When it comes to the best kind of training for fat loss, it’s hard to go past metabolic weight training.

It is a method of weight training based around performing large multi joint movements (squats, presses, lunges, pulls and pushes), coupled with moderate rep ranges and short rests.

When we perform these movements in the presence of high levels of lactic acid (as will happen when you have short rest periods), there is a significant and acute increase in Growth Hormone.

Most people associate Growth Hormone with cheating athletes who have failed a drug test, but it is also produced naturally by the body and is a very powerful agent for lipolysis (fat burning).

This style of training has lived under many names and for a long time.

Back in the day, it used to be called a ‘circuit’, these days (due to the popularity of Crossfit), it will often be known as a ‘Metcon’, ‘HIIT’ or in the world of athletic preparation, it may be referred to as ‘German Body Comp’.

 It was a style of training that I used often as a Physical Training Instructor in the Army and was great for developing strength, conditioning, and a lean athletic physique.

In fact, it’s not uncommon to have people putting on muscle whilst burning fat at the same time (hence why it’s the cornerstone of our Team Training program at GTT).

Either way, what you call it matters far less than how to do it.

At GTT, we work a simple but brutally effective structure of either 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, or 40/40.

We will do this with six exercises and typically do four sets of each. This adds up to a very significant amount of work and 24 sets in total.

Our customers leave these sessions with a sense of accomplishment, knowing that there’s no way they could’ve hit these levels of intensity on their own.

It’s important that if you’re doing it in a group environment that you don’t go over 6-8 exercises as beyond this it becomes near on impossible to coach and control the quality of movement.

We also like to keep the movements more accountable to a healthy level of risk versus reward.

As such, we won’t use Olympic lifts or other lifts that are likely to break down into bad form under fatigue.

This means that we not only achieve our objective of burning fat and increasing work capacity, but we’re much more unlikely to injure the trainee while doing it.

A lot of group training programs butcher the quality of training by trying to get too fancy with the exercises they use and by doing each set for too long.

30-45 seconds is about the longest you should spend on any one set, especially with short rest periods.

Once the rest drops below a 1:1 ratio (that is less rest than work), the quality of the work and amount of weight you can lift drops off way too low.

If you’re doing your own training and you’re looking for a tougher workout to mix it up, try out the template below.

User beware though, if you do it with a decent weight and stick to the sets and reps, it’ll get pretty brutal.

Serial Exercise Sets Reps Rest (till next station
A1 Squat or squat variation 4 12-15 30-40s
A2 DB Bench Press 4 12-15 30-40s
A3 Deadlift or variation of 4 12-15 30-40s
A4 Pull Up 4 12-15 30-40s
A5 Travel Lunge 4 12-15 30-40s
A6 Military Press 2 12-15 30-40s, then back to A1

Yours in health,

Dan Lowry

Director

GTT Performance Centre