“How are we all doing today,” John Graham shouts out on a humid Saturday morning.
“Awesome,” shouts back a group of almost 40 people who have assembled on this early morning to undergo a 60-minute metabolic conditioning class which Graham, the Senior Network Administrator for St. Luke’s Fitness and Sports Performance, has designed specifically to burn fat and increase lean muscle mass.
Graham’s metabolic conditioning delivers results and his methodology is now available to everyone following the Oct. 31 release of his new book, “Metabolic Training,” written with co-author Michael Barnes. The book was published by Human Kinetics, a major publisher of health and fitness activity books, and is available for order on Amazon.
Commonly known as met con or metabolic conditioning, this form of training is often mistaken for any combination of high-intensity exercises. The truth is that grouping exercises together without structure or purpose does not define a training style.
Featuring 60 pre-designed workouts with more than 100 exercises, the book is designed for everyone from beginners looking to improve their fitness levels to experienced athletes hoping to achieve that next level, as well as fitness professionals.
“We didn’t want this to be just a textbook for colleges and universities like so many fitness books are,” Graham said. ‘We wanted to design this for the mainstream fitness participants and give them a progression to follow, so that they can progress to the next levels and ultimately the most advanced levels if they wish.”
The essentials of “Metabolic Training” include:
- 13 warm-up exercises
- 18 total-body exercises
- 18 lower-body exercises
- 30 upper-body exercises
- 14 core exercises
- 10 functional training exercises
These exercises use body weight and a range of equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells, battle ropes, sandbags, weighted sleds, exercise bands, suspension trainers and medicine balls.
Graham possesses decades of experience in designing exercise programs. In “Metabolic Training,” he explains the concepts behind the training, and showcases tested and proven exercises that produce results. Graham leads five weekly metabolic conditioning classes at St. Luke’s Fitness & Performance at St. Luke’s West End location in Allentown.
“I started taking metabolic conditioning because I wanted to be in better shape,” said Donna Sabol, a regular at the Saturday classes. “They’re tremendously fun. It’s a whole-body workout. It’s challenging, but it’s taken my energy and fitness to a whole new level.”
“Metabolic Training” addresses the body’s different energy systems by taxing the cardiovascular system, the muscular strength and endurance systems in order to burn fat, increase lean muscle mass, strength, power and athletic performance.
“We avoided utilizing machines and traditional barbell-type exercises in order to reduce the time to complete sets and move from one exercise to the next,” Graham explained. “We wanted to set up workouts where people in the same group could work out together, regardless of their fitness level, and still get a high-quality workout. We set up multiple weights at each station to accommodate the strength and fitness levels of each participant.”
“The goal is to spend a lot more time exercising and less time recovering,” he said. “Ultimately we want to take people from 30 seconds of exercise and 30 seconds of recovery to 40 seconds of exercise and 20 seconds recovery, to 50 and 10. If you’re newer to a class, you may actually take a break before the session ends for a particular exercise set.”
This is Graham’s first full book. He has contributed chapters in other fitness books on subjects ranging from fitness to sports performance to chronic conditions and disorders.
“I always wanted to write a book from beginning to end,” Graham said. “This project gave me that opportunity. I think the most important part is that I got to put in something creative and new that I think people will be excited to read about. It may be a previously thought of concept, but it’s how you modify it that makes the big difference.”
Publisher Human Kinetics calls the book “the definitive resource on metabolic training.”
What the Experts are Saying
Alwyn Cosgrove, Owner Results Fitness:
“John Graham and Mike Barnes have unveiled their newest work ‘Metabolic Training’–a powerhouse coalescence of their decades-long expertise. This book, born from the trenches of hands-on experience, is the ultimate key to unlocking unparalleled metabolic training efficiency and tangible results for you and your clients. With over 100 meticulously crafted exercises and a treasure trove of 60 thoughtfully curetted workouts, this comprehensive guide hones in on your specific fitness aspirations. As you dive deep into the principles and techniques presented in ‘Metabolic Training,’ not only will you be equipped with ready-to-implement workouts for your clients, but you’ll also grasp the underlying science and art of metabolic training like never before. Get ready to revolutionize your metabolic training approach.”
Avery Faigenbaum, EdD, FNSCA, FACSM, Professor of Exercise Science, The College of New Jersey:
“A no-nonsense guide to metabolic training. From physiological adaptations to program design considerations, this book does it all. A must-read for coaches and fitness professionals.”
Chris Poirier, General Manager, Perform Better:
“John and Mike’s new book is a testament to their unwavering dedication as coaches and educators. ‘Metabolic Training’ propels your fitness to new heights, delivering measurable results that defy expectations. With over 100 exercises and 60 targeted workouts, ranging from endurance and fat loss to building lean muscle, power, strength and enhancing athletic performance. ‘Metabolic Training’ prepares you to get the most out of your training.”
Note: This local health news is brought to you in partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network.