Metabolic Conditioning : Boost Endurance and Fat Loss

When trying to boost endurance for sports or lose unwanted body fat, metabolic conditioning delivers exceptional results. The phrase metabolic conditioning has become some what of a buzz word in the fitness industry. However, there is not much uniformity as to what it actually means.

For instance, one gym or fitness house might view metabolic conditioning to mean something as straightforward as the intensity of fitness intervals, whereas an entirely different gym may consider the term to refer to something as complex as a complete circuit routine consisting of things like medicine balls, slams, and kettle balls.

With such differing interpretations, what is a reasonable definition of metabolic conditioning?  And, what genre of metabolic routines can be considered the most effective?

Metabolic conditioning can be used to describe ‘structured patterns of exercise and the rest periods needed to obtain an optimal response from the body.’ In most instances, the desired response is typically the ability to maximize efficiency of a particular muscle group or energy system. Physiologically speaking, the human body utilizes several different methods of eliciting energy and require differing ratios of work versus rest in order to conjure energy from different systems.

According to many prominent research studies, a metabolic conditioning fitness routine should be tailored to specifics of an individual’s personal fitness level and the desired outcome they hope to achieve. For example, a person hoping to gain muscle mass and increase size would require a different work out versus rest ration than an individual looking to run a marathon or lose weight. It is crucial to time each exercise carefully in order to deliver maximum results.

Metabolic conditioning relies on the body’s ability to elicit energy during exercise. The body gets energy in a few different ways:

Metabolism through Exercise: As most people know, the word metabolism refers to the body’s ability to turn food into a fuel for energy. The body breaks down anything ingested into smaller particles so that the body can use it as energy. The body has three primary metabolic pathways.

1.    The Immediate System
2.    The Intermediate System
3.    The Long Duration System

How to Create a Metabolic Conditioning Circuit

The primary role of metabolic conditioning is to maximize the efficiency of one of the body’s energy systems in order to reach maximum performance through fitness or sports. One of the biggest benefits of properly executed metabolic conditioning is the body’s ability to increase caloric burn even when resting.

Metabolic conditioning and its effectiveness is determined by the success of a proper work to rest ration, with the purpose being to determine what attributes need improvement. For example, anyone looking to increase their football abilities will want to develop a metabolic conditioning circuit that focuses on the intermediate pathway since this pathway that most mimics the requirements of such a physical sport (ie: 20 second work with 50 second rest ratio). It is best to push the body at a similar rate of the desired outcome.

Here is a simple circuit metabolic workout that combines cardio, weights and body exercises:

First circuit

1) Bench press/ pushups – maximum reps in 1:00
2) Squats – max in 1:00
3) Pullups – 1:00
4) Static bike or jog – 3:00

Second circuit

1) Military press* – 1:00
2) Lunges – 1:00 each leg
3) Dumbbell/barbell/cable rows – 1:00
4) Bike or jog – 3:00

Third circuit

1) Tricep extensions.- 1:00
2) Biceps curls – 1:00
3) Leg extensions – 1:00
4) Leg curls – 1:00

At the end of the workout do some ab exercises
1) Situps – 2:00
1) Crunches – 2:00

Do some static stretching at the end of the workout. The rest periods between circuits are between 2 and 3 minutes.

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