Metabolic training – what is it, what is it?

Metabolic training is one of the better training plans for strengthening endurance and reducing body fat. It is designed to maximize metabolic processes, which contributes to accelerated fat breakdown, and thus will provide great effects of weight loss. What is metabolic training, who should use it and how long should I exercise to achieve the required results?

Metabolic training – what is it?

The main goal of metabolic training is to induce increased post-workout metabolism, which is associated with the acceleration of fat reduction with maximum effort, but minimal time. This means that we will burn kilograms a few more hours after the exercises are over.


Accelerated metabolism results from oxygen debt, which is caused by high intensity exercise. There are several metabolic training solutions, and the most popular of them is:

  • interval training – consisting in changing the intensity of exercises from maximum (about 20 seconds) to moderate (about 10 seconds). The most effective interval workouts are HIIT and TABATA. They are included in the group of metabolic trainings;
  • strength complexes – metabolic exercises, performed with one type of load, e.g. dumbbells, kettlebells, barbell. Training is about using the highest load we are able to increase for a given number of repetitions. Increased metabolism results from minimizing interruptions between exercises, which forces the body to work harder and causes oxygen debt.

What is an oxygen debt?

During metabolic training there is a phenomenon called EPOC, the so-called post-workout calorie burning. By performing intensive metabolic exercises, the body is unable to provide cells and muscles with enough oxygen, causing an oxygen debt that accelerates metabolism.

See also: Training – how to recognize them? Symptoms of overtraining

Metabolic training – for whom?

If there are no contraindications to intensive physical activity, metabolic training can be performed by everyone depending on the effects they want to achieve. This type of training is most often chosen by those who:

  • want to improve the efficiency and endurance of the body – during metabolic training, the body’s work is based on both oxygen and anaerobic zones;
  • they count on a rapid reduction of fat tissue – metabolic training allows you to burn fat a few hours after training and is considered one of the best slimming plans;
  • they don’t have much time to exercise – lack of time is just an excuse, metabolic training can be done even in 20 minutes and enjoy good results;
  • they want to diversify their training plan;
  • want to improve performance in other sports – performing metabolic training can help to achieve better performance in other sports, such as running, swimming or martial arts

Metabolic training – principles


Metabolic training is based on a few simple rules:

  • you should focus on multi-joint exercises – such exercises force more parts of the body to work, and thus allow you to burn more calories;
  • the load should be selected according to individual possibilities – the best choice is the highest load, which will allow us to perform a given number of repetitions, but we must be sure that the weight is not too high. A common mistake for beginners is to bet on too much weight, which can result in injuries and overtraining;
  • The breaks are adjusted to the level of advancement:

    → Beginners – breaks of 1:1 (30 seconds effort – 30 seconds rest);

    → Intermediate persons – breaks in ratio 2:1 (1 minute of effort: 30 seconds of rest);

    → Advanced persons – breaks in 3:1 ratio (1 minute of effort – 20 seconds of rest);

  • We adjust the number of circuits to our own capabilities and the number and volume of exercises – in the standard training plan it is 4-5 circuits after 4-5 exercises. Beginners can start with 3 circuits;
  • intensive pace of exercise – the key to achieving the best results of metabolic training is to perform exercises with the highest intensity to lead to oxygen debt.

Metabolic training – effects

Metabolic training requires a lot of involvement of the whole body, but it also allows us to get some good results:

  • improving the efficiency and endurance of the body;
  • rapid reduction of body fat;
  • improved metabolism;
  • increase muscle endurance;
  • …a better feeling.

Metabolic training is even more interesting because we can perform it not only in the gym, but also at home. What’s more, people who don’t have a load at hand can perform a calisthenic metabolic training, i.e. one based on their own body weight, e.g. TABATA or HIIT.

Check it out: cardio HIIT and TABATA workouts – comparison

Frequency and length of metabolic training

The key to achieving the best possible sports results is to diversify your training. A metabolic plan is therefore not an option that we should use constantly, but only during the period of fat reduction or when we want to improve our condition. However, the great variety of exercises that we can include in such training, makes that even if we use metabolic training for a few months, we will not fall into a routine, and our body will continue to respond to it.


Metabolic training can be treated as an independent training unit or as a complement to fitness or strength training. It is difficult to determine how many times a week it is necessary to do it, it will depend on the overall training plan. Increased physical activity is recommended from 2 to 4 times a week, but remember to take into account the time to regenerate and get rid of any possible acidification.

More can be said about the duration of metabolic training. In case of interval training, it should not last longer than 30 minutes (due to the very high pace of exercises). Force complexes can last from 20 to 45 minutes depending on the level of advancement, the number of runes and the length of breaks between the series.

Check it out too: How to support endurance during exercises? Ranking of pre-training sessions

Metabolic training – contraindications

The contraindication to perform metabolic training may be various diseases and illnesses that exclude a person from intensive physical activity. In most cases this training is not recommended:

  • persons suffering from cardiovascular and cardiovascular diseases;
  • for women in advanced pregnancy;
  • to people in rehabilitation and recovery from illness.
About Marius 131 Articles
Creator of He is 43 years old. He runs his own transport company on a daily basis. He likes to share his experiences with others. He is very familiar with the kind of problems other men have, that's why he tries to help by writing this blog. Together with his friends he had an idea for the editors, which is favourable to male problems.

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