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How Much Weight Should Be Used When Metabolic Training?


The Relationship Between Loads and Metabolic Training

One question often asked time and time again, is how much weight should be used when performing metabolic training. As metabolic training is very different from conventional weight lifting, it can be difficult, at times, to figure out precisely how much a client should be lifting in order to see maximum benefits and still keep the workouts reasonable.

Remember, your client’s form must never be sacrificed. As most of these protocols are so intense, if the weight is too high and the client is doing all they can to complete the instructions, their form is going to falter. By definition, load is simply referred to as the amount of weight that is assigned to an exercise set and is what, most consider to be, the most critical aspect of any resistance metabolic-based circuit.

The number of times an exercise can be performed is directly related to the load being lifted. The heavier the load, the harder it will be to complete each rep.  Thus, the trainee will fatigue sooner after only a few reps are performed. Likewise, the lighter the load, the more reps they will have to perform to bring them to that state of fatigue.

Before prescribing clients training loads, the trainer must understand the relationship between loads and reps. A load is usually referred to as a percentage of a one rep max, which is how much weight a client is able to lift just one time.  This is their full-out set-the set they do with maximum effort and intensity (and the set that should always be done with a spotter if testing it).

Sometimes, if not testing 1 rep max’s (1RM’s), the trainer might just use their RM’s, which stands for repetition maximum. This is basically how many reps one can perform at any given weight level at this point. A client who can do 10 reps of squats with a 30kg kettlebell, for instance, would have a 10RM of 30KG for this exercise.

Often the best way to prescribe loads for a client’s metabolic workout program is to start them off with a lower weight level that is safe for them to perform. Once they are comfortably able to complete that weight level, then they can increase the weight level. Slowly adding more weight until they are at the challenging level where they cannot increase it any further. This may take a few trials to work out, but this is a far superior approach than prescribing them a load that is too heavy and having them become injured in attempting.

Note this assumes an average client, so this may need to be adjusted to more or fewer based on the specific client. Always remember that these numbers are in no way set in stone and rather, should be constantly adjusted as work continues with each client.

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