With all this talk about metabolic training, it’s important for you to understand the real science behind it. How it works, how it impacts a client’s fitness level and body, and more importantly, what needs to be in place in order for them to receive those benefits.
It’s critical to know that not everyone who tries metabolic training is going to realize the benefits they think they are. This form of training needs to be done with intensity. If your client isn’t working hard enough, they aren’t going to see the results you’re after.
The good news is that if your client is at the level to try this training, it’s highly effective as it addresses 99% of all client’s goals in one workout:
To build muscle
To burn fat
To get into better conditioning (athletes)
And, it cannot be forgotten that this type of training is very time-efficient, so fits in with the busy schedule that most people have. It’s simply one of the most effective ways to get the best bang for your buck.
So let’s talk science, shall we?
I want to go over some of the research on how this works and why it’s a training variety you should be turning to time and time again.
The Power Of EPOC
EPOC, which stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption essentially refers to the level of damage that is done to the body during a high intensity workout session and how much energy has to be expended by the body in order to return to a state of homeostasis.
Your body has the great desire to always maintain the status quo. It doesn’t like change and in fact, will resist it every chance it gets (which is why weight loss can be so hard).
When you do intense exercise, you are pushing your body past its comfort zone and doing more than it knows how to deal with. This creates micro-trauma within the cell – trauma that then has to be repaired.
Your body has to go through an extensive repair process to get back to how it was before that bout of intense exercise came along.
It’s this process that burns significant energy.
You can also think of it as replacing the oxygen debt as well.
When exercising very intensely, you are robbing your body of the oxygen that it needs. As exercise progresses, you have a harder and harder time getting sufficient oxygen to the muscle cells as they would prefer.
As such, you build up this debt. By the time the workout is over, you now have that large debt that has to be paid back. The process of paying it back – getting the oxygen level back to normal also utilizes great amounts of energy and contributes to your post-exercise calorie burn.
In one study published in the Physiological Reports journal, researchers looked at what the impact of one bout of sprint interval training would have on the resting metabolic rate of a group of test subjects.
They have 15 healthy men get their RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) and TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) tested and then perform the sprint interval training. After the training was completed, it was shown that sprint exercise increased the TDEE in every single research participant with the magnitude of increase to the tune of 946 +/- 62kj/day.
This study clearly illustrates that interval training has the capacity to accelerate your total daily calorie burn despite only lasting a few minutes at a time.
In the world of fat loss, this is big news as far as future progress goes.
The Impact On HGH
Another exciting area is where metabolic training is going to assist us with helping you maintain higher overall levels of growth hormone. Human growth hormone is one of the primary hormones involved in keeping you strong, building muscle, energized, feeling your best, and for keeping you lean as well.
One thing that some people may not realize is that growth hormone keeps fat gain at bay while upping the rate of protein synthesis to create new lean muscle mass.
It really is one of the most powerful hormones in the body (next to testosterone – more on that in a second).
Research published in the Journal of Strength And Conditioning Research noted that when subjects performed sprints of 100m, 200m, 300 m, and 400 m, all sprints noted an increase in lactate and growth hormone levels once the sprinting was completed.
The Testosterone Implications
Likewise, metabolic training will also increase the other most anabolic hormone in the body, testosterone. Testosterone will help to boost your overall protein synthesis rates, leading to increased muscle strength and size gains while also improving overall performance.
This hormone is also involved in helping keep you as lean as possible, so when levels are higher, you should notice your body fat dropping.
One study published in the Journal of Strength And Conditioning Research noted that when cyclists performed sprint interval training with either low cadence (higher resistance) or high cadence (lower resistance), the low cadence group saw a testosterone increase to the tune of 97% while the high cadence group saw a boost to the tune of 62%.
From this, we can see that regardless of what type of interval training is performed, testosterone will be increasing. But, the more effective type of interval training to perform is one that will have you working against higher resistance levels. This is where metabolic training tends to really shine.
The Stick With It Factor
Research illustrates that people are more likely to stick with high-intensity training because they enjoy it more compared to traditional lower-intensity training. The more your clients look forward to their sessions, the more likely they are to attend.
And this is despite the fact those sessions are so very intense. Likely it’s due to the continually changing nature of these workouts, which helps keep boredom at bay. Either way, it’s a great way to increase adherence rates with the people you work with.
A Lesson In Endurance
When most people think of intense interval training, they tend to think about benefits related to sprinting. Rarely do they think they’d improve on the endurance front.
But, it turns out, research shows that interval training can in fact boost endurance as well. A study in the PLOS journal noted that when subjects did even just one sprint interval in an otherwise moderate-intensity session, their overall endurance levels improved.
So if you have a client training for an endurance event, it may be worthwhile to implement some metabolic training at some point in their session to give their results a boost.
It Gives You Greater Variety
Finally, the last great benefit of metabolic training is the fact it offers great variety. You are not bound to traditional cardio machines to perform these workouts, meaning you can work with clients anywhere and do this training, as well as give them more options if they really despise the traditional cardio methods.
For instance, burpees can be done with just one’s own body weight and prove to be just as effective at burning fat and improving conditioning as running is, according to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning.
Don’t be afraid to break free from the norm and do something totally different. Chances are, your client will thank you for it.
So as you can see, this is one form of training that you don’t want to miss out on doing with your clients. When they are of the fitness level to get started, begin introducing it, even if slowly, so they can start reaping the great benefits to come.