What's a Metabolic Effect Workout Like?

One of the first questions I often get, sometimes just minutes after the first retreat participant arrives, is “tell me about your workouts?” or I overhear a conversation between two or more participants asking if they know anything about the workouts.

It’s almost a running bet between myself and Nat about when we will get the first question.

So let’s dispel some of your concerns, shall we?

First, the concept of the Metabolic Effect stems from the idea of Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption or EPOC. There is a ton of research on this and even more tons of blog posts on this concept. This is truly the Metabolic Effect.

Imagine your hotel doesn’t have an operational elevator and you have to walk up a few flights of stairs to get to your room. During your walk your heart rate will go up a bit, but it’s not until you actually reach the top that your heart and lungs will really “talk to you”.

This is your body’s way of playing catch up and, when used correctly, you can get the maximum fat burn and muscle building in the minimum amount of time!

While EPOC can be achieved that quickly, the workouts we do are 30 minutes in length, 5 minutes of warm up, 20 minutes of work, 5 minutes of cool down. They can happen basically anywhere you have a flat surface and can actually be much shorter. Most of the time on a retreat we will do them using nothing more than your bodyweight using a technique called vascular occlusion training. The idea being you are going to aid your body in reaching EPOC by occluding blood flow back to the heart by pulsing, squeezing, and holding certain muscles in their contracted state.

Ideally you will reach this point many times in the workout

As for the “how do I do it” question, first of all you should realize that these workouts were designed to be done by my grandmother and professional athletes... at the same time! So there really should be no problem doing the workouts. You will hear me say, seemingly ad nauseam, “push until you can’t, rest until you can”. Reread that… and again… This sentence should tell you everything you need to know about the how question about the workouts. They are what we call RBIT or Rest Based Interval Training.

You may have heard of HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training, this is where a trainer sets a time and tells you to do some exercise “all out” for that amount of time usually 1 minute or so and then resting. While those types of workouts are effective, they aren’t as effective as RBIT since you are not in control of HIIT and ultimately you will pace yourself to keep going. If I know beforehand I am going to need to do a thing for a minute I will mentally prepare myself for that amount of effort. Translation, I will pace myself. An example of this would be going to a treadmill and after a warm up step off the treadmill on the sides and set the speed on the maximum you’ve ever done, then (carefully) step on and see if you can go for a minute. Our bodies are built for maximum physical effort in short bursts and we use that to our advantage in ME. This means that we give you the ability to “step off the treadmill” as you see fit and we keep the workout flowing so that you will never be on the treadmill for more than 30 seconds to 1 minute.

As an added bonus, this prevents you from becoming bored too!

ME, the workout of Y-O-U

The acronym of Metabolic Effect is ME (surprise! :0) This means that these workouts are customized for you, by you, in the moment. These are your workouts!

You push yourself until you can’t and rest until you can rejoin. Reaching this point of success is individual. That’s why you won’t see a lot of highly produced videos of a Metabolic Effect workout. They aren’t choreographed, so part of the class is working and part of the class is resting and it doesn’t “look good for the ‘gram”. That being said, we did make one for you…

A whirlwind that’s over in a flash

Make no mistake, these workouts are intense, but again that is all relative to your fitness abilities and I am there coaching you through it all the way, giving you regressions (or default moves) and progressions all the way to allow for you to accommodate your body. Providing you with cues and little nuggets of workout wisdom as we go.

We typically schedule one of these workouts per day as a retreat’s schedule will allow, but that doesn’t mean that you need to (or should) do them all. I’d love to have you but just like in a workout, I want you to listen to your body first and me second. Depending on how much you did the day before you will need to check in with yourself and be honest. Is it your ego or your brain telling you that you have to go to all of the workouts? Is that soreness from a hike or DOMS or is it your body telling you to take it easy today and relax by the pool or take a cortisol lowering walk in nature (shinrin yoku)?

Giving these workouts a try will not only help you to become a fat burning machine instead of a fat storing machine in just 30 minutes, but will also begin to regulate your natural hormones like testosterone, adrenaline, noradrenaline, HGH, and cortisol along with mood enhancing dopamine and serotonin, bringing them all back into balance.

If you’re not working you’re resting. If you’re not resting you’re working (or laughing 😂)!

The yang to the yoga’s yin, this workout hands down is one of the most effective workouts out there.