HIIT Workout Plans For Beginners – How To Make Your Workouts More Metabolic

It was set number two and I remember watching the clock impatiently, waiting for my trainer to give me the go ahead to start my chin ups with eccentric lowering followed by Goblet Squats with a five second lowering.

As I wrestled eighty pound dumbbell up to my chest and began my squats, I realized I had never experienced such a high combination of physical and mental pain in my life. The rest of the workout was a blur, and I’ll I remember is lying on my back for the next 30 minutes, rubbing my feet together because that was the only thing that made me feel better. That was the hardest workout of my life, and the beginning of my love/hate relationship with metabolic resistance training (MRT).

I LOVED the euphoria immediately after the sessions, the feeling of accomplishment, the short duration of the sessions, how I could see my six pack again and my cardio during basketball sky rocketed after a month of MRT.

I HATED how hard it was, the feeling of wanting to quit for 45 minutes straight, failing on the exercise mid-set because I was so tired, and just the overall extreme discomfort that I had never felt in my life.

Backtracking a bit here, metabolic resistance training is a form of resistance training using the concepts of metabolic stress, time under tension (TUT), and muscle damage to rev up your metabolism, because after all there are only two things that change your metabolism: genetics and exercise. For me, the benefits far outweighed the costs, and made me into a MRT belieber- er, I mean believer.

Unfortunately, I’m not a beginner, but here are 5 program design tips to create HIIT workout plans for beginners.

  1. Only use compound exercises and full ranges of motion.

Compound exercises (exercises where more than one joint is used) such as squats, deadlifts, push ups, chin ups, split squats, Turkish get ups, glute bridges, and any variation of the above can be used. The more muscle we are able to activate, the higher the metabolic payoff.

  1. Use “1.5 reps” and “elevator reps.”

1.5 reps are a full range of motion rep followed by a half rep. Elevator reps are a full range of motion lowering of the rep, followed by a 1/3 rep, then 2/3 rep, then a full rep ascend. This uses the TUT concept.

  1. Tempo your reps.

Use variations of 1, 2, 3, 4, or even 5 second eccentric (lowering) or concentric movements. Load these up as heavy as you can go for more of a payoff. You can have a slow eccentric followed by a faster concentric, or vice versa, or equal tempos on both sides. Be creative and see what your body responds to best.

  1. Superset full body core movements with compound movements.

There are two reasons this is important: 1) if you want the abs to hypertrophy, you need to work them, and 2) using only compound movements will tax your central nervous system way too hard making it almost impossible for you to recover for another day of hard training.

Try this: superset mountain climbers after a set of squats with a 3 second eccentric (lowering).

  1. Incomplete rest periods.

This is key for making your workouts more metabolic. An incomplete rest period is one in which you do not allow your body full recovery between sets. I typically use 2-4 exercises paired back to back with no rest, followed by a 45-60 second rest period afterwards.


If your goals are to lose body fat super fast, increase your endurance, or just challenge yourself, metabolic resistance training is right for you. There are a lot of other programming considerations to take into play, so if you have any questions you can email me directly. MRT has been a staple of my client’s weight loss programs after they build a foundation of proper technique, flexibility, and stability.

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