Jillian Michaels swears by this metabolism-boosting workout


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Photo: Getty Images/David Livingston

Plenty of fitness modalities have come together to create fusions of your very favorite workouts. There’s yogalates, Megaformer-slash-treadmill classes, yoga-slash-barre hybrids, and countless others, created in the name of making your sweat sesh all the more interesting. Fun? Yes. Grueling? Not so much. That is, until Jillian Michaels, whose brand-new book The 6 Keys drops tomorrow, told me about metabolic circuit training, which takes the theory of workout combining to the next level.

Essentially, it’s an integration of strength training, circuits, and HIIT, but it’s specifically tailored to rev up your metabolism so that you’re benefitting your entire body in a myriad of ways. “Metabolic circuit training is when you’re combining very high-intensity techniques in order to amp up the results—you’ve got HIIT intervals mixed with weight training, and the idea is really that you’re combining for the most metabolic form of fitness that there is,” says Michaels, who also notes that it’s equally important to do these intervals with very little rest between exercises.

Michaels’ new book is all about unlocking your genetic potential, and so she credits metabolic circuit training with not only optimizing the way we train, but subsequently the way we age, as well. “When it comes to exercise, I’m looking at how you’re going to maximize stress adaptation—and that’s with intensity,” she says. “HIIT intervals are great and resistance training will help, but variety is very important. Variety affects how quickly and efficiently your body is adapting to stress, allowing you to better process, and it’s affecting the epigenome.”

Because of the workouts’ intensity and excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), metabolic circuit training stimulates a much higher calorie burn than more steady workouts. Once you’re done doing the high-intensity circuits, your body’s then in reparative mode. “The more intensely you’re training, the harder your body has to work in order to restore itself and get more oxygen,” says Michaels. As you progress, that recovery time will likely get shorter and shorter. And likely even you’ll find that the way you adapt to stress in your workout can be equivalent to the way you adapt to stress in life.

The good news is that the workouts don’t have to be long—Michaels suggests a minimum of 20 minutes (40 minutes max), four times a week. Want to try MCT for yourself? Keep scrolling for a Michaels-approved regimen, as mentioned in her book.

jillian michaels exercise
Photo: Getty Images/vitapix

Metabolic Circuit Training with Bodyweight Only

Mondays and Thursdays—PUSH muscles (AKA working your chest, shoulders, triceps, quadriceps, and core)
Do each move for 30 seconds before moving to the next. Rest one minute between circuits. Repeat for two rounds.

Push-ups
Squats
Dips
Forward lunges
HIIT—burpees

Tuesdays and Fridays—PULL muscles (AKA working your back, biceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core)
Do each move for 30 seconds before moving to the next. Rest one minute between circuits. Repeat for two rounds.

Pull-ups or assisted pull-ups
Step-ups
Body rows
Alternating side lunges
HIIT—butt kicks

Metabolic Circuit Training with Free Weights

Mondays and Thursdays—PUSH muscles
Do each move for 30 seconds before moving to the next. Rest one minute between circuits. Repeat for 2 rounds.

Squat thrusters (with barbell)
Weighted dead lifts
Chest flies with leg raise
Sumo squats with triceps extensions
HIIT—jumping jacks

Tuesdays and Fridays—PULL muscles
Do each move for 30 seconds before moving to the next. Rest one minute between circuits. Repeat for 2 rounds.

Lat pull-downs
Stiff leg/Romanian dead lifts
Dumbbell rows
Weighted pelvic thrusts
HIIT—jump rope

Also, here’s how to boost your metabolism after you turn 40. And this is why you should use cinnamon for an increase in your metabolism.

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