What You Need to Consider When Creating a Metabolic Training Program
By this point, you should have a pretty firm understanding of what metabolic training is, and why it’s an important style of exercise to incorporate into many of your clients’ programs.
There are a number of different variables of metabolic training that need to be taken into consideration. By looking at the “big picture”, you, as the trainer, can produce the best possible results.
The five different variables that come into play. Looking at each one of these individually will enable you to see how they factor into the process.
- Needs analysis
- Training load and intervals/reps
- Rest periods
- Exercise selection and order
1. Needs Analysis
The “needs analysis” component refers to evaluating your client and also consider all that they want to achieve. The client’s current fitness level will determine what type of program they can safely do. Also important, consider any injuries or limitations that may be present. Lastly consider any particular goals that are especially important to the client that they are working towards and their scheduling and exercise time viability.
Once all of these factors and information are in place, then is the time to best assess the situation and determine how to move ahead with their program. Also, keep in mind that at times metabolic training may be done for an entire class.
Keep in mind that at times, you may be doing metabolic training for an entire class of individuals, in which case you’ll want to look at average amongst all of these people.
Now you’ll need to factor all of their experience, skill levels, and so forth into things in order to develop a program that will be truly effective for everyone.
2. Training Load and Interval Reps
The second factor to discuss is the training load and interval reps. This refers to how much weight the individual will be lifting during each exercise they perform, as well as how long each working set will be. There are two ways to structure these factors.
First, use of a rep-based workout protocol where the client(s) will perform ‘X’ number of reps per set before moving forward. This is a good protocol for beginners to use as it’s an easy number to adjust as they make progress.
Or, use of a timed interval type of approach. In this situation the clients would perform the exercise for a set amount of time, not resting until the time period is up.
This is a great way to structure the session for more advanced individuals who may be able to tolerate a higher overall exercise load per session.
Ultimately the trainer decides which manner you want to structure the program, but do keep in mind that nothing is ever set in stone. In fact, it’s great to vary the structure over time (through different sessions) to keep the client’s body responding and progressing.
The more advanced the trainees are, the higher the training load can be and likewise, the more total interval reps they can perform.
That said, if you are doing 15 reps for each set, for example, this will usually warrant a lighter weight than if doing 10 reps per set for the same individual. Keep that in mind that it’s always relative to the overall workout program structure.
3. Rest Periods
Rest periods refers to how much total rest time is taken between each training interval and will coincide with the client’s fitness level as well as the total duration of the training interval. The longer the total working period is (the more reps or the longer the timed interval) the more rest they will likely need between those sets. Likewise, the less experienced they are, the more rest they’ll need between each set as well.
Rest periods may also vary depending on the particular exercise in question. If they are doing squats, longer rest periods will be warranted compared to if they were just doing push-ups.
Volume is going to take into account the ‘big picture’ of how much work a client is doing during the workout session. This refers to how much weight is being lifted, how many reps are being performed, and how long each training interval lasts.
Figuring this out can help evaluate just how intense the entire session is on the body and be able to adjust accordingly. A word of caution, if the trainer is concentrating on only one portion of the exercise program, it could be easy to overlook all that is being required of the client.
While the trainer may not calculate the total volume after each and every workout, the client does. It’s important to determine this often, so both the trainer and client are staying on track with what’s appropriate for the skill level and goal.
5. Exercise Selection and Order
Exercise selection refers to the specific exercises chosen to do in the workout program. The exercises, selected to do, will likely be based upon the client’s goals, the overall structure of the program, and the availability of equipment where the training be being performed.
It is important that any exercises chosen to do with the client must be ones that the client has experienced and can do safely and confidently. Otherwise, be sure to spend time reviewing the exercise first, ensuring they can do it properly before including it into a metabolic training plan.
The order in which the exercises are performed is important as well. Generally, it is best to have them do more energy-demanding exercises at the beginning, then slowly reducing the intensity as the workout program progresses. In some cases, they may need to alternate between upper and lower body exercises. Know the goals of the workout and adjust accordingly.
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