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focus on fitness Burn More Calories in Less Time Why Metabolic Training Works—and How You Can Use It to Lose Weight Head to a gym or flip open a fitness magazine, and chances are good you'll encounter the term "metabolic training" (also called "metabolic conditioning"). But what exactly does it mean, and how can the workout technique help you reach your weight-loss goals? "In a nutshell, metabolic training is completing a series of high-intensity exercises with short bursts of rest in between," says fitness coach Ryan Toshner, owner of TNT Performance in Brookfield, Wisconsin. This technique increases your metabolic rate— meaning you burn more calories at rest. Let's compare metabolic training to a traditional aerobic workout. If you go for an hourlong run, you have to conserve your energy to make it through the whole hour. You might be operating at 58 percent of your maximum capacity. If you run for short intervals, you can push yourself to work at a higher intensity—say, 95 percent—because you don't have to last as long. Plus, then you'll be operating at a low intensity during the recovery period between intervals. So if you're operating at a 75-percent average (combining sprints and recovery periods), you can exercise for less time to get the same calorie-burning benefit of a long workout. Think of it this way: Driving a car at slow speeds uses less gas and mechanical energy. Ultimately, it takes longer to get somewhere, and the car cools down quickly upon arrival. On the other hand, driving a car at fast speeds 24 HEALTHY & ACTIVE 2014 MARTIN POOLE/DIGITAL VISION/Thinkstock (STOPWATCH) By Tina Erdmann requires more gas and greater energy output. Rapid travel means you'll get where you're going sooner, and the car will need more time to cool down. Benefits of Metabolic Training More specifically, metabolic training will help you: Burn calories. Studies have shown a direct correlation between the amount of oxygen (energy) consumed and calories burned. "If you're using more oxygen for a shorter period of time, you're going to burn more calories," Toshner says.

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