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What is metabolic training?

This is an excerpt from Metabolic Training by John F. Graham & Michael Barnes.

Metabolic training can be defined as the efficient use of training methods, specifically strength training, to elicit a metabolic response, with consideration given to intended effect, rest or relief intervals, fatigue management, progressive overload, and adaptations to suit each individual. In broad terms, metabolic training is a form of interval training. For the sake of clarity, distinctions should be made between the commonly used terms in sport science and fitness that relate to metabolic training.

  • Interval training. Repeated bouts or exercise periods varying in intensity, duration, and rest.
  • Maximum interval training (MIT). “MIT uses short, intense exercise periods with a variety of exercise modes [or specific type of activity or implement used for exercise] combined with brief bouts of recovery to improve performance and body image” (Cissik and Dawes 2015).
  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT consists of repeated bouts of exercise performed in one’s red zone, or at an intensity above the anaerobic threshold, separated by relief bouts of easy exercise or complete rest (Laursen and Buchheit 2019).
  • As many reps as possible (AMRAP). A selected group of exercises is performed for a designated period of time with the goal of executing as many reps as possible.
  • Every minute on minute (EMOM). A single exercise is performed for a set number of reps every minute on the minute for a designated period of time.
  • Repetition in reserve (RIR). This refers to the difference between how many repetitions were performed and how many repetitions could actually be performed before failure.
  • Steady-state training. Cyclical aerobic exercise performed for longer durations. Steady-state intervals are performed at a modified intensity and are generally longer in duration.
  • Tempo or pace training. A pace that is at one’s training rate. Training pace is typically determined by heart rate, power output, or perceived exertion. Training pace workouts are predominately aerobic and performed at or near lactate threshold.
  • Lactate threshold. The exercise intensity at which lactate production exceeds absorption. Lactate threshold can be expressed as a percentage of maximal oxygen capacity. Untrained individuals have a comparatively lower lactate threshold, while highly trained athletes can push their lactate thresholds to higher than 90 percent of maximal oxygen capacity.
  • V̇O2max. The maximum rate oxygen can be used by the body. This measure is often used as a measure of cardiorespiratory fitness.
More Excerpts From Metabolic Training