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Ask any guy what his fitness goals are. Odds are he’ll say something like, “Burn fat and build muscle.”
Conversely, ask any girl what her goals are. Odds are she’ll say something like, “Lose weight and tone up.”
Although women tend to think in terms of total weight, what they really want to do is burn up or lose body fat. And there is no such thing as “toning” muscle. Once upon a time a smart marketer found out that women respond to the word “tone” more favorably than “build.”
When it comes to science, “tone” is the same thing as “build.” Ask any good trainer and they will surely agree. The language may be a bit different, but the message is the same: burn body fat and build muscle.
Now that we’re on the same page, let’s dig in.
Back to the Basics: Full Body Workouts
Gone are the days of bro splits, beach workouts, spin classes, and hour-long cardio classes. And you can forget about walking on the treadmill too because those days are over.
Instead, you’ll be doing full body metabolic workouts 3 – 4 times per week.
And when we say full body, we mean FULL body including your upper body AND your legs. As a result, these workouts are tougher than a $2 steak. They will challenge you both physically and mentally.
On the plus side, your body fat will plummet as a result of these metabolic boosting workouts. Even better, because these workouts are intense (like camping) they won’t take all day either.
You can achieve measurable results with as little as 25-minutes, 3 times per week. This is awesome because people are busier than ever and nobody has time to spend all day working out.
Metabolic Resistance Training
The type of training you’ll be using to make your fat-blasting muscle-building transformation is called Metabolic Resistance Training or MRT for the cool kids “in the know.”
More scientifically speaking, MRT is the combination of strength training and cardio. It’s a match made in heaven like peanut butter and jelly, creatine and carbs, or Tonal and your living room.
To get a little deeper, metabolic resistance training is simply a group of mostly multi-joint exercises performed with little to zero rest targeting the entire body.
Here’s an example of a typical MRT circuit:
- Upper Body: Push (overhead or horizontal).
- Lower Body: Quad or hip dominant.
- Upper Body: Pull (vertical or horizontal).
- Core: Stabilization or abdominal exercise.
The goal is to hit the entire body with each of the different exercises. There is nothing dogmatic about the order of the exercises or number of exercises although 2 is realistically the bare minimum to ensure you’re hitting the entire body while 3 is ideal and 4 is beast mode.
Here is a more specific example:
- Push Up 10 reps
- Neutral Grip Deadlift 8 reps
- Bent-over Row 12 reps
- Forward Plank 30s
Why Does MRT Work So Well?
Unlike McDonald’s we’ll tell you what’s in the secret sauce so you know exactly why Metabolic Resistance Training works so well…
There are 4 reasons this type of training is so effective at burning fat and building muscle mass:
1. Increased Energy Expenditure
Metabolic resistance training gets your heart going FAST. Like, really fast. Like, is-this-normal-oh-my-god-my-heart-is-going-to-beat- out-of- my-chest-am-I- having-a-heart-attack fast.
This increased heart rate is actually awesome because you’ll burn 2-3x more calories than you normally would doing a single set workout. For example, it’s not uncommon to burn 500+ calories in a 45 minute workout.
And that doesn’t even include the afterburn effect. What’s the afterburn effect you say? I’m glad you asked.
2. Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC)
EPOC is typically referred to as the “afterburn effect.”
EPOC is kind of like compounding interest. When you earn compounding interest, works for you and earns you even more money. Compounding interest is interest on top of interest. It’s so powerful that Einstein once said, “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… he who doesn’t… pays it. Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe.”
EPOC is when your body continues to burn even more fat after you’ve already finished your fat-burning workout.
For example, even if you’re sitting at home in the front of the television later that night you’re still burning fat! Even more fat than you already burned during your workout. EPOC is fat burning on top of fat burning without you having to do anything.
He who understands EPOC burns fat… he who doesn’t… stores it.
The most popular study on this topic shows that calorie expenditure can remain elevated for up to 38-hours post-exercise. That means you can burn fat for up to 38 hours post workout.
3. Increased testosterone and growth hormone (GH)
According to research, workouts like metabolic resistance training which stress high volume, high intensity, short rest periods, and large muscle groups is far superior for stimulating testosterone and growth hormone than traditional workouts with low volume and long rest periods.
This means metabolic resistance training stimulates testosterone and growth hormone production far beyond that of traditional workouts. This is important because increased testosterone and growth hormone are strongly correlated with increases in lean muscle mass and decreases in body fat.
In other words, using MRT circuits you’ll be able to build lean muscle mass while shredding body fat at the exact same time! It’s win-win! Boom and bam! Zam and zap! Kapow and kazam!
You can also just say it’s pretty cool.
4. Increased work capacity
Increased work capacity is simply increasing your body’s ability to do work.
It’s kind of like your body’s version of raising the credit limit on your Mastercard. With your current credit limit you can only spend so much before you max out.
Wouldn’t life be a lot more interesting and a lot more fun if you could raise that limit by an extra $20,000?
Yeah, it’s kind of like that except for your body.
By increasing work capacity you’re able to train more frequently, for a longer duration, and more intensely in the future. The benefits from this should be obvious: more caloric expenditure, more fat burning, etc.
Additionally, there is also a strong psychological benefit to “getting better” including happiness, confidence, and motivation. Tony Robbins has often been quoted as saying, “Progress equals happiness.”
By increasing your work capacity you’ll notice an improvement in your ability to do work or workout. This will get you excited, engaged, and motivated. As a result, you’re much more likely to develop strong positive feelings toward exercise. You’ll want workout more often and for longer periods of time which will help you both burn fat and build muscle.
Keep in mind that MRT, while incredibly effective and time efficient, isn’t for complete newcomers. If you’re starting a workout routine for the first time or coming back to exercise after a significant time off you may need to work on your cardiovascular capacity, strength, and mobility before starting a more intermediate to advanced training protocol like this.
That being said, if you’re ready to take your fitness, body, and mind to the next level by building muscle and burning fat at the same time then metabolic resistance training is for you. And there is no better way to do it than on Tonal.
Tonal is perfect because the MRT workouts are already set up for you. Instead of trying to figure out how to structure the workout, which exercises to do, or even stress about commuting to the gym, Tonal allows you to focus on execution without leaving the comfort of your own home.
Get a Tonal today and start building muscle and burning fat without having to be fitness expert, program your own workouts, or even leave the comfort of your own home.