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What is Metabolic Strength Training

This is an excerpt from Strength Training for Fat Loss-2nd Edition by Nick Tumminello.

The basis of this book is metabolic strength training, which means using innovative strength training concepts to accelerate metabolism in order to help you lose body fat while building and keeping muscle. In addition, the programs are designed to give you a great workout that you actually enjoy. Let’s check out what the concepts of metabolic strength training are, how they work, and why they may be safer and more effective than other fat loss training methods.

This book uses three metabolic strength training concepts, which I call the three Cs of strength training for fat loss:

  1. Circuits
  2. Combinations
  3. Complexes

Chapters 4 through 6 are each dedicated to one of the three Cs. In these chapters you’ll learn what these metabolic protocols are and how to perform a multitude of exercises from basic to advanced levels using everything from barbells to dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, stability balls, resistance bands, and cables. Additionally, chapter 7 covers body-weight training techniques using the three Cs, and chapter 12 explains the Fat Loss Five circuit training formula. With all of the metabolic strength training concepts available in this book, you’ll be able to immediately apply a large variety of techniques to help you incinerate body fat and dramatically improve your fitness and conditioning without losing muscle mass—regardless of your fitness level, space, or equipment limitations.

How the Three Cs Work

There are three reasons why the three Cs of metabolic strength training are extremely effective at burning fat.

  1. They’re high intensity.
    These workouts 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 (10)!
  2. 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. As stated before, muscle is metabolically active tissue, so the more muscles you work, the more calories you burn. The more calories you burn, the more productive your workouts will be—and the faster you will lose body fat.
  3. They demand extended, repeated effort.
    Research consistently reports that a direct relationship exists between the duration of exercise and excess postexercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which is the number of calories expended (above resting values) after an exercise bout (11). The metabolic strength training protocols in this book take more time to complete than a traditional strength training set, so not only do they require you to perform high-intensity, total-body efforts, but you’ll be performing them for extended bursts.

It’s great to use scientifically proven workouts that have been evaluated in a study, but it’s unrealistic to ask that of every workout, especially when we’re changing workouts every few weeks to keep things fresh and interesting. Specific workout strategies don’t have to be scientifically proven as long as they are scientifically founded, meaning they are founded on the general principles that have been repeatedly shown to elicit the results you’re after. In this case, the three principles described in this chapter make not only scientific sense but also common sense. 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.

Furthermore, you’ll find that the workout programs provided in chapters 10 and 11 don’t use just one of three Cs for the entire workout. Instead, each program provides a comprehensive blend of the three to ensure each workout is more diverse and more effective. This is because, although they are founded on the same metabolic training principles, each of the three Cs offers unique benefits, and using all three is more likely to yield good results than using one exclusively.

More Excerpts From Strength Training for Fat Loss 2nd Edition