Looking to rev up your performance results? End your next workout with an all-out metabolic finisher. Not for the faint of heart, completing your workout with a final push will tax your physiology on every level. You’ll maximize caloric burn, challenge your cardiorespiratory system, and build endurance.
A finisher is comprised of intense, rapid bursts of movements that alternate with short periods of rest. They are made up of movements that are compound, or those that lend themselves to being performed for speed. While these are usually added to the end of your session (hence the name “finisher”), they could easily stand alone as a brief but intense workout.
The benefits are long-lasting and can support your training goals. This type of high-intensity training increases your overall caloric burn through a physiological effect known as post-exercise-oxygen-consumption (EPOC). This refers to the amount of oxygen required to restore your body to its normal resting state after a workout, which keeps your body burning calories even after you’ve stopped exercising. It also improves anaerobic conditioning, forcing your body to use stored ATP energy. This will need to be replenished after the workout, thereby enhancing the EPOC effect. EPOC is influenced by the intensity, not the duration, of your workout, which is where finishers can fit in.
Finishers are also great for busy schedules as you typically only need 10 minutes or less to perform most protocols. If you’re a Trainer or Coach, you can assign these to your high-performance, short-on-time clients as homework, or add them to the end of your training sessions. I personally love to end my Animal Flow classes with 10-minute finishers – it always hypes up the students and gives them a real sense of accomplishment once the class is over.
Finishers can take many forms, and you can tailor the specifics to your own needs. Here are three example sequences you can try at home, including EMOMs, the Descending Ladder of Time, and Tabata.
EMOM is a form of interval training and works perfectly as a metabolic finisher. The goal is to complete a selected number of repetitions of a particular movement in one minute, and then do it again for each minute thereafter in the workout.
Ascending or descending ladder sequences are a clever way to build volume and skill. In this example we chose a descending ladder workout. Repetitions will descend with each set, while the load is maintained. In this case we are performing a Flow, so instead of counting repetitions, we opted for a descending time interval.
A popular interval training option, Tabata, named after interval training researcher Dr. Izumi Tabata, is a form of HIIT (high-intensity interval training). A round of Tabata lasts only four minutes. It consists of eight rounds of 20-second all-out, high-intensity intervals followed by 10 seconds of rest.
Before you get started, keep in mind:
There you have it: three ways to top off your next workout and finish strong.
Give it a go. You got this!