What is MRT?

MRT is short for metabolic resistance training, it is a type of training where you incorporate complex lifts with an external load like dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells etc. with calisthenics and traditional conditioning modalities (running, burpees, ski, bike, row etc) in either a circuit fashion or a modality that mimics a similar response For example EMOMs, AMRAPs etc.

You might think ‘ but is that just CrossFit’ and you’d be correct. This type of training was popularised and invented by the Soviets in the early and late 70s and it hit our crosshairs in the 80s through pioneers like Dr Mike Stone and associates in the States. It was invented to reduce pounding the pavement-type running exercises for their Olympic lifting athletes (who aren’t great runners) so they could stay within their competition weight ranges without increasing the risk of overuse injuries or muscle atrophy (muscle wastage) which is synonymous with high loads of running.

They would perform circuits with barbells, dumbbells and the like to increase their heart rate and low and behold metabolic resistance training was born and has become the second most effective way to drop fat and increase fitness. However, the difference is that the athletes performing these types of workouts early on were incredibly strong. I’m talking about people who were squatting 2-3 times their body weight. These guys were not your everyday punters these guys had a massive strength capacity which allows these athletes to do complex lifts in a circuit fashion with a reduced risk of injury.

Enter modern times sporting organisations like the Broncos in the early 2000s used similar training methods for the big forwards to maintain muscle mass, fitness whilst taking a load of the running component of Rugby league. Then in the late 2000s a movement in America took on this type of training and it went crazy, and we all know this now as CrossFit. The reason this went crazy so quickly is because in the US there are roughly 2 million ex-servicemen/women also upwards of 5-10 million ex-collegiate/high school athletes who are all incredibly strong and incredibly competitive and were looking something to replace the exercise intensity they experienced in high school and/or college.

To CrossFit’s credit, they made the product competitive and catered to these very people in the early stages. But as a result, it became popular to average everyday joes and they started to jump in and do incredibly complicated, unscripted and unplanned workouts that their strength capacity and/or gym competency could not handle and this bred a multitude of injuries and illnesses and later an unfortunate stigma for overtraining and poor form.

What I am getting at here? Well even though for all its faults and negative stigma that comes with Crossfit, this type of training is actually the second most effective tool in achieving sustainable fat loss and fitness when it comes to the hierarchy of fat loss. The best Crossfit Boxes aren’t run like they used to and do spend a fair bit of time on technical correction and education, the flaw with their model is that they still do metabolic sessions every day.

Herein lies the difference to our MRT sessions and the usual CrossFit box. Our sessions sometimes are just as hard and complex as CrossFit WODs but we only offer 4 MRT sessions spaced apart throughout the week. We also don’t allow everyone to do it, they do have to get approval from a coach before participating in this type of session. Making sure we don’t reduce the complexity of the class due to the gym age of the participant.

You may say well I can just skip a session at CrossFit and not do the WODs every day, which is a completely correct and fair call, but I do remember once hearing about a culture in CrossFit circles where if you were seen cherry-picking you were ostracized but that is a completely subjective comment.

Now let’s talk about the price structure, if I am paying $50 per week I am going to come to as many classes a week as I can, this forces people to do way too much than their body can handle. However if your membership is priced well, you make sure you do not do 4-5 metabolic sessions a week, take a rest and change the modality and then go back to it later in the week. There is too much of good thing when it comes to this.

At Hammer Athletic, we offer our MRT in the $29 a week membership which means you can pick and choose classes you like, and if you are too tired then put your feet up and rest and come back the next day or choose a different modality of training like our OFF feet or HIIT sessions. But knowing you are not selling an organ to pay for membership makes it easier to periodise your week. Lastly, our MRT sessions are spaced out throughout the week to also help with recovery.

So, if you are looking for a change or to try something that is just as challenging as a CrossFit workout get in contact and try the MRT sessions. They are much of a muchness to Crossfit but hopefully with a bit more forethought in the programming which will allow you to participate with slightly less risk of injury.

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