Your metabolism is the way your body handles the food-energy balance within your body. A high metabolic rate means your body burns fuel (food) very efficiently and quickly, not allowing many opportunities for fuel to turn to fat. Alternatively, a slow metabolism means energy is created more slowly, often resulting in the development of excess body fat. Everyone’s metabolism is slightly different and everyone’s metabolism decreases slightly as we age. But one thing holds true for everyone – those people who engage in a unique mix of cardio and strength training can ramp up their bodies’ metabolic training rates and start being calorie-burning machines.
Metabolic Training most often involves elements of cardio, plyometric and resistance training to maximize muscular performance and create the largest-possible demand for energy. In doing so, the body must convert fat into energy in large quantities. Or, for those already lean, they must consume adequate calories during the day to fuel demand. Over time, the body gets used to providing high levels of energy and thus doesn’t convert calories directly to fat. At the same time, the body is developing muscle which burns calories on a constant basis, even at rest.
To get a good idea of what a good metabolic move is, think of an exercise that engages as many muscles as possible while also increasing heart rate. An example we like to use is jump lunges with a stationary bicep hold. Holding a moderate level of weight in each hand (8 to 10 pounds), bend elbows at 90 degrees and hold them slightly behind the plane of the shoulders. Then, keeping core muscles strong and engaged, do a deep lunge with one leg forward making sure to keep front knee and angle lined up with one another. To switch to the opposite leg, jump upwards, make the switch in mid-air and repeat with the other leg. Do this for as many reps as you can handle (when starting out, it will be fewer than you think, even though the exercise seems simple at first). Weighted jumping jacks are another great metabolic move – holding light weights in each hand and raising arms only to shoulder level as the body completes a jumping jack maneuver.
It won’t take long for you to notice the additional effort (and post-workout soreness), but you’ll also see quick results as a leaner physique with strong muscle definition starts to make an appearance.