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by trumeta | July 8, 2024

What Is a Metabolic Workout? 7 Effective Exercises for Women

what is a metabolic workout? cover picture

If you ever wondered what is a metabolic workout? Search no further! Want a workout that torches calories, revs up your metabolism[1], and sculpts your body all at once? Welcome to the world of metabolic training!

This isn’t your average gym routine. We’re talking about high-intensity, heart-pumping, fat-burning exercises that work multiple muscle groups in a single move. If you’re ready to transform your fitness and achieve your goals faster, you’re in the right place. For those who are looking for a more relaxed training routine we suggest checking out our somatic workout plan

Now, Let’s dive into the exciting world of metabolic workouts!

What Is a Metabolic Workout?

It’s a special kind of workout designed to boost your metabolism, which is the process your body uses to convert food into energy. But how do metabolic workouts[2] and metabolic exercises work exactly?

  • Cardio and Strength – These workouts are a powerful blend of cardiovascular exercise and strength training, maximizing calorie burn and building muscle simultaneously.
  • Intense Bursts and Short Rests – Metabolic workouts involve short periods of high-intensity exercise followed by brief rest periods. This format keeps your heart rate elevated, leading to increased calorie burn both during and after your workout.
  • Compound Movements – A typical metabolic workout includes compound exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups, and rows. These moves engage multiple muscle groups at once, making your workout more efficient and effective.

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Metabolic Workout for Beginners

  • Start with shorter circuits of 3-4 exercises. Keeping the circuits brief allows you to focus on proper form and build up your endurance gradually.
  • Perform each exercise for 30-45 seconds. This time frame provides an intense burst of activity without overwhelming your body.
  • Rest for 15-30 seconds between exercises. These short rest intervals allow you to catch your breath while keeping your heart rate elevated.
  • Aim for 2-3 rounds. Completing multiple rounds will increase the overall challenge and calorie burn.
  • Gradually increase intensity and duration as you progress. As you become more comfortable with metabolic training, you can increase the intensity by adding more exercises, extending the work intervals, or reducing rest periods.
  • Aim for 2-3 metabolic sessions per week. Consistency is key for seeing results, but be sure to allow adequate recovery time between sessions.

Metabolic Workout for Intermediates

  • Increase the number of exercises to 5-6 per circuit. Adding more exercises will challenge your endurance and engage multiple muscle groups.
  • Extend work intervals to 45-60 seconds. Longer work intervals will increase the cardiovascular and muscular demands of the workout.
  • Incorporate challenging variations like dumbbells or resistance bands. Using external resistance will increase the intensity and promote muscle growth.
  • Aim for 3-4 rounds. Completing multiple rounds will amplify the overall calorie burn and metabolic challenge.
  • Reduce rest periods to 15-20 seconds. Shorter rest intervals will keep your heart rate elevated and maximize the cardiovascular benefits.

Metabolic Workout for Advanced

  • Combine 6-8 exercises into a high-intensity circuit. More exercises will create a comprehensive, full-body challenge.
  • Work intervals ranging from 60-90 seconds. Longer work intervals will test your muscular endurance and cardiovascular fitness.
  • Incorporate plyometric movements like jump squats or lateral lunges. Explosive exercises will increase the intensity and promote power development.
  • Challenge your power and endurance with explosive exercises. Plyometric movements will elevate your heart rate and demand more energy expenditure.
  • Aim for 4-5 rounds. Multiple rounds will ensure a substantial calorie burn and metabolic boost.
  • Minimal rest periods of 10-15 seconds. Short rest intervals will keep your body working at a high intensity throughout the workout.

Three Advantages of Metabolic Workouts

three advantages of metabolic workouts

1. Building Muscle

2. Broad Spectrum Exercise

  • Target upper body, lower body, and core in a single session
  • Functional movements like burpees and mountain climbers challenge overall athleticism
  • Customizable to focus on specific goals or muscle groups
  • Well-rounded approach ensures no muscle group is neglected

3. Fat Burning

  • High-intensity intervals keep heart rate elevated for maximum calorie expenditure
  • Combination of resistance and cardio exercises torches more calories than steady-state cardio 
  • “Afterburn” effect (EPOC[5]) means you continue burning calories after the workout
  • Rev up your metabolism for hours, promoting around-the-clock fat burning
  • Consistent metabolic training leads to a leaner, more sculpted physique

Some people may experience bloating after workout sessions, especially if they consume food or drinks too close to their training. To minimize this discomfort, aim to have a light meal 1-2 hours before your metabolic workout and stay hydrated with water throughout the day.

Seven Most Effective Exercises for Women

seven most effective exercises for women

While the science behind metabolic workouts[6] is the same for everyone, there are some unique considerations for women.

Metabolic workouts for women might include very specific exercises. Want to sculpt those glutes, carve out a strong core, or define your arms? We’ve got you covered with targeted exercises that fit right into your metabolic routine.

So, are you ready to sweat? Here are seven of the most effective metabolic exercises you can include in your metabolic workouts for women:

1. Mountain Climbers

How to Do It

  1. Start in a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. 
  2. Engage your core and bring one knee towards your chest, then quickly switch legs, driving your other knee towards your chest. 
  3. Continue alternating legs in a rapid, climbing motion.

Benefits

  1. Full-body calorie-burning move that engages your core, shoulders, and legs
  2. Improves overall cardiovascular fitness and endurance, which can be further supported by incorporating the best supplements for endurance into your routine.

2. Burpees

How to Do It

  1. Start standing, then drop into a squat position with your hands on the floor. 
  2. Kick your feet back into a plank position, then immediately reverse the motion by jumping your feet back towards your hands. 
  3. Finish by jumping vertically with your arms overhead.

Benefits

  1. Challenges every major muscle group for total-body strengthening
  2. Elevates heart rate rapidly, providing an intense cardiovascular challenge that can be sustained with the help of the best supplements for endurance.

3. Kettlebell Swings

How to Do It

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a kettlebell with both hands. 
  2. Hinge at the hips to swing the kettlebell back between your legs
  3. Then explosively drive through your heels to swing the weight forward and up to chest height.

Benefits

  1. Dynamic exercise that ignites your posterior chain (back, glutes, hamstrings)
  2. Builds power and sculpts a toned backside.

4. Lunge Switch Jumps 

How to Do It

  1. Start in a lunge position with one leg forward. 
  2. Jump up, switching leg positions mid-air, landing with the opposite leg forward. 
  3. Continue alternating legs with each explosive jump.

Benefits

  1. Combines leg-toning benefits of lunges with plyometric power
  2. Targets quads, glutes, and cardiovascular fitness.

5. Lateral Lunges

How to Do It

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, then step out to one side, lowering your hips and bending your knee. 
  2. Push through your heel to return to the starting position, then repeat on the other side.

Benefits

  1. Sculpts inner and outer thighs for toned, defined legs
  2. Challenges balance and stability for improved athleticism.

6. Plank Jacks

How to Do It

  1. Start in a high plank position, then jump your feet out and in, mimicking the motion of a jumping jack while keeping your upper body stable in a plank.

Benefits

  1. Engages your entire core for a strong, toned midsection
  2. Dynamic leg movements elevate heart rate for cardiovascular benefits.

7. Jump Squat

How to Do It

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Then send your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a squat position. 
  3. Explosively push through your heels to jump vertically, extending your hips and legs fully.

Benefits

  1. Combines strength-building benefits of squats with explosive plyometric power
  2. Targets quads, glutes, and overall athleticism for a functionally fit physique. 

Key Takeaways

  • A metabolic workout combines cardio and strength training for maximum calorie burn and muscle building
  • Metabolic exercises involve intense bursts followed by short rests
  • Compound movements engaging multiple muscles are key to metabolic workouts
  • Beginners should start with shorter circuits, 30-45 second intervals, 2-3 rounds weekly
  • Intermediate/advanced can increase exercises, interval length, and rounds
  • Metabolic workouts build muscle, provide full-body training, and burn fat
  • Effective metabolic exercises for women: mountain climbers, burpees, kettlebell swings, lunge jumps, lateral lunges, plank jacks, jump squats
  • These sculpt the body, boost cardio, build power, tone core, legs, glutes
  • Metabolic workouts for women lead to a strong, lean physique

FAQs

how long are metabolic workouts?

Metabolic workouts typically last 20-30 minutes. They consist of high-intensity intervals followed by short rest periods. The duration varies based on fitness level, with beginners starting with shorter circuits and advanced exercisers increasing the length of work intervals and number of rounds.

are metabolic workouts good for weight loss?

Yes, metabolic workouts are excellent for effective weight management. The high-intensity intervals burn significant calories during the workout, while the “afterburn” effect (EPOC) keeps metabolism elevated for hours afterward. This combination of intense calorie burning and a revved-up metabolism promotes fat loss and helps achieve a leaner physique.

what are metabolic meals?

Metabolic meals are designed to support metabolic health and weight management goals. They typically include lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats in balanced portions. The goal is to provide the body with the nutrients it needs while keeping calorie intake in check to promote fat loss.

Resources

[1] Hirsch, K. R., Et Al. (2021). Metabolic effects of high-intensity interval training and essential amino acids. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 121(12), 3297–3311. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34427732/

[2] Nuñez, T. P., Et Al. (2020). Metabolic effects of two high-intensity circuit training protocols: Does sequence matter? Journal of Exercise Science and Fitness, 18(1), 14–20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6796641/

[3] Caparrós-Manosalva, C., Et Al. (2023). Effects of high-intensity interval training on lean mass, strength, and power of the lower limbs in healthy old and young people. Frontiers in Physiology, 14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10565117/

[4] Korthuis, R. J. (2011). Exercise hyperemia and regulation of tissue oxygenation during muscular activity. Skeletal Muscle Circulation – NCBI Bookshelf. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK57139/

[5] Greer, B. K., Et Al. (2021). EPOC Comparison between Resistance Training and High-Intensity Interval Training in Aerobically Fit Women. PubMed Central (PMC). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8439678/

[6] Atakan, M. M., Et Al. (2021). Evidence-Based Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training on Exercise Capacity and Health: A Review with Historical Perspective. International Journal of Environmental  Research and Public Health/International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(13), 7201. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8294064/

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