What is MET training?

Posted on January 24, 2012. Filed under: Exercise | Tags: , , , |

Even now, sometimes I forget certain terminologies that are common lingo to me are new to many.


During my presentation on fat loss, I mention various forms of training including MET.  Someone asked for further detail, so I thought I’d explain here.


MET stands for Metabolic Enhancement Training.  Honestly I’m shocked no infomercial hasn’t come out claiming it as some cutting edge method of fat loss.


I don’t know who originally coined the term.  I’ve heard it used by various coaches.  I first heard of it reading the work of coach Scott Abel.  Who I highly recommend to those who really want to expand their knowledge of fitness and coaching.  Some claim him as the creator of MET.  I will say he introduced the term as there are approaches to exercise that could be considered MET,   but just weren’t called that.  Besides, why worry about the originator of the idea.  It’s not like you can patent a workout.  Just ask Billy Blanks  :).

But to the topic at hand.


Essentially the idea of MET  is to program workouts with various strength and/or conditioning exercises which increase your ability to both burn calories and use the fuel those calories give you more effectively.


Usually used to refer to some sort of circuit format;  within the course of a MET routine you will find  functional movements, core movements, band exercises, body weight exercises, nothing is off limits.  Ideas can come from as Coach Abel puts it “from the schoolyard play of children to advanced bio-mechanics.”


Please note, he was advocating this way before any one ever heard of CrossFit.  Just saying.  😉


An example of a MET workout would be something like this.  Please note I am not going to put any number of sets reps or weight, because the last thing I want is someone trying to do this exact routine out of context.  Let us just say each mini circuit is done in anywhere from 3-5 rounds with any where from 8-20 reps depending on the exercise:

  • A1 – Squats
  • A2 – Push-ups
  • A3 – TRX Rows


  • B1 – Squat variation
  • B2 –  T-Push-Ups
  • B3 – Bent Over Row


  • C1 – Goblet Squats
  • C2 – Step Ups
  • C3 – CrossOver Push-Ups
  • C4 – Single Arm Cable Row


As you can imagine a workout like this will not only work the muscles, but also elevate the heart rate.  Burn calories, you betcha!


How one applies the MEt approach varies on the client and the coach.  However as with most things you will notice similar principles being followed in the course of these style of workouts.  through the course of the program:

  1. All movement patterns should be covered.  Please note I said movements and not muscles.  The idea of muscle isolation in a workout is a myth.
  2. No single joint exercises.  This one isn’t etched in stone but +90% time it should be followed the other 10% should be based on the feedback of the client and expertise of the coach.
  3. Train with speed.  I can’t tell you how such a simple idea has changed my own coaching format.  Focus on the acceleration of your reps as you lift.  Even when they are not moving, as fast as you like.  There is a lot of science behind this.  which I’ll explain in greater detail at another time.


There is quite a bit more to MET training, and again I encourage you to read Scott’s work, as well as JC Santana’s for more in depth information on the topic.


I can say adapting the principles of MET can greatly boost the effectiveness of the workout.   Funny thing is, once you understand it, a lot of people realize this was information they already know to be true.  We just let the haze of media static distract us from what our ancestors applied naturally.


Of course in their day it wasn’t called exercise, it was called living

And this was just during the day, at night they had manual labor jobs.



Keep Fitness Groovy

Coach W


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2 Responses to “What is MET training?”

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I have heard of crossover step-ups, but what is a crossover push-up?

Not exactly how I would do them. But it gives you the idea: http://www.weighttraining.com/exercises/crossover-push-up

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