It’s officially spring and that means skimpier clothes are right around the corner. Feel your body isn’t quite ready for that? Be fit and boost your exercise results by cranking up your workouts to stoke your metabolism.
Firing up your metabolism is a way to increase your body’s ability to burn calories — you want that, so your body will still be helping you work on weight loss even when you’re not working out. Enter “metabolic training.”
There are several ways to approach this training goal, but one common method is to focus on using larger muscle groups to burst through some intense moves, while incorporating shorter rest periods in between sets. In other words, you want to working hard, through exercise intervals or circuit training.
This style of workout has been shown to maximize exercise effectiveness, and also Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). This means that for many hours after training, the body burns more calories than it normally does.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), intense weight training and/or circuit training with very little rest, give you the most bang for your buck in terms of that EPOC after-burn. So you can spend your spring getting leaner, faster with these moves—and be ready to hit the beach this summer!
A cornerstone of metabolic training is, to put it simply, working harder. Adding intervals—those are short, repeated time periods—of increased exercise intensity brings a special boost to your body systems.
Hit the Circuit
Training in a circuit simply means moving through a certain selection of exercises, one after the other, then you will repeat the whole cycle. It’s best to stick with exercises that you feel comfortable with and can perform safely with good form, since your goal is to move at a clip-along pace.
- Squats: Wide stance, straight back, sit into rear, don’t drop knees over toes
- Burpees: Also called squat thrusts—crouch down, legs back, in, jump up, repeat
- Kettlebell Swings/ Medicine Ball Thrusts: Hold those abs, be stable, reach across
- Step-ups: Use a stair, or stack of aerobic steps. Pick any pattern, go fast
- Push-ups: No sagging in the middle, raising the rear or dipping the head
The idea is to push yourself harder, without causing injury. Switching up your routine keeps your nerves firing in new patterns. When you bear loads in unexpected ways, it helps stimulate more muscle fibers, which is great for stoking those metabolic effects.