A new approach to fitness

I’m packing up my collection of training notebooks. It’s time to start with a fresh new plan and approach to fitness.

I’ve done your standard, muscle building workouts for more than 12 years, including the magazine workouts, split days, etc. And over the course of my training I’ve seen some impessive results. I’ve also seen some injuries, plateaus, and I’ll admit boredom.

This summer, I hit up a boxing gym and noticed how slow and stiff I felt. I was killing it at the gym, but when it came to training with the boxers I was out of shape. So I began to revisit from top down how I approach fitness. And I found my evolution – metabolic resistance training.

It goes by a few names and approached in many ways by different camps: Spartan workouts. 300 workouts. CrossFit. P90X. MMA/fighter workouts. Body weight workouts. Functional fitness.

A lot of athletes us metabolic resistance training and body weight workouts. Good examples include gymnasts and boxers.

All of the above are based on common principles and practices: building strength, speed, endurance and body control. It’s less about sets, reps and heavy weight and more about endurance, explosiveness and continuous movement.

Yes, I think my days of straight sets and reps are done.

Working toward my exercise science degree, my research for class and stumbling across Funk Roberts drew me to this “newer” fad in fitness. I did an experiment. I tried a couple of these “spartan” workout this summer. They were always fresh, challenging, and left me sweaty and feeling great. For the last two weeks I went back to the good old weight training. And it bored me!

Benefits of metabolic resistance training:

  • Less time. I’m done in about 45 minutes or less
  • Build muscle, build cardio endurance and rev up metabolism
  • Working your body in all three planes (sagittal, frontal and transverse) often with compound movements
  • Functional fitness – improves balance, mobility, joint strength
  • Always fresh. Endless combinations and variations
  • Can do these just about anywhere. Especially the body weight focused workouts.
  • Lots of cool, cheap and multi-function pieces of equipment (kettle bells, BOSU, Swiss Ball)

Cons from traditional strength training (why I decided to break):

  • I was growing bored of the options
  • Numerous injuries over the years (sprains, strains, buises and torn biceps tendon)
  • Loss of flexibility. Always feeling tight
  • Muscle was packing on, but still struggled with body fat
  • Time consuming. Weights, stretching and cardio could run 90 minutes on a day the gym is busy
  • Busy gym. Waiting for equipment.
  • Having a lot of muscle may look good now, but I want to look good AND be mobile when I’m 60

So, from here on out my blog will evolve as I continue to explore and experiment with these various workouts. I’ll share what works, what doesn’t, and my physical progress as I shift from strength training to warrior training.

I look forward to starting this new trainer’s notebook with you.

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