How to Destroy Fat with Work Out Finishers

How to Destroy Fat with Work Out Finishers

“Metabolic” seems to be a word thrown around a lot these days but what does that mean exactly? Simply put, a metabolic finisher or work out finisher is an intense exercise or series of exercises performed at the end of your workout that is meant to burn any gas you have left in the tank. This in turn increases the number of calories burned during the workout, but the major increase in calorie expenditure and fat loss happens after the workout.

In a study conducted by Tremblay, Angelo et al on exercise intensity and how it impacts body composition, two groups were taken through either a 20 week endurance training program or a 15 week high intensity interval training (HIIT) program.

The average estimated energy cost from the endurance training group during exercise was more than twice that of the HIIT group. However, when skinfold measurements were performed to measure subcutaneous adipose tissue (fat) the results spoke differently with the high intensity exercise group having decreased their measurements 9 times more than the endurance group.

This was made possible by the increase in glycolytic enzymes in the lean muscle which is an indicator for beta-oxidation in the high intensity group whereas a decrease was noted in the endurance group.

Simply put, this means that the endurance trained group burned less body fat for energy while at rest than the group performing high intensity exercise.


4 Work out finishers to add at the end of your workout or can be done on their own if you are strapped for time.


1) Tabata

The original Tabata protocol was done on mechanically braked bikes with Olympic speed skaters and entails a 20 second burst followed by a 10 second “break” repeated 8 times. This took a whopping 4 minutes to do but the athletes reported a staggering 170% V02 max.

The calorie burn from this short bout was equivalent to that of a 60 minute jog and was done 4x/week and was shown to improve aerobic and anaerobic capacity more so than moderately intense exercise.


[Tweet “The original Tabata protocol entails a 20 second burst followed by a 10 second “break” “] If you are to incorporate this short but brutal finisher into your workouts you can use a stationary bike like in the original protocol but you can also be creative with this as well.

You can use a single exercise or a series of exercises as long as they are simple
and you can perform a high number of repetitions in a short amount of time.

For Example:

Mountain Climbers
Split Jumps
High knees in place

You would perform the 4 exercises in that order twice for 8 total sets of work. Perform 1-3 sets of this and have a cot ready because you are going to need to lie down for a while.


2) 300 Yard Shuttle Run

  • The shuttle run is a simple but extremely effective finisher. Simply set up two cones 25 yards apart and sprint as fast as you can back and forth until you have completed 6 laps.
  • Rest 3-5 minutes
  • Repeat for a total of 1-3 bouts depending on how much “fun” you feel like having.

3) Kettle Bell Carry Complex

This one requires a little more skill but is challenging nonetheless. Set up two cones about 20-25 yards apart. Clean two kettlebells into the racked position and walk to the cone.

  • Here you will perform 5 presses, 5 squats, and 5 kettlebell swings. Walk back to where you started with your bells still in the racked position and do 4 reps of the three exercises. Repeat while dropping 1 rep after every carry until you get to 1 rep of each.
  • Rest 3-5 minutes
  • Repeat for a total of 2-3 rounds.



4) The Mud Peddle

Even more simple than the shuttle run and tabata protocol is the mud peddle. I call it this because you will feel like you are riding a bike through mud… Up a mountain… Into a gale force wind… With a large infant strapped to your back. The good news is it only takes 3 minutes so here is what you do.

  • Set up on a stationary/recumbent bike and start peddling at a very high resistance. The goal being to find a resistance where you are only able to get 45-60 RPM’s. If you are consistently above 60 rpms then bump the resistance up. If you are below 45 then lower it.
  • Now go for 3 minutes without stopping. You can increase the challenge by simply increasing the duration.



The Take Away

These are just a handful of potentially nausea inducing, gut busting finishers to add to your workouts that will not only challenge you physically but your mental fortitude as well. With the extensive amount of equipment and implements out there your possibilities for creating varied and effective finishers are endless.

Here are Two more articles you can check out for more work outs to help with fat loss:

If you would like to learn more, have questions, or would like to experience some of these first hand please feel free to contact me at Until next time.



About the Author

Stephen Brandis

Stephen Brandis CSCS, FMS, CES

Stephen has been in the fitness industry since 2012. He entered the field with a base knowledge of strength and conditioning and simply wanting to help people get into better shape. Now his passion is to help individuals move better, feel better, and exude confidence, and tenacity not just in the gym but in every aspect of life. In his spare time he can be seen roaming around Wilmington on his road bike exploring new areas and businesses, trying new brews from the local breweries, or being more inconspicuous, spending time at home working on various projects.





1. Impact of exercise intensity on body fatness and skeletal muscle metabolism
Tremblay, Angelo et al.
Metabolism – Clinical and Experimental , Volume 43 , Issue 7 , 814 – 818



By | 2016-10-18T09:14:29+00:00 January 6th, 2016|Training|Comments Off on How to Destroy Fat with Work Out Finishers