Metabolic Resistance Training

So how can you burn fat in your sleep? How can you workout and still ensure you’re burning fat when you get into your car to go home? Well it’s something called metabolic resistance training. (MRT)

In-fact after metabolic resistance training, you can still be burning fat up to 48 hours after you finish your workout. How? Well something called Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (more commonly known as the Afterburn Effect) – more on that in a second.

Firstly let me explain a little bit more about what metabolic resistance training is and how you can incorporate it into your workouts.

Metabolic Resistance Training Vs Cardio

There was a time (not so long ago) where if you wanted to burn fat and lose weight, you were advised to run….and run…..and run….and…you get the point. In fact I remember back at school, one kid bullying another and telling her to “go run a few miles” the fact is she could have gone and “run a few miles” but it wouldn’t have done her much good.

I told him to keep his mouth shut, and that was the end of that – I’ve never liked bullies.

Long (boring) cardio was the name. Everywhere you’d go you’d see people running miles upon miles, trying to burn fat and lose weight.

Gyms were stuffed with treadmills, exercise bikes, and the weights section of the gyms was mainly seen as the bodybuilders area.

But times have changed – for those who know what their talking about that is. Big corporate gyms will still have you believing otherwise.

People still believe the cardio myth

Times have changed, and if you work in the industry you should know that long (boring) cardio doesn’t work anywhere near as well as metabolic resistance training does. For those of you who don’t know, this is where your fat loss failure rapidly becomes your fat loss success

What about Cardio + Strength Training?

What would happen if we combined cardio training with strength training? Well, one thing’s for sure, you would defiantly burn more fat than doing each one individually if cortisol didn’t kick in after 60 minutes or so. But it does, especially after long steady cardio. When cortisol levels increase our bodies ability to build muscle will decrease. Not good.

Anyway, who, in this day and age has enough time to do cardio and strength training? That’s 30-60 minutes of each. Potentially 2 hours of exercise? No thanks!

Aside from the fact anything over the 45 minute mark is just too long of a workout for most people (adding in changing time, shower, and anything else you like to do before, during or after your workouts!), consistently doing long workouts involving heavy doses of cardio has been proven to;

a) Increase the chances of picking up an injury

b) Cause damage your heart

c) Seriously destroy anyone’s motivation

d) Waste a lot of people’s time where fat loss is concerned 

So if we want to ‘lose weight’, and we don’t need long steady cardio, and we can’t use strength and cardio training together. What can we do? 

Metabolic Resistance Training my friend. 

What Is Metabolic Resistance Training?

To put in simple terms metabolic resistance training is training with resistance, (bodyweight, kettlebells, dumbbells, sandbags etc) with an elevated heart rate and minimal recovery time. It involves training large muscle groups at a high intensityperfect for maximum fat burning.

Metabolic resistance training is done either within a circuit or a superset fashion.


Supersets are widely used in the bodybuilding world, but it’s a great way to burn fat. A superset is when you combine 2 difference exercises together and perform them one after another with minimal rest.

So for example, performing a set of bodyweight squats and then immediately after performing a set of dumbbell flies – this is called a non-competing superset. (2 exercises that don’t work the same muscle group)

When performing supersets there are typically two ways to do it;

  1. One lower body exercise and one upper body exercise. (example above)
  2. One push exercise and one pull exercise (Dumbbell Rows, Chest Press)



A circuit workout is a set of exercises performed after one another with no rest. An example of a circuit workout would be;

12  Dumbbell Squats

12 Push Ups

8 Turkish Get-Ups

12 (Each Side) Lunges

12 Shoulder Presses

12 Burpees

You would then rest for a period of time before repeating the circuit again. 


Metabolic Resistance Training Variations

As with most effective methods and systems, they evolve – MRT is no different. Craig Ballantyne, creator of Turbulence Training knows the importance of MRT so much, he designed a whole fat loss program around it. 

In his program, Craig breaks his workouts down primarily into 3 sections; Metabolic Resistance and Conditioning Training and Metabolic Finishers. 

As time has progressed we are starting to see MRT evolve even further incorperating density training. (Craig, amongst other trainers like Mike Whitfield, Shawna Kaminski and Mr Romaniello all use Density Training in their programs)

So now you know what metabolic resistance training is, and why you need to be performing these types of workouts,let’s delve a little more into the benefits. 

Benefits of Metabolic Resistance Training

1. Increases Cardiovascular Fitness

A lot of people stay away from the weights area of a gym simply because they do not believe that lifting weights (or using bodyweight) can improve cardiovascular capacity. They couldn’t be further from the truth.

By reducing recovery / rest periods in a high intensity resistance workout, and by using whole body and compound exercises you can still get great cardiovascular benefits – in a shorter period of time. 

Try doing 4 minutes of burpees with some strategic recovery periods and let me know how you get on 😉 

2.       MRT is Fun!

If you’re like me then you hate boring workouts. Why on earth would you want to go the gym and do boring workouts? You wouldn’t  The great thing about metabolic resistance training is its fun. There’s no substitute for burning fat and enjoying it at the same time.

Not only can you experiment with new exercises, but you can also start experimenting with new equipment, such as suspension straps, a medicine ball, resistance bands, battle ropes and sandbags. 

3.       Burn Fat in Your Sleep

There are some seriously great benefits to metabolic resistance training – but this one’s my favorite. As mentioned above it’s all to do with something call excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) – or The Afterburn Effect as some people know it. 

By using MRT in our training, we can ensure our bodies burn fat for up to 48 hours after we stop exercising. This is the reason why MRT is recommended above cardio. 

Tests have proved that cardio only burns fat (in small amounts) during the activity itself,, while using metabolic workouts and exercises increases fat burning well past the point at which we stop exercising. 

So in affect you can ‘kill two birds with one stone’ – burn fat when you’re exercising, and burn fat after your workout. It’s a no-brainer if you ask me. 

Here are some more great benefits of metabolic resistance training;

4. Reduced stress: Using resistance training in our workouts lowers our stress levels more than cardio would

5. Saves a HUGE amount of time: MRT are high intensity workouts, that are highly effective but short in length

6. Saves Money: You’ll be usingyour gym membership to it’s full potential. Don’t have a gym membership? No worry bodyweight training can be easily used in any MRT routine. 

7. Reduced chance of injury: No repetitive muscle straining exercises. 

Metabolic Resistance Training – The AfterBurn Affect

There is no way of knowing exactly how many calories MRT burns outside the lab. But one thing is for sure MRT burns a heck of lot of calories. As mentioned above, not only does MRT burn calories while you’re working out, but you can still be burning calories after you finish you’re workout.

Combine MRT with MCT and MDT (more on that in future posts) and you’ll be burning some serious amount of fat.

So if you’ve just completed a high intensity metabolic resistance workout, you’ll still be burning calories when you get into your car to drive home, you’ll be burning calories as you cook dinner for the kids – and yes you’ll still be burning calories when you sleep.

Doing traditional cardio just doesn’t cut it when it comes to MRT.MRT Rules

So if there’s one thing I want you to take away from this post its start doing MRT.

There are still people out there stuck in the ‘old school’ method of thinking. In-fact I don’t think I have ever walked into a gym where there wasn’t a few people banging it away on a ‘dreadmill’.

I will have parked my car, walked in to the gym, got changed, completed a super-effective metabolic resistance workout, had a shower, got changed again and get back into my car to drive home – while their still doing their long (boring) cardio.

And the best thing?

I’ll will have achieved better results in less time.



  • Chris Sherlock

    Reply Reply January 25, 2013

    Yeah, It can be a pretty tough one to get your head round, but once you know the power of MRT and you start putting it in your workouts, you’ll start to see your fat loss efforts pay off big time.

    Glad you liked!


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