You’ve finished your workout, done everything you came to the gym to accomplish. But you still have some energy left and feel like you could keep going. What do you do then?
Tack on a finisher!
A short, intense mini-workout called a metabolic finisher could make a perfect addition to your routine in these situations. Designed to be a brief full-body workout, these finishers help ensure that you’ve squeezed every bit of energy out by the time you leave the gym. These finishers are perfect for people looking to increase the caloric expenditure of their workouts, burn some fat and build muscular endurance.
Metabolic finishers can also be a powerful muscle-building tool, particularly in more advanced athletes. By greatly increasing the density of your workouts and the amount of stress on your muscles, finishers create the ideal conditions for muscle growth.
One of the most interesting features of metabolic finishers, though, is their adaptability. There are literally tons of them, performed using just about every exercise, piece of equipment and training style you could think of. To help you get started, here are just three metabolic finishers that use some of the more common approaches you’re likely to encounter: bodyweight, barbell and kettlebells.
Bodyweight Tabata – Yet another version of the ever-popular High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Tabata follows are specific protocol that can really be applied to get about any workout. The basic idea is this:
Work for 20 seconds
Rest for 10 seconds
Repeat for 4 minutes
Traditionally, a full Tabata workout would then have you rest for 2 minutes and keep up this entire maddening cycle for 20 minutes. But we’re going to adjust things to create a scorching finisher. Using naught but bodyweight, we’ll select 4 exercises to create a brief, intense workout that help you wrap things up at the gym. Our take on the Bodyweight Tabata looks like this:
Split jump squats
Remember perform each exercise all-out for 20 seconds, taking 10 seconds to get ready for the next exercise. Once you’ve finished the last exercise – push ups, in this example – rest 10 seconds and then start over. It’ll be the longest for minutes of your life.
Cosgrove Evil 8 – Created by famed strength and conditioning coach Alwyn Cosgrove, this workout uses a lone barbell with a set load to provide a fast, full-body workout. You’ll need to start out relatively light here but remember that this workout – also called a “complex” – isn’t about building strength. The resistance should be just enough to make you work and keep your heart rate up. Once you get the weights loaded, perform 6 reps of each exercise with no rest between them. After finishing one round catch your breath for 90 seconds and repeat, performing 5 reps. Keep this up until you get down to just 1 rep per exercise. All told, this complex should take about 12 minutes.
Kettlebell Clean-To-Squat-Press – Kettlebells can be used to cobble together all manner of tortously effective finishers. But let’s start simple. Grab a relatively heavy kettlebell in one hand. Clean the weight to your shoulder, then perform a squat press with no rest. That’s one rep. Complete 10 reps on each side.