Functional Strength Training
And Our Unique Metabolic Rates

Components Of Our Unique Metabolic Rates

Here is what makes up our unique metabolic rates. First we have our resting metabolic rate, or RMR. This is the energy needed (quantified in calories) to keep our bodies alive – our heart beating, our lungs breathing, etc. Your RMR makes up about 60 to 80 percent of our total metabolic rate. The variation in RMR is due to individual differences among people, the foods we consume, and the activity we engage in, which can directly change RMR.

Second, we have the Thermic Effect of Activity, or TEA. The more active you are, the more your total metabolic rate will be increased. TEA includes all activity from mowing your lawn (with a push mower, that is), to playing basketball, to walking across the room. It’s not just structured activity, but also the activities that we engage in every day to live our lives.

Third, we have the Thermic Effect of Feeding, or TEF. This is the amount of energy expended to eat and digest food and use those nutrients to create more energy.

So our metabolism is known as total energy expenditure (TEE) = RMR + TEA + TEF. Each component is different for each person, resulting in unique metabolic rates.

Role Of Functional Strength Training

Functional strength training increases our TEE by elevating the amount of calories expended in activity (TEA). The harder you strength train, the greater the amount of calories you burn through exercise. In turn, if your food intake does not highly exceed your needs and consists of quality choices, you will lose weight and body fat.

Interestingly, functional strength training also increases the amount of calories expended in your RMR. The way it does this is by increasing the amount of lean muscle mass you carry, which requires more energy to maintain and repair than fat tissue.

Both functional strength training and endurance exercise will increase your energy expenditure at the time of activity, and for a few hours afterwards, when they are conducted at the same intensity (you all have experienced that increase in hunger after a good workout, whether it be strength or cardio work).

However, functional strength training is unique in that if you perform multiple sets of a challenging weight to failure, scientists have shown that the energy expended afterwards, known as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) can be elevated for 24-36 hours. Some people call this the “Afterburn” effect of serious functional strength training.

Overall, functional strength training can boost your metabolism, but it has to be more challenging than activities you do every day. You can’t expect 3lb dumbbells to make much difference to your metabolic rate if your children (that you carry around) weigh more, or your grocery bags are heavier. Your body needs to remember that functional strength training requires “strength” so you have to load your exercises accordingly. Otherwise your body won’t get the challenge it needs to build muscle, lose fat, and look better in your clothes – and that’s what we’re all looking for, right?

Functional Strength Training Workouts
That Will Influence Our Unique Metabolic Rates