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Metabolic Resistance Training

Here is Craig Ballantyne from Turbulence Training to explain the new phenomenon known as  Metabolic Resistance Training. In this little video about Metabolic Resistance Training he is going to explain what it is and what we are going for as well as some cool ways about thinking of why we do this type of training. Read through or watch the video below explaining the concept of metabolic resistance training.

What is Metabolic Resistance Training?

Metabolic Resistance Training falls under the umbrella of  training with resistance and it could be bodyweight, weights or kettlebells. These workouts combine incomplete recovery with a little bit higher reps. So obviously it’s not power lifting. You could even call bodybuilding metabolic resistance training because it does train similar metabolic systems. With MRT you are really focusing on 8, 12, 15, 20 repetition ranges with incomplete recovery combined with similar physiological benefits as interval training and cardiovascular training. With MRT you are going to get similar increases in heart rate as you would with more traditional cardiovascular training.

Why do we do Metabolic Resistance Training?

Here are a couple scenarios that will compare running and interval training to metabolic resistance training.


If you run a mile it’s like doing 15000 repetitions. At 2-4 times your bodyweight impact with each stride that’s a lot of stress on your knees, hips and lower back. A lot of runners find out the hard way the dark side of that type of cardiovascular training. They are going through such impact on their joints that it doesn’t matter what kind of amazing shoes you have on, if you are doing 15000 reps in a 10 mile run it’s really going to come back and beat you down.

Interval Training

So we switch it over and do interval training but even if you are running 30 seconds you may be doing 100 repetitions. This is still 2-4 times your bodyweight impact. If you are on a bike it is better, but if you are running you are going to have that increased volume. It is not as much as long slow cardio but it’s still quite an impact.

If you switch that out and go through a total body circuit or even just use an exercise like kettlebell swings replacing a 30 sec sprint with 30 sec of kettlebell swings which might be 20 swings then that force is transferred over your hips , knees and more muscular. It is less of an impact since you aren’t landing on the ground each repetition. This will still have the same metabolic response. It will still have our body working hard with an increase heart rate , and training the same energy systems.

We could literally just do the kettlebell swings in place of interval training to reduce the impact on our body. It would still give us the fat burning results and we can also make it more of a total body muscular resistance training session by adding in pushups bodyweight squats, bodyweight rows, and all those types of exercises.

We will now be training more muscles of the body and it becomes more like a resistance training session. Depending on the intensity we use, if we use a heavier resistance we are going to give some people strength stimulus and if we use lighter repetitions more cardiovascular conditioning method.

Metabolic Resistance Training Categories

Alan was the first guy that really broke down metabolic resistance training into two categories. I never really thought about it like that. Metabolic Resistance Training is heavier and you are going to have some soreness in that.

Then there is metabolic conditioning which is lighter, higher rep stuff that is done with incomplete recovery. We aren’t talking about 15 reps tricep kickbacks, with an easy to lift weight and 3 min of recovery. That’s not the high rep workout we are talking about. We are talking about 30 reps of close grip push-ups, followed by 15 reps of bodyweight rows with the straps, followed by 20 reps of kettlebell swings.

This type of metabolic conditioning gives you an increase in heart rate and works the metabolic systems. Your body doesn’t know if it’s sprinting or doing metabolic conditioning. Well actually it does know because it knows it doesn’t have the same impact. Your body fat is still going to be lost because it doesn’t matter if yoiu are doing interval training or metabolic resistance training. You may even add some muscle with the metabolic resistance training.

Here are a couple ideas for MRT Workouts

MRT Workout

Here is a 4 exercise circuit you can do 4-5 times with a little rest at the end of each circuit.

  • Swings, Pushups, bodyweight rows, and squats.

Advanced MRT Workout

Here is a more advanced and intense routine that may be Metabolic Resistance Training for some people.

  • Kettlebell snatches, pushups on the straps, pullups and bodyweight lunges.

Another Advanced MRT Workout

  • Kettlebell Snatches, depending on the weight you use it could be resistance that causes soreness.
  • Decline push-ups, tricep dips or pushups with the straps, where you are getting about 15 reps to failure, push-ups with the straps will be more difficult the regular pushups.
  • Chinups, most people will have a hard time with 10 chinups. so you can do a set of 8.
  • Single leg squat with a bench.
  • Squat and press with kettlebells.

Those are just a few of the exercises you can use. You may even want to throw in deadlifts, barbell squats with lighter weight. You can use any of those exercises. Try to use total body as much as possible, with multi-muscle movements, done in a circuit with incomplete recovery. You can also do super-sets with incompelte recovery and that’s going to be your metabolic resistance training or metabolic resistance conditioning depending on the intensity. This can replace traditional interval training which is would already be replacing traditional cardio training.

Metabolic Resistance Training Video

That’s Craig Ballantyne from Trublence Training workouts that are full of metabolic resistance training.