Sunday, May 30, 2010

Metabolic Training

I recently read about a really simple metabolic training workout that Alwyn Cosgrove had done. My cardio needs a little "shaking up" and this sounded like a great workout to try - easy and quick and I knew it would get my heart rate crankin'!

I always wear my Polar heart rate monitor when I do cardio. I'm kind of addicted to it, I think. So today I decided that after I finished my 30 minute metabolic training I would do 30 minutes on the stepmill if I had it in me and compare the two based on my polar. I did this upon waking this morning and being that it's a Sunday and I "slept in", I had fasted a few hours longer than usual, but it didn't seem to make much differenct. I took 2 Scorch and 200mg of caffeine before leaving my house.,

I'll repost Alwyn's workout below my blog notes. Quickly: 30 rounds of kettlebell swings (I used dumbells because Gold's does not have Kettlebells). 10-12 swings at the top of the minute, rest the remainder of the minute. For my 2 arm swings I used a 45lb dumbell and for my single arms I used 25lb dumbells.

As for the stepmill...I did 30 minutes on the "calorie burner" workout, level 14.

Polar Results:     Metabolic Workout                                               Step Mill
                          30 minutes                                                             30 minutes
                          HR Average: 154                                                   HR Average 165
                          HR Max: 169                                                         HR Max: 172
                          Calories burned: 354                                              Calories burned: 402

Not really much of a difference. My heart rate would get up to the mid-160's by 30 seconds into the minute and would be back down to about 140 by the time the next minute came around. And the metabolic workout was much more fun than just plugging away on the stepmill for half hour. Not to mention, with the swings you're giving your lower body and core a killer workout. Swings are great for hams, glutes and quads, especially. Form is critical but easy to learn, so make sure you learn the proper technique before doing this workout. And here are Alwyn's notes on the workout:

Here’s a very simple metabolic workout that I did earlier this week.
I used a gymboss timer to track my work intervals – but you could do it with a regular stopwatch, or even just looking at the second hand on a clock.
This looks simple – but I tracked heart rate and found it to be a great interval training session!
All i did was the following:
1) Start the gymboss timer and set it for one minute repeats (so it ‘beeps’ every minute)
2) Do 10-12 kettlebell swings or similar (takes about 2s per swing on average)
3) Rest for the remainder of the minute
4) Repeat at the start of the next minute (when the timer beeps)
5) Go for 30 mins or however long you want the interval session to be.
This was an effective 30 min interval training session, using a 20-25s on, 35-40s off work:rest interval.
I changed up the swings – going from two hand swings, to one handed swings (5 each side), to hand-to-hand swings. I also added a round or two of kettlebell snatches, and a round or two of kettlebell clean and jerks (I only did 3 each side of these to keep the work interval the same).
Give it a try, next time you want a short and effective interval workout.


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