Metabolism is a frequent conversation topic in the health and fitness community. Although the understanding of metabolism is often simplified in terms of its relation to weight, there is much more at play when it comes to the body’s energy use. Metabolism comprises all the physical and biochemical processes that take place in the body. This includes the conversion of food into energy, the growth and breakdown of bones and muscles, and the formation of enzymes and hormones. Let’s take a look at the basic principles of metabolic training.
What is metabolism?
Metabolism can be divided into catabolism (breakdown processes) and anabolism (buildup processes). The anabolic process uses energy while the catabolic process gains energy. The body’s metabolism is continuously in a state of change. The acquisition of lean muscles during strength training, for example, spends energy while the breakdown of muscle glycogen into glucose gains energy which can be allocated to other bodily processes.
Resting metabolic rate is unique to each person and is influenced by the proportion of metabolically active tissue in the body. The sum of all metabolic processes consists of the energy metabolism at rest after eating, along with physical stressors. On average, women have a 10-15% lower metabolic rate than men due to the difference in muscle proportion, even though fat proportions are similar. Taller people are also more likely to experience a higher metabolic rate than shorter people since the body’s surface area is larger in relation to body weight, therefore generating more heat and speeding up metabolism.
Metabolism, digestion and weight
The Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) refers to the increase in metabolic processes due to the digestion and absorption of nutrients for about four hours after eating a meal. The metabolic rate is influenced by the number of calories consumed as well as the composition of the nutrients. A diet that combines protein and fats typically demonstrates a metabolic increase of 8-10% since protein has a high dynamic metabolic effect while fats have a low metabolic effect.
Muscle mass and fat distribution play a considerable role in metabolic processes since muscle tissue has a significantly higher metabolic rate than fatty tissue. The metabolic energy balance relates to muscle and fat proportions with a negative calorie balance being associated with a decrease in weight. This concept, however, is often misunderstood and exploited, which can lead to unhealthy eating and exercise habits. It is important to note that weight is not a direct indication of health nor an accurate representation of the balance between fat and muscle mass in the body.
Muscle preservation is a deciding factor in weight loss. More muscle mass supports weight maintenance since it enables an increased number of calories to be burned. By releasing signals and semiochemicals from the muscular system, blood glucose is more effectively channelled into the bloodstream in order to regulate energy metabolism. Since muscles are heavier than fatty tissue, an increase in muscle mass may not reflect significant weight loss although it will result in a higher metabolic base rate. This is a long-term benefit that will aid in delivering sustainable health and fitness goals.
Endurance levels are demonstrable in the muscles’ resistance to fatigue. The energy needed by the muscles is generated in the mitochondria — aptly known as the powerhouse of the cell. During strenuous training, however, the body requires more energy than can be prepared by the mitochondria. The body responds to this need by increasing the number of mitochondria to maximise metabolic capacity. Low-frequency EMS training has proven to be particularly successful in this regard, leading to an increase in mitochondria of up to seven times.
EMS training enhances endurance, effectively delivering on the objective of endurance training: to increase metabolic capacity by multiplying the density of mitochondria. EMS encourages a breakdown of fat through regular and intensive training along with a buildup of muscle mass to positively affect metabolic rate. The circulation and removal of metabolic products are further supported through the compression effect of the specialised belt and vest worn during an EMS session.
The effects of EMS on endurance and muscle toning
EMS training participants report impressive endurance and figure-shaping effects that prove to be a significant improvement of the results achieved in conventional training. EMS enhances overall improved performance and strength while supporting client-specific body weight and fitness goals. This exercise programme can reduce body fat by up to 4% within six weeks of training while slimming the waistline and growing muscle mass. Further to these results, EMS can improve endurance performance by more than 70% while enhancing general performance by more than 80%.
EMS is an innovative training development that is suitable for people of all ages and endurance levels. In addition to the fitness and strength benefits, EMS can also be used to rehabilitate injuries, manage pain and encourage the muscle recovery process after training. With as little as 20-30 minutes of EMS training required per week to start seeing results, this is the ideal solution for busy people and professional athletes who want to improve their endurance and increase their metabolic rate without spending hours at the gym.
Volt Fitness is a luxury EMS studio in Melbourne that offers short, intensive training sessions with maximum efficiency and sustainable results in a feel-good atmosphere. 20 minutes at Volt Fitness are as good as 4 hours of sweating it out at a traditional gym.
Ready to start working on your fitness goals? Take a look at our training options or chat with us on (03) 8393 5131.