Metabolic Resistance Exercise

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Metabolic resistance exercise, intended to keep your metabolism charged for up to 36 hours after a workout, may include free weights, weight machines, medicine balls, sandbags or your own body weight to provide resistance. You could get a metabolic resistance workout doing alternate sets of pushups and squats. While aerobic exercise -- running, walking, stair-stepping -- burns calories during your workout, metabolic resistance exercise continues to burn calories afterward.


The U.S. military, including the Navy Seals, helped make weight resistance training popular among the general public. Military fitness trainers discovered that men who performed vigorous resistance training gained strength without bulk. Resistance training became the preferred form of military fitness training because it didn't slow men down as weight lifting tended to do. The success of resistance training in the military -- fit, well-defined bodies -- has enjoyed similar results among ordinary citizens seeking to lose weight and build lean muscle.


Metabolic resistance exercises involve numerous repetitions with little rest between sets. Examples of military-style resistance training include prisoner squats, spiderman pushups and Bulgarian split squats. To perform a spiderman pushup, place your feet high on a wall, or ask a friend to hold you feet while doing pushups. For prisoner squats, place your hands behind your head as you squat as low as you can. Bulgarian split squats involve standing with your legs as far apart as possible and squatting as close to the ground as possible. A workout might include 20 repetitions of the prisoner squat, 20 repetitions of the Bulgarian split squat and 15 repetitions of pushups. Additional exercises such as pullups and close-grip pushups can be added as you gain strength. Keep rests between sets to a minimum, but stop when fatigued. If you're new to metabolic resistance exercise, you can obtain benefits with less intense workouts. You might, for instance, carry small weights while walking.

Type 2 Diabetes

Metabolic resistance training may provide benefits to people with type 2 diabetes. A study led by Salameh Bweir, a professor of allied medical sciences at Jordan's Hashemite University, found that metabolic resistance exercise proved more effective than aerobic exercise in lowering blood sugar levels. Cardio exercise lowered HbA1C count only half as much as did metabolic resistance exercise, according to the study, published in the December 2009 issue of "Diabetology and Metabolic Resistance Syndrome." The study did find that metabolic resistance raised participants' blood pressure levels and advised that people with high blood pressure be monitored during resistance training.

Additional Benefits

Metabolic resistance exercise may also benefit people suffering from sarcopenia and frailty syndrome. Sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass with aging, often progresses to the point at which a person cannot walk or maintain balance. Metabolic resistance training performed two to three times a week may slow the progression of the condition. Frailty syndrome includes skeletal weakness and muscle mass deterioration. Senior citizens may also benefit from metabolic resistance exercises but should approach them slowly.