Traditional cardio vs. metabolic resistance training

Traditional cardio vs. metabolic resistance training
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio:

Cardio is necessary for burning fat and losing weight, right? Well, sort of. But traditional cardio isn’t the best way to achieve your weight loss goals. You see, traditional cardio (like jogging on a treadmill) may help you burn more calories now, but it won’t have anywhere near the same impact on your metabolism as resistance training will. In fact, according to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, when overweight women did only strength training three times per week and no traditional cardio, they lost twice as much fat as when they did only traditional cardio six times per week. And even better—metabolic resistance training—in which you do short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a period of rest—is an even more effective alternative to traditional cardio that targets fat faster and leads to faster long-term results.

What is metabolic resistance training?

Metabolic resistance training (MRT) is a type of exercise that alternates short bursts of high-intensity movement with short periods of rest. It is otherwise known as high-intensity interval training (HIIT). The goal of MRT is to improve your overall health and fitness level by burning more calories, improving your cardiovascular function, increasing your metabolism, and toning your muscles. MRT is done by performing exercises at a high intensity with a small number of repetitions. The number of repetitions is low because people who do MRT usually exercise with weights and lift heavy. The intensity of the exercises is high because people usually perform these exercises as quickly as they can with the heaviest weights they can manage.

How does metabolic resistance training work?

In MRT, you’ll perform a series of exercises with a specific combination of weights and repetitions. This will be done at an extremely high intensity for a brief period (usually 30 seconds or less). You’ll then take a brief period of rest (about 30 seconds) before moving on to the next exercise. You’ll continue this cycle of performing exercises with a certain weight and number of repetitions, followed by a short rest period until you’ve completed the set of exercises for the day. And because you’ll be doing all of this with an elevated level of effort, your metabolism will stay elevated for hours after your workout is over. This is what makes MRT such an effective way to burn calories while toning your muscles and boosting your metabolism.

The benefits of metabolic resistance training

  • Improved overall health. MRT is designed to improve your overall health and fitness level by boosting your metabolism, improving your cardiovascular function, and increasing your muscle strength and endurance.
  • Burns more calories. Because of its high intensity, MRT can burn more calories than moderate-intensity cardio.
  • Shorter workouts. Better for those who are time-crunched. Since MRT is an intense full-body workout, you can usually complete it in less time than a traditional cardio workout.
  • Better results. Several studies have shown that MRT leads to better results than traditional cardio.
  • Better for people with joint issues. Because MRT is an intense full-body workout and doesn’t involve any impact, it’s better for people with joint issues and injuries who can’t do traditional cardio.
  • Better for people who don’t enjoy traditional cardio. If you don’t enjoy running or don’t have the time to spend on a cardio workout, MRT is the perfect alternative.

How to do metabolic resistance training workouts

When you’re doing MRT workouts, you’ll want to make sure you’re lifting heavy weights with proper form. You don’t want to lift so much that you become too exhausted to complete the full set of exercises, but you do want to lift heavy enough to make your muscles work as hard as they can.

  • Choose one type of exercise, like squats or lunges, for the lower body, one type of upper body exercise, like push-ups or bench presses, and one core exercise, like planks or sit-ups.
  • Perform sets of 10-12 repetitions of each exercise and take a short rest period (about 30 seconds) between each set. – Take a longer rest period (about three minutes) between each exercise.
  • Complete three MRT workouts per week and complete cardiovascular exercises on the other days.
  • Mix up the exercises you do each week.
  • If you’re new to MRT, start with lighter weights and build up over time.
  • If you’re an experienced lifter, don’t use too heavy a weight or you may overtrain and risk injury.

Bottom line

While cardio is an essential component of any fitness program, it’s important to remember that it’s not the only way to lose weight. In fact, when you replace your traditional cardio workouts with short periods of metabolic resistance training, you can burn more fat and lose weight faster. So don’t let your love of cardio hold you back—make room for MRT in your workouts and enjoy the fast results! That said, if you want to lose weight and keep it off, you’ll need to exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet.