When it comes to being in shape, many people use their metabolism as a type of excuse.
“I can’t gain/lose weight because my metabolism is too fast/slow…”
This is something you hear very often but then again, people who usually say this, know NOTHING about the metabolism of humans.
In this article, we’ll tell you what your metabolism is and how different types of training affect it.
What Is The Metabolism, Really?
In simple terms, metabolism can be defined as the set amount of energy & life-sustaining chemical reactions in the organism.
Think about it – Your body is always on the run because there’s always some sort of a chemical reaction going on.
Even if you are at complete rest, your body still needs energy just to stay alive and still runs a myriad of physiological processes.
Training is without a doubt one of the best tools to “speed up” your metabolism, simply because it demands quite a bit of energy and therefore, makes more chemical reactions occur in the body.
The more chemical processes occur, the more efficient the body strives to become, and thus, your metabolism increases – Both in the number of chemical reactions & the speed of those reactions.
Now let’s have a look at how different types of training affect your metabolism
#1 Resistance training
When people hear “training”, what usually comes to mind is the treadmill…
And though cardio activity is good, resistance training is what you really want to focus on, whether your goal is to lose fat or gain weight.
Resistance training activates your fast-twitch muscle fibers & primarily leads to progress in terms of strength, muscle tone & strength endurance. (1)
This brings along a flurry of nurturing hormonal reactions, which in turn improve mood, digestion, recovery, along with regulating many other internal processes.
Resistance training can help you gain weight, but also maintain a healthy body composition during a weight-loss period. (2)
#2 Cardio training
Aerobic (cardio) training is one of the most relaxing activities you can do when you’re not in the gym.
Besides being a great stress reliever, cardio can help you burn off some calories too, making it a great way to give your metabolism a boost. (3)
This type of training mainly leads to more efficient work of the heart & lungs, improving endurance.
Cardio is best done after resistance training, as it may deplete you of energy for a proper strength workout if you do it beforehand.
#3 Functional training
Being able to run & lift weights but it’s a whole other thing to actually use more of the functions that your body has.
It seems that many other physical properties like balance, agility, dexterity & coordination, have been long forgotten.
The chemical reactions in your brain are also a part of your metabolism, so doing other types of training that engage the body & brain to a higher extent, can be useful!
After all, the goal of “having a faster metabolism” is to look, feel and perform better. Right?
Frequently Asked Questions
Now before we close this off, let’s have a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about metabolism fine-tuning.
#1 What Else Can I Do For My Metabolism?
Besides training & your non-training physical activities, there are other factors that impact the chemistry in your body. (4)
4. Toxic habits (smoking, drinking)
6. Stress levels
Work on those. Establish good habits, put yourself in a good environment and try to manage your stress.
#2 Do I Really HAVE TO train?
You don’t “have to” do anything, but really, if you look at the complexity of your body, it was made to MOVE.
Plus, modern-day life ROBS YOU of movement… So why not move to make your body happy?
If you had a 600 horsepower car that can do 330 km/h, would you hold it in first gear?
You’d likely want to at least see what 2nd gear is like…
So, yes, you don’t really have to train, but it is a fact that your body is your most valuable project.
#3 How Often Should I Train With Weights?
If you’re a beginner, you can reap good benefits from weight training if you train 3-4 times a week.
And then again, training frequency depends on other factors like training volume (total amount of weight lifted).
Ultimately, beginners would be looking at 5-10 challenging working sets, per muscle group, per week.
As you advance that number grows until you reach 15-20+ challenging working sets per muscle group, per week
Cardio training sessions can be included after weight training and should be done for no more than 30-50 minutes if your goal is optimal muscular development.
Boosting your metabolism is all about nurturing and giving opportunities for more chemical reactions to occur in the body.
Including different types of physical activities is one of your best bets when this is your task at hand.
Pretty much any type of movement will boost your metabolism, but if you want amazing results quickly, really just focus on resistance training & some cardio!