Your “Bikini Body” should always be at the top of your list no matter what the time of year. Taking pride in your body is more than just for looks while on vacation, it makes you feel good too. So how about getting that heart rate up and burning off some unwanted calories? But first lets discover the difference between a few common ways to do it.

So, what is the deal between aerobic and anaerobic exercise? Aerobic exercise is light activity you can sustain over long periods of time, such as jogging. Anaerobic activity is bursts of activity for short periods of time, such as sprinting. 

During aerobic exercise there is sufficient oxygen intake needed to sustain the current level of activity without using additional energy from another energy source. During anaerobic exercise, oxygen consumption is not sufficient to supply the energy demands being placed on your muscles. Therefore your muscles begin to break down sugars, resulting in higher lactic acid production. And guess what? Both types of exercise burn fat. Both boost the metabolism that will last for hours after the workout. The key to getting the best results is to have a workout that incorporates both. Aerobic exercise increases your endurance and cardiac health while anaerobic exercise will not only help you burn fat but also help you gain lean muscle mass.

So… what is metabolic training? Metabolic training is high intensity anaerobic exercise that makes you breathless. If you are completing a metabolic workout and you are not breathing hard and sweating, something is wrong. Ideally you should be lifting as heavy as you can and resting as little as possible between sets.

Why do I promote metabolic training to my clients? For the serious calorie burn! The calorie burn during a workout is easily around 500 calories for a 30 minute workout, but it also increases metabolic rate from anywhere between 10% to 25% for up to 48 hours, with some studies showing an increase in metabolic rate for up to even 72 hours. This equates to hundreds of extra calories, which over the course of a few workouts can become significant.

Here is an example day from one of my clients training programs from my 12-WEEK BIKINI BODY MAKEOVER PROGRAM https://www.abbiecurtis.com/shop/12-week-bikini-body-makeover-program/ 

Day 1: Full Body Circuit and Tabata Cardio

Perform the following exercises in the order listed, one after the other, without resting.

After you finish the last exercise, rest for 60 seconds, and then repeat the entire circuit three to five more times depending on your fitness level.

Once you’re done, with the circuits, move on to the “finisher” (described beneath the routine).

Jumping Jacks: 50 reps

Squats: 20 reps

Push-ups: 12 reps

One Arm Dumbbell Row: 12 reps per arm

Alternating Reverse Lunges: 10 reps per leg

Plank: hold for 30 seconds 

Cardio Style “Finisher” – Bodyweight squat Tabata intervals: Perform bodyweight squats for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds. Repeat this for 4 minutes straight for a total of 8 rounds.

While metabolic training is not “aerobic” like going for a jog, some studies have shown anaerobic exercise such as HIIT can increase in V02 max beyond that experienced by exercisers following an aerobic program.

Several studies have shown that hormones that promote “lipolysis” (the technical term for fat loss) increase as a results of high intensity strength training. I don’t want to bore you with all the studies, but strength training in general has been shown to help improve hormonal profile, and metabolic training is debatably the best type of strength training to elicit the most powerful hormonal response.

In a nut shell my clients greatly benefit from alternating their training sessions between a variety of styles including focused weight training, interval cardio (aerobic), tabata/metabolic (anaerobic) training and I also highly recommend stretching of any kind, my favourite has always been Bikram Yoga!

Client Question: “I have been bulking for a few months now and I’m finally getting to the size I want and like. My trainer wants me to do all Metabolic training now. But I do not want to lose size at all. I also really would like my back and arms to keep getting a little bit more developed. Is this the right plan? Also why cant I power lift and then go run 4 or 5 miles I’m still burning calories I don’t understand the method. But mainly I don’t want to give up the strength or size. Please help.”

My Answer: “Your concern is valid, but as long as you eat enough protein (1 gram per 1lb LBM) and you don’t notice any major differences in your lifts, you’ll be fine. Losing muscle simply doesn’t happen unless (1) you eat very few calories (2) eat very little protein (3) go very low carb and (4) stop lifting heavy at all. If you are over 10% body fat, then you really have nothing to worry about. When you start getting into single digit bf, then things can get tricker. In terms of getting your arms bigger, I would wait to do that after you get lean, then you can play with calorie cycling.”