A Complete Approach to Metabolic Strength Training – Part 1

Clients get bored. It is that simple. For our typical fat loss client, they get bored even quicker.


As a coach, trainer and motivator we need to stay on top of our game while building a program that ultimately has a clients’ long-term success at the route of it, while creating enough variety and enjoyment to keep them engaged.

I’ve never been one to take a linear approach with program design. Sure, a linear approach could work, but let’s face it, your clients will eventually become bored.

Even more importantly is controlling a clients training environment when life continues to create speed bumps along the way. To gain a better understanding of how the different forms of periodization lend themselves to everyday life, let’s evaluate each of your prototypical forms.

The Different Forms of Periodization

Linear Periodization = Lowering of Reps & Increasing of Load (Volume & Intensity)

Pros – Great for strength gains with consistent training

Cons – Doesn’t allow for accumulation of gaps in training cycle.

Non-linear Alternating Periodization = Alternating Between Volume and Intensity (Accumulation & Intensification)

Pros – Great approach to increasing intensity of a program while still allowing ample time for the body to accumulate to the training variable.

Cons – Forces a client to train in one training approach for an extended amount of time – ex. Hypertrophy – 4 week cycle, Endurance – 4 week cycle, etc.

Undulating Periodization = Alternating Between Volume and Intensity on a Workout-by-Workout Basis (Weekly as Well)

Pros – Allows for enough of a systematic approach to increase a clients volume and intensity while changing the training variable enough to maintain variety and achieve the desired outcome.

Cons – A client looking for more muscular endurance, hypertrophy etc. might benefit more from a combination of non-linear and undulating (something we will also program in to our Metabolic Programs at TEF)

The way I’ve always seen it, we want our clients to gain strength, something that initially we will see, but as they progress so too do our programs need to progress.

For athletes, implementing an Undulating format will allow for increases in strength, so to for our general population client.

For our general population client, a non-linear approach is designed to work around life’s challenges.

The way I see it and what’s worked best for the program design at TEF is a combination of both undulating and non-linear.

You’ll see the end result as an effective fat loss program.

Clients enjoy variety, but they want to increase strength while changing their body composition. So allowing a client to train for muscular endurance, hypertrophy, strength and power, all in one, will allow for a more complete metabolic training program.

After all, these clients aren’t training to become better athletes, they are training to look better, feel better and move better. For this purpose we can’t overlook one training modality.

I’ve put together some sample outlines on how you can program both undulating and non-linear together to create a complete metabolic training program twpnf1t.

Metabolic Strength Program

Week 1
– Workout A = 5 or 20 sec
– Workout B = 8 or 35 sec
– Workout C = 10 or 45 sec

Programming (Sample)
– Power
– Strength
– Hypertrophy

A Complete Approach to Metabolic Training

• 1-4 reps = 1-20 sec = Strength Development
• 5-8 reps = 20-40 sec = Strength / Hypertrophy
• 8-12 reps = 40-70 sec = Hypertrophy
• 12-15 + reps = 70-120 sec = Muscular Endurance, Stability, Metabolic Training
• Combined = Metabolic Training

Remember, an undulating approach will allow for increases in strength.

A non-linear approach is designed to work for around life’s challenges.

Combined, they equal an effective fat loss program.

Work Hard, Train Hard, Get Better,