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November 2012

When Is Metabolic Conditioning the Right Choice?

 

The term “metabolic conditioning” may be a popular way to describe programs like CrossFit or P90X®, but it’s actually a training method you’re probably already utilizing with your clients.

By definition, metabolic conditioning refers to exercises that increase the storage and delivery of energy for physical activity. All training requires use of the muscles to produce energy; what distinguishes metabolic conditioning is how energy is created, how it is used and how rapidly it is expended. 

Oxygen utilization is a key component of measuring energy expenditure—the body expends 5 calories to use one liter of oxygen. Keep in mind, however, that high-intensity interval training is not the only way to challenge the body to use more oxygen. Depending on your client’s fitness level, needs and abilities, incorporating metabolic conditioning could be as simple as walking hills or as complex as an advanced-level workout that incorporates a variety of equipment.

It could also mean adapting one workout to use with different clients. For example, you can tailor one TRX Suspension Training® workout to different fitness levels by lowering the number of reps, incorporating 45 to 60 seconds of rest in between exercises, or challenging clients to complete as many reps as they can in a certain time period. In general, maintaining a more vertical position reduces the intensity, while lowering the body closer to the floor increases the load and intensity.  

Exercise Beginning Level 

Advanced Level

TRX® Hip Press

Position the feet directly below the anchor point and perform 6–12 reps, concentrating on using good form. Rest for 45–60 seconds.

Increase the intensity by lengthening the straps and positioning the body farther away from the anchor point. 

Encourage clients to perform as many reps as they can in 30 seconds.

TRX® Suspended Lunge

Position the back of the ankle directly below the anchor point and perform 6–12 reps, concentrating on using good form. Rest for 45–60 seconds.

To increase the intensity of this exercise, move more explosively, extending the ankle, knee and hip joints to return to your start position.

To further increase the intensity, move the upper extremities in a variety of directions. For example, while the lower legs continue to move forward and back, the torso or arms can move side to side. 

Encourage clients to perform as many reps as they can in 30 seconds.

TRX® Chest Press

Maintain a more vertical stance with feet greater than hip-distance apart. The closer the body is toward the ground (i.e., the greater the forward lean), the more challenging (i.e., intense) the exercise.

To increase the intensity of this exercise, lengthen the straps and lower the body closer to the floor. 

Encourage clients to perform as many reps as they can in 30 seconds.

TRX® Atomic Pushup

Start with 6–10 reps, concentrating on using good form. Rest for 45–60 seconds.

To increase the intensity of this exercise, position the body farther away from the anchor point.

Encourage clients to perform as many reps as they can in 30 seconds.

 

TRX® Front Rollout

 

 

Start with 6–10 reps, concentrating on using good form. Rest for 45–60 seconds. 

Encourage clients to perform as many reps as they can in 30 seconds.

TRX® Biceps Curl

Start with 6–12 reps concentrating on using good form. Rest for 45–60 seconds. 

To increase the load, move the feet farther away from the anchor point to lower the body closer to the floor, and change the grip so the palms face downward. 

Encourage clients to perform as many reps as they can in 30 seconds.

 

To learn more about how to apply metabolic conditioning concepts to each of your unique clients, register for our Metabolic Training Workshop on November 10 in San Diego, Calif., or New York, N.Y., or on January 19 in Madison, Wis. 


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