Metabolic strength training is the basis of this article series – read the first installment of this article series if you haven’t yet. In this second installment, I’m quickly going to take you through what the concepts of metabolic strength training are, how they work, and why they may be safer and more effective than exclusively using traditional bodybuilding methods.
Traditional bodybuilding methods are great for maximizing muscle growth because that’s what they’re designed to do. And, since different types of goals require different types of training, as no one type of training is best for all goals, it also means that bodybuilding methods are not designed to maximize the metabolic impact of each workout. That’s where metabolic strength training comes in.
Put simply, the metabolic strength training is designed to help you maximize caloric expenditure, not only during the workout, but also for up to two days after the workout.
In other words, although traditional bodybuilding methods certainly do create a metabolic impact, this isn’t what they’re primarily designed to do, whereas the metabolic strength training concepts discussed below are.
The Three C’s of Metabolic Strength Training
When it comes to using strength training concepts with the primary goal of accelerating metabolism in order to help you lose body fat while building and keeping muscle, there are three training concepts I emphasize, which I call the three Cs of strength training for fat loss:
1. Strength training circuits: A continuous series of exercises using multiple pieces of equipment.
2. Strength training complexes: A continuous series of exercises using the same piece of equipment.
3. Strength training combinations: Multiple strength training movements blended together to make one exercise, using the same piece of equipment.
There are four reasons why the three Cs of metabolic strength training are extremely effective at burning fat.
They’re high intensity.
Workouts that utilize the three C’s use challenging loads or lighter loads moved fast, both of which force you to work hard each time you move the weight. The higher the intensity, the greater the metabolic impact!
They involve the entire body.
Each of the three Cs of metabolic strength training uses the entire body, involving your upper body, lower body, and core muscles. Put simply, the more calories you burn, the more productive your workouts will be—and the faster you will lose body fat.
They demand extended repetitive effort.
Research consistently reports that a direct relationship exists between the duration of exercise and excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which is the number of calories expended (above resting values) after an exercise bout (3). Metabolic strength training methods take more time to complete than traditional bodybuilding sets. So, not only do they require you to perform high-intensity, total-body efforts, but you’ll be performing them for extended bursts.
You don’t have to be an exercise scientist to see how the combination of these three factors will burn a ton of calories and be super effective for losing fat and building metabolic muscle, something that a morning stroll on the treadmill simply can’t match.
You’re less likely to lose muscle when you’re using it.
A 1999 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition looked at two groups of obese subjects put on identical very low (800) calorie diets. One group was given an aerobic exercise only protocol (walking, biking, or jogging four times per week), and the other group was given resistance training only three times per week. After 12 weeks, both groups lost weight. The aerobic exercise group lost 37 pounds, 27 of which was fat and 10 of which was muscle. However, the resistance-training group lost 32 pounds, and 32 pounds were fat, 0 was muscle. (4)
In other words, the resistance training group lost significantly more fat and didn’t lose any muscle. Not to mention, when resting metabolic rate was calculated after the study, it was found that the aerobic (cardio) group was burning 210 fewer calories daily. In contrast, the resistance-training group had increased their metabolism by 63 calories per day.
Now that you understand what the Three C’s of Metabolic Strength Training are, how they differ from traditional strength training methods, and most importantly, why they’re a powerful weapon in your strength training for fat loss training arsenal, you’re ready to learn how to use them in your workouts. The next installment of this series will begin showing you how to do just that! Stay tuned.
Be sure to have read The Intro to this awesome series!