular once again (it was popular in the 1970’s and 80’s as well, but the 90’s version is most applicable to what we use in MRT workouts). Now you’ve probably seen the weight training circuits set up in a gym. It’s a circle of weight machines that you rotate through on a timed basis. That’s not bad, but it’s not exactly what you want to do in an MRT workout.
There’s an extra component of metabolic training that needs to be added, and we can thank fat burning researchers from the University of Laval up in Canada for bringing this to the world. In 1994, Drs. Tremblay and Bouchard published the first study on interval training for fat loss. They found short, burst interval training to be better than long, slow, boring cardio for fat loss. And now we need to take that information and apply it to your MRT workout for even better fat burning results.
Now let’s take that information and skip forward to the turn of the century. All of the sudden bodyweight training became very popular again in the year 2000, and I’ve spent the last decade identify over 101 bodyweight exercises that can be used in metabolic resistance training workouts. This knowledge allows you to burn fat with metabolic resistance training bodyweight exercise workouts in the comfort of your own home, or while on holiday, and even in your hotel room on business trips.
And finally, one more jaunt in the time machine to take us on home and back to the current time and a summary of the powerful metabolic resistance training methods.
By now, you know that a metabolic resistance training workout consists of hand-picked exercises (using dumbbells, kettlebells, bodyweight and even barbell movements) put together in supersets or circuit fashion. Each exercise is best performed in the 8-12 repetition range and there is no rest, or minimal rest, before moving on to a non-competing exercise in the superset or circuit.
You’ll start with the major muscle groups and work down to less complex exercises, and of course, you’ll include new-school total body abdominal exercises in the program as well, because MRT is great for building rock hard 6-pack abs.
You can include traditional interval training within the circuits, or use the futuristic metabolic finishers that have become standard in my MRT programs and are preferred by my clients because of the variety and because frankly, they are just a heck of a lot of fun to do.
Metabolic Resistance Training Programs
Each total-body workout takes only 45 minutes, and you can use either the traditional three total-body MRT workouts per week, or my new-school version where you combine Metabolic Resistance Training with Metabolic Conditioning Training in a method that allows you to do four fat burning workouts per week. Not only are these workouts fun, fast, and effective, but their addictive as well.
Click here to get started with my latest and greatest Metabolic Resistance Training workout program guaranteed to burn fat faster than any other workout method you’ve tried.