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Metabolic workouts…..what the heck are they you might ask. Well, they are a seriously good way to lose fat quick while getting a lot of exercise done in a fraction of the time. What’s even better is that you are not just isolating on one or two muscles, for example International chest day (otherwise known as Monday in most gyms), you are using your entire body and ramping up the metabolism.
This type of workout is becoming more and more popular with both my own clients, as well as at gyms around the world. There is a bucket load of science that backs up the effectiveness of using metabolic workouts, but I’ll save this for another day for any of your fellow nerds out there. Basically I chalk up the popularity of metabolic workouts to one reason……… cardio sucks!
Now before any of you cardio-holics out there start praying I drop a dumbbell on my head, let me clarify my statement. For many people, myself included, there is nothing more boring than jogging away on a treadmill for an hour, or going out and pounding the pavement for a few miles. Worst of all, most people who spend all this time running think that this will in some form help them lose fat. Well do I have some bad news for you; the only thing you’re losing is the cartilage in your knees and the tread on your shoes. So, if you are getting ready to run a half marathon then running long distances is what your should be doing. But, if you are like most people you are trying to lose some weight and get into better shape, so follow me and jump on the metabolic bandwagon.
There are more ways to do metabolic workouts than Starbucks in New York City (if you’ve been there you know what I’m talking about), so instead I’m going to give you a couple of my favourites that you can bring to the gym today.
The 30/30 Dumbbell Circuit
- Dumbbell Squat & Press
- Dumbbell Renegade Row
- Lateral Lunge to Press
- Dumbbell 1 Arm Snatch (right arm)
- Dumbbell 1 Arm Snatch (left arm)
Side note: Is this guy really that concerned about being more aerodynamic?
For the guys out there a good weight to start with to try this is a couple of 10 or 12 lb dumbbells. Ladies, try a set of 5lb dumbbells and see how you go. Use the first round to get a feel for all the exercises and whether you picked an appropriate weight. Rest 90 seconds once you’ve completed your first round and then go for it on rounds 2 and 3 to see how many reps you can get done. But never sacrifice form to lift heavier dumbbells, so guys make sure you check your ego, especially any of my fellow meatheads. This whole workout should only take you 18 minutes to finish and you’ve probably done more work than half the people in the gym.
This next one is a great workout for someone who wants a quick total body workout but can’t get to the gym, and all you need to own is a stability ball. You will really give your core a workout with this one!
The Stability Ball 6
- Stability Ball Push Ups with feet on the ball (to make this a little easier put your shins on the ball)
- Stability Ball Rollout
- Stability Ball Hamstring Curl
- Stability Ball Jacknife
- Overhead Stability Ball Squat (hold the ball over your head while performing a squat)
- Stability Ball Prone Step Offs – with this exercise you will set up the same way you did for the Stability Ball Push Up but instead of using your arms you will stay strong through the shoulders and core and gently take one foot off and place it on the ground beside the ball. Next bring that same leg back up onto the ball and then switch legs. It may sound easy but be warned it will really challenge your core so make sure you brace before you attempt to take your leg off.
Perform each exercise up to 12 repetitions of each exercise or until you think you could only do 2 more reps with perfect form, whichever comes first. Then move straight on to the next exercise. Once you’ve finished all 6 exercises rest for 90 seconds and then perform up to 5 more times. Oh wait; you may need a towel as well as the stability ball because after 2 rounds of this simple looking circuit you’re going to need one.
So the next time you catch yourself making excuses about not having enough time to get a good workout in, make time for one of the metabolic workouts I just shared. You can thank me for it later.