Metabolic Resistance Training: The New Way to Burn Fat and Build Muscle

June 28, 2013 | Justin Groce

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Metabolic resistance training (MRT) is a relatively new development in the fitness industry. Metabolic resistance workouts are intense. They don't look like your standard weight-training session, but their results cannot be ignored.

How Metabolic Resistance Training Works

The goal of MRT is to maximize fat loss and muscle growth by taking advantage of your body's various responses to exercise.


MRT accelerates fat loss through the Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) phenomena. During an intense workout, you consume elevated amounts of oxygen to fuel your body. After exercise, your body is in oxygen debt, so you continue to intake oxygen at a higher rate until you gradually return to your steady state. During this time, your body burns more calories, helping to shed excess fat.


The primary exercises used in MRT work multiple large muscle groups at once. This stimulates the release of testosterone, which is a naturally produced steroid hormone that is essential for the muscle-building process.

Insulin Sensitivity

Strenuous workouts increase your body's sensitivity to insulin—the storage hormone—which helps shuttle nutrients into muscles after a workout, when they need to repair and recover. Increased insulin sensitivity means that your body needs to release less insulin to do its job, which makes you a more efficient fat burner.

Human Growth Hormone

Combining heavy compound movements with minimal rest effectively stimulates the release of natural growth hormone, which builds muscle, burns fat and helps you recover faster for the next workout. And don't neglect your sleep. Large amounts of growth hormone are released at night.

MRT Workout

For starters, throw out your old method of weight training. Performing one exercise at a time for three sets of eight to 12 repetitions simply does not have a place in MRT.

The best strategy is to alternate between large upper- and lower-body movements, so that one muscle group can rest while you work the opposing muscles. Strive to take the minimum amount of rest between sets that will leave you with enough energy to maintain your exercise technique.

Below are three examples of circuits that can be used in MRT workouts. Start by performing one of them during a 35-minute workout and gradually progress until you are able to perform all three during one workout.

MRT Workout 1

Rest 20 to 40 seconds and repeat for a total of three rounds.

MRT Workout 2

Rest 20 to 40 seconds and repeat for a total of three rounds.

MRT Workout 3

Rest 20 to 40 seconds and repeat for a total of three rounds.

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Justin Groce
- Justin Groce is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Sports Nutritionist who offers personal training in Smyrna, Tennessee. He is...
Justin Groce
- Justin Groce is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Sports Nutritionist who offers personal training in Smyrna, Tennessee. He is...
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