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:

Ultimate Full-Body Workout #1

This is a workout that is going to blast your entire body, in 30 minutes or less (?.) When you are finished, pat yourself on the back.

There are two ways to do this, as I see it. One, do the 3 sets of triplets without stopping in between. Use enough weight to challenge you on the chosen reps.
The second way is to rest between triplets (my favorite at this point in time.) Call it the beginner’s and advanced versions if you like.
Here is the first triplet. Perform it three times:

Clean Shrugs. (Clean a barbell from the ground, extending through the ankles knees and hips, and using an exaggerated shrug at the top, all in one smooth motion. See this link for a demonstration: 

Do 5 reps at 80-85% of your 1 rep. max. Get 5 even if it means dropping the barbell and re-setting yourself. Use heavy dumbbells or kettlebells if that is what you have. On 5, drop it and:

Sprint 50 yards. Stop next to a wall and:

Handstand pushups. As many reps as you can do, whether it’s 1 or 20. 

(*If you have trouble with these, instead of doing a handstand facing away from the wall, turn around and climb up the wall with your feet. This allows you to walk out from vertical until you can do a full rep. Not too far or the shoulder muscles stop working as hard.)

After three of those, rest a couple minutes (no more than 5, c’mon!)
Second triplet, execute three times:
-Front Squat with sandbag, rock or other odd object (Barbells are fine too, of course!) 

x 3-5 reps 
Bodyweight Squats: 

10, 20, 30 reps? Do the reps fast but in strict form (i.e., explode off the bottom) until the burn in your thighs stops you.

Seated straight leg raise hold with Russian twist: 

Sit in a straight leg raise, legs elevated 6-8 inches off the ground, or wherever you feel the greatest recruitment of your abdominals. 

Hold this position while performing 20 Russian twists (modified.) Do this by clasping your hands together, arms straight in front of you. Keeping them straight, rotate all the way left, squeezing the obliques, then all the way right.

 *Optional: Hold onto a medicine ball or bowling ball while doing these. Arrrrr…*
That’s it. Your’e done! 

Try this workout and adjust it to your individual fitness level. Use proper form, and when in doubt, rest it out, ouch. Anyway, know your limits but also, push them.

This is a workout anyone can do with nothing more than a barbell and an improvised (or not) sandbag. Of course I prefer rocks, and I like to use my rusty old standard barbell. I don’t mind abusing it and the lower starting point adds difficulty to exercises. 

Be sure to get a good warm up before starting this work out, and stretch afterwards. Have fun!

Check out the high tech equipment I like to use:

***If you want to learn how the Gladiators trained, check out this incredible program from Steve Maxwell,
The Spartacus Workout. He combines bodyweight conditioning, kettlebells, clubs and rings for a fresh, advanced program.

The Four Minute Workouts-How Research and Experimentation Supports a Minimalist Approach to Exercise

The title may be loaded, but the goal of this post is to leave you with some excellent workouts that do everything from increase your cardiovascular endurance to building muscle; all in the span of 4-10 minutes.
The research is there to support doing less exercise at a higher intensity. You could say it has been available since Arthur Jones pushed Casey Viator through his HIT workouts in the Colorado Experiment. The Tabata study, which tested trained athletes using 4-minute high intensity cycling intervals proved there was real science behind the idea.  
At Canada’s McMaster University, the scientists tested subjects using 10 1-minute sprint intervals on a stationary bike. What they found was that even with 60 second rests in between sprints, the effect was equivalent to longer endurance training sessions.
For people who don’t like long cardio sessions anyway, consider the advice of Alwyn Cosgrove, who prefers cardio intervals using a variety of exercise equipment and one’s own bodyweight. The result? Less impact on knees and other joints and greater fat-burning potential through increased muscular development.
So how do you get started? How can you add to your current cache of routines? Do some exercises work better than others?
Get started by choosing the duration of the intervals and how much rest you will take between them. For instance, if you want to follow the Tabata method, do maximum effort on an exercise for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and repeat. Do this for a total of four minutes or 8 sets. The key to this method is an all-out effort every set.  Repeat after 2-3 minutes of rest if you can (or want to.)
If you want to use the protocol of the McMaster’s University experiment, do 10 1- minute intervals at high to maximum intensity, resting 60 seconds between each. After 1 minute of all-out work, you should need that rest.
Some exercises are better suited to giving an all-out effort that really gets the heart pumping. Bodyweight exercises are one example. Try one of the following to experiment with this protocol:
-Burpees (Jumping Burpees.)
-Jump Squats/Bodyweight Squats
-Bear Crawls
-Lateral Lunges or ‘Skaters.’
Ballistic movements not only get the heart racing, but can increase strength and power as well. The perfect choice is a kettlebell, but if you don’t have one, a dumbbell can be substituted, as long as you are careful. With a kettlebell or dumbbell, try the following:
-KB Swings
-KB Snatch
-Clean and Press/Clean and Jerk
-Push Presses
The studies mentioned above were targeted at improving the average person’s general conditioning or at increasing the maximum oxygen uptake of an athlete. They did not test for muscular development, but the Colorado Experiment did. Regardless of the scientific validity of this event, it is worth trying this protocol as a means of increasing muscle size and, as a consequence, increasing strength. Here are my suggestions:
Use the 4-minute protocol, but instead of using all-out effort, create constant tension by not locking out at the top or bottom of the movement, and taking 3-4 seconds for the concentric and eccentric parts of the movement. For a whole body workout, choose 3 or 4 exercises and perform each for 4 minutes, using the 20 seconds on/10 seconds rest approach. For example:
-Deadlifts or Squats
-Standing Overhead Presses
If you are in a real hurry, try using one exercise for overall strength. Call it an abbreviated barbell or dumbbell complex if you will. For example,
-Bent-over Rows+Deadlifts+Pushups
Back Squat, Overhead Press in bottom position, Overhead Squat.
By changing the exercise or increasing the weight, this simple routine will help a busy person stay in shape and get stronger. Experiment with different versions of it to see what works best for you. However, keep the intensity high by using constant tension and an adequate resistance.
Even if this seems like ridiculous underachieving, don’t underestimate how effective it can be. Challenge yourself to give an absolute 100 percent effort for a few minutes a day.  It might just convince you to add this method to your fitness toolbox permanently. Just as Tim Ferriss says in his book “The Four Hour Body,” the minimum effective dose is all you need. Anything else is a waste of time and resources.

Building Strength, Endurance and Muscle, High Intensity Interval Training Works!

 I tend to train for specific goals, rather than to look good for whatever reason. So long as I can fit into my pants and board shorts, I’m happy. .

That said, if I need to increase my strength, muscle mass, or to burn off some extra fat, the training protocol that gets the fastest results in the shortest amount of time wins. Even it hurts. A lot. Like HIT. A couple of brutal workouts a week of non-stop all out weight lifting, body weight training or both is highly effective. You will build muscle, you will burn fat. You will increase anaerobic capacity. (Allelujah!)

Why do I bring this up? Because after trolling (is it still trolling if I don’t leave comments?) a few six pack ab type videos this morning, it dawned on me: The majority of trainers/wannabe trainers and coaches posting these videos are doing bodyweight calisthenics and HIT training. 

This is good. Bodyweight routines such as

5 rounds of 10 each:

Jump Squats
Tripod Switches
Hindu Pushups

are very effective at increasing anaerobic and aerobic capacity. You might even build some muscle and increase speed, agility and power. But if these folks are saying to build muscle with HIT in order to burn fat and look good, heavy free weights are a faster way (although you should always keep tons of bodyweight work in your program-stay in touch with your temple and all that.) and yes, the exercises I choose will also encourage six pack abs. Just don’t go out and chow down at Olive Garden afterwards…

So, to demonstrate this better way, I am challenging you to follow along with these workouts I post here, which may or may not be accompanied by my own or someone else’s (read: stolen) photos or videos.
Let’s start right now. I am actually going into my garage gym to do this after we’re done talking. Do a warm up of joint rotations and bar only or light weight for each exercise before you start hitting it for real. Use weights that allow 10-12 repetitions initially. This further prepares the muscles and allows you to make several drops to failure.
Per the HIT principles, go until you literally cannot go any more. If it is a deadlift, pull until you can’t get the bar off the floor at all. When you fail at one weight, drop some plates off and keep going. This will work much better with a partner, but if you don’t have one, move as fast as you can and get right back under/over the weight. When you can not lift even a light weight, your set is done, and so is that exercise.
So Workout 1:
Standing Military Press (to front)
Overhead Squats
An example deadlift set might be: 225# x10-12, drop to 205# for 8-10, drop to 185# for 5-8, drop to 135# for ?, drop to ? for ? These are just example weights and reps. Push yourself at a weight appropriate for you, whether that is 355# or 135#. Either way the poundage will go up quickly over the weeks.
So do the above three exercises, in order, without resting in between (except to drop weight) using the ‘one set to failure’ HIT principle on each. If you want to ensure a quick transition to each exercise, set up stations using barbells and dumbbells. For example, barbell deadlift, dumbbell standing press, bb, kb or db oh squat. Of course, then you need quick change dumbbells or lots of equipment, but it’s an option.

Although this is a simple routine, it is a great way to stimulate massive growth, especially in the lower body. Try keeping it simple for awhile, and keep the intensity high. Then mix it up after a few weeks with new exercises. The results will be phenomenal, if you can take the pain!