The Best Exercises for Increasing Metabolism Rate

What are the best exercises for metabolic conditioning? Well first, let’s have a definition of metabolic rate and how metabolic conditioning, affectionately known as ‘metcon,’ relates to it.
In short, your metabolism is that engine in your body that carries out the chemical processes to keep you alive. Any conditioning done to improve this process is attempting to make more efficient the transport of energy through the bloodstream to working muscles.
In turn, the muscles learn to be more efficient at using these energy stores for their various activities.
The metabolic rate is divided into two categories: Basal Metabolic Rate and Resting Metabolic Rate. The sum total of these two is the entire amount of energy used for mental and physical tasks and at rest, throughout the day.
So how do you crank this up to burn more calories? It’s no secret; exercise and hit all three metabolic pathways and the metabolism rate increases; the more you do, the more efficient your metabolism becomes.
Exercise and metabolism are inseparable, but depending on the type of exercise you do this grand calorie-consuming system takes different paths.
These metabolic pathways are the phosphagen, glycolytic and oxidative, respectively.
Here are some exercise examples related to them:
Oxidative:Aerobic/cardiovascular conditioning tops the list here. This system requires less energy and is used for longer, low-powered activities. Think jogging, running at a steady pace, easy cycling and repetitive low impact physical activity.
Glycolytic:This is the pathway for people who have high energy needs lasting several minutes. It resynthesizes ATP with the help of lactic acid. A typical interval workout using weights, running or any other activity is going to draw a lot of fuel from this system.
Phosphagen:Short, high intensity activities. Powerlifting, maximum weight efforts, short all-out sprints lasting less than 10 seconds. These are all activities that will use this metabolic pathway.
If it looks like you might use all three of these energy systems in any given week, you are right. Most athletes draw from all three systems to some extent, and certain athletes and tactical professionals use all three regularly.
For example, the ideal metabolic training workout for an MMA fighter will include high-intensity intervals lasting several minutes that stimulate cardiovascular adaptations while increasing power and muscular endurance.
This successful combination of anaerobic (synthesizing ATP without oxygen) and aerobic changes has been well documented by Dr. Tabata and his team.
By doing interval training at the highest intensity possible, resting a few seconds between efforts and repeating, this form of metabolic conditioning does the work of much longer efforts in a fraction of the time.
There is no doubt that the best way to increase your metabolism rate is to exercise. The best metabolic training workout is one that combines all three pathways on a regular basis.
Try the following to incorporate this concept into your training week:
Day 1:
3-5 rounds of stairs or sprints, jump squats (x10+,) pushups (x10+)
Don’t rest between exercise, and only 1-2 minutes between rounds. Push as hard as possible.
Day 2: Easy cardiovascular activity for 30-90 minutes. Running cycling, walking, etc. Don’t push too hard; keep it steady.
Day 3: Powerlifting/strength exercises. Use Olympic lifts, deadlifts, squats, bench press, overhead press, kettlebell clean & jerk (long cycle.
For Olympic lifts and powerlifts, use heavy weights and low reps. Do sets of 5, 3, 1. As soon as the movement slows down, stop the set.
*Kettlebells/ballistic training presents a unique option because you can generate power over several minutes. This is ideal metabolic conditioning for the glycolytic and the oxidative pathways.
Of course you could also use heavier kettlebells and keep the reps low.
Incorporate these concepts into your training, but in the beginning don’t overdo the intervals.
If you push hard enough, the high intensity interval day will take two or three days to recover from. Make sure all metabolic pathways are used and your metabolism will become more efficient at using every calorie you put in your mouth.

Find more metabolism training workouts here:
Try these great products for your interval workouts. Perfect exercise equipment for the home gym or outdoors:

The Life Saving Effects of Exercise

We all know that an active lifestyle is good for us. In fact, most of you would have a hard time getting through the day, let alone sleeping at night, without a good workout.

The effects of exercise are much wider reaching than we could have ever imagined however. Just about everything we do is dependent on staying active and keeping junk out of our bodies. Now don’t worry, I’m not going to try to tell you to put down those peanut M&M’s or skip the occasion cocktail, but just in case you are lacking motivation to workout on any given day, I offer the following reminders.


-Releases ‘good’ brain chemicals such as endorphins, catecholamines and brain-derived neurotropic factor. No you can’t get addicted to them. But they are primarily stimulated by exercise and affect everything from your mood to your heart rate; even your long term memory.

-Reduces bodyweight, but more importantly, reduces the visceral fat that likes to build up on our internal organs. It does ugly things like pump chemicals we don’t need into our system. Plus, it’s ugly, real ugly.

-Increases blood flow, improves orgasm, increases testosterone and growth factor hormones.

-Helps you sleep better and more soundly.

This list could go on for a couple more pages, but i think you get the idea. We were born into a world more sedentary than any our genetics were designed for. Resist the urge to watch that TV show when you get home from work.

Don’t sign on to Facebook or Twitter, I promise it will be there later.

Forget about exercising ‘later.’ Yeah, right, after a beer or a Jack n’ Coke?

Instead, start moving, get your heart rate up, build some muscle. Here is a little workout I like to do when I head to the garage for a beer and see my gym staring me in the face. I think ‘oooooh, but I don’t have the energy…sniffle sniffle.’ The cure for that? Get moving!

You don’t have to change into your workout clothes (maybe you should if you’re not in your pajamas yet.)

Just start rotating your neck, gently now, it’s stiff from staring at a screen all day I bet. Now swinging an arm around in circles, small at first, then full arcing circles. Now switch to the other. If you want you can swing both around and run around in circles making airplane noises, whatever gets you going.

Now rotate those hips, loosen up, that’s it. You know how to move your hips!

Ok, start doing calf raises, don’t worry about weight for now. Just rise up and down on your toes, squeeze the calves at the top, now go faster, now pause at the top. Give yourself a number to hit. “I’m going to 20, 30,…”

Now bounce up and down in a partial squat while swinging your arms. Not a full squat, wait until you’re warm. Get that stretch reflex in those leg muscles going. When you feel ready, start launching off the ground.

That’s it, you’re doing mini jump squats, plyometrics; build up to a high jump and knock out 20 or so of those. Feeling good? Right on, now the blood is flowing! The beer is still in the ‘fridge, but it seems a little farther away now…

Ok, quick, arms out to the sides and rotate your trunk. Swing from side to side. After a few, squeeze the obliques on each side for about 2 seconds, release and repeat on the other side.

Now, if you are feeling warm, choose an exercise. Not two, not three. Not a whole bodybuilding program for a specific bodypart, not even a whole workout routine named after some random woman.

In my garage I see:

-Homemade sandbags, 40-80 lbs. I can choose the 80 and do lifts off the ground. Catch it in a full squat, then heave onto one shoulder. Start with three hard sets, then decide what else, if anything, i want to do.

-Pullup Bar/Homemade Gymnastics Rings: Hop on either one and start off by doing nothing but hanging while engaging your scapula. (Pull it back and down.) They call this active shoulder hangs.

When I’m ready I start doing pullups. I’ll mix it up though. First hangs, then without letting go, pullups; without letting go I do knee or leg raises. Now, if I am on the rings I can swing my legs over and do flips or inverted positions, you see?

-Dumbbells: There in the middle of the rug are dumbbells, ready to clean and press. Hell, 5 sets of that and I won’t feel bad about a beer at all! Great workout.

-Homemade Indian clubs: On the wall I have several homemade clubbells, a homemade mace, i can just pick any of these up and start swinging and swaying. Talk about getting the blood pumping!

You may not have any of this, but that’s ok. Get on the floor, do pushups. Change the hand position. Don’t pushup, just see how long you can hold yourself up. Do leg raises, squats, supermans, even shadowboxing.

Your workouts always deserve to be priority number one! So give them all you’ve got, even if you’d rather have a drink and watch TV. You will never regret ignoring that urge and exercising instead. Never.

Indian Clubs Training and Homemade Club bells

MosLadder has posted information on Indian club training and how to make a homemade Indian club before, but it is time for an update.
One of the problems you run into quickly when you train with a homemade Indian club or club bells, is how to add weight to the club. There are several methods I have tried. But first, if you have not seen the posts or videos on making a simple and inexpensive clubbell/Indian clubs, have a look here:

Try these three steps to get a heavier homemade indian club:
1.)  Get a longer pipe. Not too long, because it will make it difficult to perform swing and swipes without choking up on the club. This in turn reduces the resistance and defeats the purpose. However, I have had good results using a longer handle section and ‘club’ section up to about 36 inches.
2.)  Pack your pipes with sand or lead shot. The first is easy, the second can be difficult. Lead is not just stocked on the shelves at your local homeimprovement store. Still, someone may have access to it, and if so, it will pack on the weight.
3.)  This is the best method so far: add progressively smaller pipes inside and then pack with sand. This is fairly inexpensive, allows your ‘indian clubs’ to get incrementally heavier as you progress, and can allow a significant weight increase relative to the size of the pipe. Check out the pictures below:

In the first, I took an 11+ pound club to about 14 pounds, and still have room to increase it. This is in a 2 inch diameter pipe. In the second, I took a 13+ pound homemade clubbell to roughly 24 pounds! The size of the handle and club shaft are only a half inch apart, so it takes away some of the imbalance that makes the clubs effective, but it is still significant.
You may be wondering why you can’t just increase the diameter of the club shaft, then you can really pack it with pipes! The answer is simple: Two inch diameter pipes are easy to find at hardware stores everywhere. Ditto with the caps and reducing couplers in that size.
When you go up to 2 ½ inch diameter pipe, caps and reducing couplers, they are scarce. Now you’re thinking a 3 inch would be perfect, right? Unfortunately, I have yet to find this size in anything less than a ten foot length of uncut pipe for a cost that doesn’t make sense for a homemade item.
You can order these parts at online stores like Grainger. However, the cost of a 3 or 4 inch reducing coupler, 12 inch pipe nipple and cap is high, and again, not cost effective for a homemade clubbell. At this point, you are better off buying from RMax international, even with the shipping. The cost is equivalent or less for an arguably superior product.

One consideration to make before you decide to increase the weight is this: Can you do any clubbell/indian clubs exercise in perfect form? If not, it might be wise to spend some time perfecting technique before adding weight. But don’t stay at one weight forever, either! Load it up and have some fun!

More great reading on kettlebells, another ballistic training tool: