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  • Writer's pictureMarc Lalonde

Get in, get out, get fit and get ripped in just 50 minutes a day

The joys of circuit training and ‘metabolic resistance training.’

It’s really great fun to jack up your heart rate, get a sweat going, start to breathe hard and feel your muscles working and getting stronger but that’s the incredible benefit of HIIT training, or, circuit training, or metabolic resistance, as I like to call it.

Setting yourself up a little circuit that has some push presses, a plank, squats, jumping jacks, mountain climbers and other intermingled exercises are great for people who get bored easily.

Battle ropes are a pain to carry around but a lot of fun for metabolic resistance circuits

Why might that be?

Well, some exercisers simply don’t have the patience to stand still and rest the appropriate amount of time in between traditional set theory weightlifting sets and/or spend an hour or more doing cardio work.

Those people are many, and I don’t blame them.

I’m one of them.

Split squats can be a great addition to a metabolic resistance circuit

The only time I can do extended cardio on a standing machine is on my rower at home (where I have a TV with Disney+. Yay, Marvel) or if I’m at a gym that has access to Wi-Fi or Netflix. Otherwise it’s too boring for words. Running or cycling outside are far preferable from my end because the scenery changes. I’m not super thrilled by watching the same back of some person’s head for an hour while I…elliptical.

Yeah, I just used it as a verb. It’s my blog. Sue me.

Back to the topic.

Metabolic resistance is a whole lot more fun, the time goes by a lot faster, and makes you stronger while building your cardiovascular capacity.

Seems ruthlessly efficient, wouldn’t you say?

Actually, ruthlessly efficient is my middle name.

OK, no it’s not. It’s Seamus. My parents were Irish. Partly. I think.

Regardless, you’ll want to set yourself up for success, by constructing your set with exercises that are easy to mildly challenging to complete a single time. Think about doing exercises that are taxing in different ways. For instance, a set of bent over rows uses a different muscle group than squats, than does a 45-second plank set. You can throw in a pure cardiovascular interval such as 60 seconds of jumping jacks, and add some medicine ball slams, some Russian twists or some wood chops, and you’ve got a great front end of five exercise you can do three times.

Start with sets of 10, or 12, then progress over time to sets of 15 and hopefully to sets of 20 or 25, which I find to be the magic number as far as shredding the body and promoting maximum fat burn. Add weight to different exercises carefully and slowly, over a period of months.

You don't need a lot of equipment for a great metabolic resistance circuit. Just be prepared to keep rest periods to a minimum

For instance, I will have video going up later tonight (woo-hoo! Right! Right?) detailing a circuit I can do in my home studio. You’ll see a lower-body exercise, an upper-body exercise, a core exercise, another upper-body exercise followed by a whole-body exercise that uses most of the joints in the body. Rest periods between sets are short-to-non-existent in between exercises. You can take a short 10- to 15-second break in between circuits, but not much longer than that. Sets with many reps take a long time to complete, and you want to get out of the gym at some point, yeah? Efficiency is the name of the game. 50 minutes is enough for a good warm-up, a great metabolic-resistance circuit and an appropriate cool down period. People spend entirely too much time standing around at the gym.


Want to know more, or to ask about your own program? Reach out at, or find me on Facebook @ Marc Lalonde.

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