Building High-Performance Muscle™

Seven Metabolic Finishers to Burn Fat

Bench Press

Okay, blubber butt, the holidays are over.

Whether you're a hardcore lifter trying to hit a new PR or just a New Year's Newbie hoping to bounce off that 10 pounds of chunk you gave yourself for Christmas, just about everyone is looking to maximize his or her time at the gym.

But when the rubber hits the road, how can you be sure that each workout is as effective as it can be? How can you know with absolute certainty that, regardless if you hit a PR or not, you'll leave the gym knowing you left it all on the gym floor?

The answer: Metabolic finishers! 

A metabolic finisher is an intense exercise or series of exercises performed at the end of the workout that's designed to ensure that you've burnt every last drop of gas from the tank.

Except for the occasional exercise masochist you might encounter, few lifters find finishers "fun," at least while they're performing them. But if you value things like mental toughness and the satisfaction that comes with pushing yourself to the "I think I'm seeing stars?" realm, metabolic finishers are tough to beat.

Below is a list of seven of the most popular metabolic finishers that I use with my athletes here at Performance U in Baltimore, MD. I use these finishers for a variety of applications, whether it's to accelerate fat loss, enhance work capacity, or give them the conditioning needed to outlast the competition in any sporting event.

Let's get to it!


Metabolic Finisher #1 – 300 Yard Shuttle Sprints

This is one of my longtime favorites because it's simple, super intense, and just plain tough!

Purpose: Improve leg muscle power endurance, accelerate metabolism, and improve cardio/conditioning; great for athletes in field and/or court sports!

How to do it:

Coaching Tips:


Metabolic Finisher #2 – Medicine Throw Ball Complex 

If you've got a rubber medicine ball (3-5kg) and a wall to hurl it at, give this one a shot!

Purpose: Improve upper body and torso power endurance. This one is great for upper-body conditioning, especially since so much of conditioning is lower body dominant. Great for boxers, kick-boxers, and MMA fighters.

How to do it:

Perform 4-5 sets. Rest 90 seconds – 2 minutes between sets

Coaching Tips:

See the video below for a demo:


Metabolic Finisher #3 – Prowler or Tire Pushes

Purpose: Improve total body conditioning, improve leg strength endurance, improve shoulder, chest, and arm strength endurance, and improve core strength endurance. Improve mental toughness. Great for football, rugby, grappling, and MMA athletes.

How to do it (with a Prowler):

How to do it (with a tire):

Note: I prefer using the tire over the Prowler as I feel it's more demanding on the arms, shoulders, and torso. Plus, you can save some serious cash and space in your gym by simply using an old tire.

Coaching Tips:

See the video below for a demonstration of the tire variation:


Metabolic Finisher #4 – Plate/Sled Pushes

This one is great if you don't have a sled, Prowler, or tire! Even it you do have those pieces of equipment, it's still an awesome option to sprinkle into your training program.

Purpose: Improve total body conditioning, improve leg strength endurance, and improve mental toughness.

How to do it:

Coaching Tips:

Here's a video of two of my "master class" figure competitors getting after it with sled pushes –


Metabolic Finisher #5 – Four-Minute Bodyweight Tabata Complex     

Efficiency zealots love Tabatas. How else can you absolutely destroy yourself in just four fast minutes?

I love Tabatas because they allow for so much programming variety. With a little imagination, it's possible to never repeat the same workout twice!

Purpose: Improved overall conditioning, boost metabolism, increase functional ability, and build body awareness. This one is great for guys who want to workout at home or travel frequently and are stuck in a hotel room. It's also great to unload the body from heavy lifting while still pushing your conditioning!

How to do it:

Perform 2 cycles of each of the following exercises back to back for 20 seconds of activity and 10 seconds rest:

This will total four minutes.

Here's a video to give you a better idea:

Perform 1-3 sets. Rest 2-4 minutes betweens sets.

Coaching Tips:

If you like what you see here, you can find more Performance U Tabata complexes in this article.


Metabolic Finisher #6 – Four Corners Farmer Walks

Here at Performance U, we've combined farmer's walks with strength complexes to make each protocol an even more effective metabolic finisher.

Purpose: Build upper body strength/endurance, improve grip strength, accelerate metabolism, and pump up the shoulders like never before! Great for the guy who loves to lift weights but hates to do "cardio."

How to do it:

Place two cones or water bottles roughly ten yards apart. Stand at one end holding a pair of heavy dumbbells. Get comfortable; you won't put these dumbbells down until you've completed all of the following exercises:

Perform 1-3 sets with 2-4 minutes rest between sets.

Coaching tips:

You can find more of our Performance U farmer's walk complexes in this article.


Metabolic Finisher #7 – 100 Rep Kettlebell Complex

The more I use kettlebells, the more I like them! They're a very versatile tool that incorporates momentum and full body motions along with rhythmic motions, which require good focus and timing – all great things to help improve fitness and athleticism.

Below is a great KB finisher I learned from fitness model Alli McKee.

Purpose: Improve total body conditioning and upper-body strength/power endurance.

How to do it:

Bang out each exercise back-to-back, without rest until finished:

Rest 2–3 minutes between rounds. Perform 1-3 rounds.

Coaching Tips:

Bonus: Do it Backwards!

Once you've mastered the above 100 rep KB challenge, try it in the reverse order beginning with the push presses. It's a whole new animal when you switch the order up.


Conclusion

Bench Press

Although I've provided you with 7 nasty "puke in your shoes" finishers, this is by no means an exhaustive list of all the metabolic finishers I use in my business at Performance U.

With all the great conditioning tools available from battling ropes to hammer training to Airdyne Bike intervals to barbell complexes and circuits, it's literally endless what you can do with some purposeful creativity. Use this article as inspiration to think out of the box and develop your own metabolic finishers.

Aside from the amazing fitness and physique benefits, these finishers will test your grit and help build the intestinal fortitude you need to take on any challenge that life throws at you.

Look better, move better, feel better, and BE better. It all starts with how you finish!



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