Metabolic Disturbance Done Right

I have been educating in fitness for over 10 years. Over that span, I have noticed an interesting trend in the fitness industry: the more “extreme” or “intense” something is, the more attractive it seems to be.

When the “aerobics” movement was created in the late 60’s, it was about moving and having fun. There was a sense of camaraderie and although the training could be intense, the goals were clearly to lose weight, in particular fat. As the classes advanced each decade from the 70’s until present day, there became an inverse relationship between the focus on results and the intensity of training. Classes became more intense, less “fun” and people lost sight of why they were really exercising in the first place.

Today, although most people would state that their main fitness goals are still to lose fat or build muscle and strength, I believe that we have begun to value how “intense” or “extreme” a program (or energy drink) is more than the results it can produce. In addition to that, safety and injury prevention are rarely addressed and commonly sacrificed for intensity.

Metabolic aka High Intensity Training is one of the hottest fitness trends. In fact, this style of training has become the new “revolution” of the fitness industry. Today, this style of training is moving from the gym to the sports field and everywhere in between. Unfortunately, the only way most people measure the effectiveness of this style is in either pain or fatigue. With millions of people are becoming aware of and experimenting with intense and extreme styles of training, it is time to make sure some rules are in place. One goal of NP is to deliver some guidelines to make sure you produce a more effective session.

5 Principles to Insure Safer and Effective Metabolic Training

1. Technique should not be sacrificed for intensity

No matter how hard you think you are working, there is no excuse to use terrible form. If the goal is to burn fat or build muscle, there is nothing to support the risk of injury as a result of the wrong dosage of exercise that results in horrendous technique. Make sure technique stays tight.

2. Fatigue or soreness should not be confused with being productive

Just because you are wiped out doesn’t mean you are doing the right thing. Concepts like “No Pain, No Gain” have been so ingrained into us that a common goal in training is complete exhaustion. I say this is “No Pain, No Brain.” Instead of the search of fatigue, using the right dosage reminds us that we should be on a search for results. Yes, training may produce soreness and fatigue, but that is not your goal.

3. Recovery should be the first thing built into any program

You do not get better during training, you get better when you are recovering from it. During that recovery from metabolic training, muscles are built and fat is lost. Recovery, therefore, is not doing nothing, it is doing the most important thing: making gains. You must plan the proper amount of recovery in between sets and circuits as well as in between training sessions. See overtraining as nothing more than an overdose.

4. Proficiency in exercise technique is paramount

People like to do new exercises. The trouble is that most people have not spent the repetitions on that exercise to earn the right to place it into their training. Just because an exercise is added to a circuit is not an excuse to have never practiced it or terrible at performing it. Actually, a good rule of thumb is that exercises added to a circuit should be ones you are the best at, not the worst.

5. Select appropriate exercises and correct weights

Adding too much weight or unrealistic exercises does not make you tougher, it makes you careless. Too much weight can also make you slower and remove the whole purpose behind metabolic training, which is to used speed and power to create disturbance. Make sure you select the correct exercises and weights. This will insure good, safe training.

Now there are a few very poor reasons that people choose when implementing metabolic training…and a lot of the reason is the “I’m gonna smash you” mentality. Trust me this does not deliver the results that are sought out.

There are really 3 Purposeful Reasons for Metabolic Training.

  • Lose Body Fat
  • Increase Muscle Mass
  • Improve Cardio Capacity


There are 4 Illogical Reasons of Metabolic Training that people think they want and are given..

  • New
  • Cool
  • Fatigue
  • Soreness


This photo is what people think is a great workout. This photo is an excuse for poor coaching by a trainer..but this is wrong if one wants to help people.

So realize what people want is Lose Body Fat, Increase Muscle, and for some Improve Cardio capacity.

What is most often times given is New, Cool, Fatigue and Soreness. They do not equal the same nor deliver the same result. Which is results.

Lets look at fatigue. People want Fatigue and that is ok as long as it gives them the Purposeful 3. So the key is this how to deliver what they think they want but it still targets the the Purposeful 3 that does mean working hard, it may mean there is some soreness and exploring the new and cool to give them in the end….RESULTS.