By Ben Teal, Certified Metabolic Trainer
Creator of the Metabolic Mayhem System
It was a strange day.
It was fall, and the air was a bit chilly outside. I’d been in Ric Flair’s Gold’s Gym (now a ZX Fitness) here in Charlotte for about half an hour or so.
I laid back on the bench and stared at the bar resting quietly above my head.
On each side sat three 45-pound and one 25-pound plate. It would be a personal record. One time. 365.
I closed my eyes and pictured the weight gliding smoothly down to my nipple line and then exploding back up. Easy. I’ve got this.
I opened my eyes, pulled myself up and set my shoulder blades. I tucked my feet back as far as I could under my rear. Breath in and out, in and out, in and out…
My spotter helped me get the weight off the rack. I lowered the weight. Controlled. Not too fast. I inhaled all the way down.
As the weight descended, the world went silent. It was the same focus I had playing football when I saw a running back heading my way.
Everything around me ceased to exist. Me and that bar was all there was.
It touched my chest and I exploded up with everything my body had. And in that brief moment, I was a well-oiled machine. My nervous system telling my muscles exactly when to engage.
The weight went up about three quarters of the way and then slowed. I could feel the heat of the blood rushing to my face.
I remember grunting through clenched teeth, but I don’t remember the sound at all.
The weight inched up. Never stopping. Slowly. It seemed like an eternity.
And then… lockout!
I stood up. Smiling. I bounded around. High fives.
That was my very last bench press personal record.
I looked in the mirror. In just a few weeks, I’d be getting married.
As I put on weight, I’d gotten stronger. More powerful.
And I looked like crap.
I could bench press and squat and dead-lift way more than the average person walking down the street. But I still was embarrassed to take off my shirt in public.
And, in a brief instant, all of the excitement vanished.
I realized that if I continued to battle my weight, the only way anyone would know I was strong is if they happened to be in the gym at the same time I lifted.
I decided to focus on a chest that not only was powerful, but a chest that looked powerful as well.
One that I wasn’t afraid to show off, or at least one that didn’t look like it needed extra ‘support’.
To do that, I need to shed some – okay, a lot of fat.
It took a few years of frustration and a lot of money buying programs from ‘gurus’ that just weren’t meant for someone with the hectic lifestyle I was living in corporate America and a growing family at home.
You see, life was picking up quickly, my career was progressing. And, by this time there was a bouncing baby boy at home. Time was short and getting shorter.
I wanted a fat shedding program that was quick – not only quick in the sense that I shed fat as fast as possible, but one that only took 20 minutes (or less) to do.
I also wanted a program that didn’t require fancy equipment or a gymnastics certification to do.
Finally, I had to have ample room to do powerful chest movements – dumbbell and barbell presses, as well as push-up variations had to be included.
It took some trial and error to be sure.
The program I designed – called Metabolic Mayhem – eventually took me from over 300 pounds all the way down to a low of 201.
Over 100 pounds gone.
Not only that, I’ve been able to use these workouts to get into the best shape of my life. I’ve completed 3 Tough Mudders and two Spartan Events. And I’m training for more.
What makes the program so effective?
The first component is something that all big-benchers understand. Intensity.
But the second is an innovation in the way you cycle through exercises to maximize the metabolic disturbance – mayhem, if you will – from these short, intense workouts.
As you know, when you work on a specific muscle, like your chest, the blood rushes to the area. You get the ‘pump’ (and if you’re Schwarzenegger, you may get something more… but I digress).
However, when you move the work from upper body to lower body, your system has to work harder to shuttle the blood around.
Add a layer of complexity and alternate between exercises that require your body to be vertical and horizontal, and you’re really starting to tax your system.
That’s where you really get true Metabolic Mayhem.
Here’s a sample Metabolic Mayhem Workout – a short, intense 10-minute Shred Circuit we’ll call the Critical Bench Burner.
Dumbbell Bench Press x 10
Dumbbell Goblet Squat x 15
Inverted Row or Bent Over Row x 10
Tuck Jumps x 10
Do As Many Rounds as Possible in 10 Minutes, resting only where necessary.
Metabolic Mayhem is great system for shedding maximum fat in minimum time when used as a standalone workout system, particularly when you start with 10-minute Metabolic Muscle routine prior to the Shred Circuit.
However, you can use it as supplement your normal strength training routines to give your metabolism an extra kick in the pants.
An example? Sure. Say you’ve been doing drop sets at the end of your chest workout. Instead of drop sets, use the workout above.
Modify it slightly so that you’re using the Dumbbell Bench press as you normally would in your drop set – but instead of immediately running the rack, you insert in the rest of the Shred Circuit.
You can use it with the Triple Drop and Rebound sets or even as the isolation component for Isolation/Compound Rebound Sets.
And the best part? There are no long, slow, boring cardio session to do. You can use short Metabolic Mayhem Shred Circuits like this in place of your normal cardio routine!