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How to Use Workout Finishers 
for Better Results

​Guess what? 

Working out should be hard.

Yes. I know. This isn't exactly news. In fact, my entire previous post was ALL about working out hard...but it's worth reiterating.

So allow me to repeat something that you can often overhear me saying to my clients...

"It’s called 'working out' for a reason. It’s work. We're not here to 'hang out.' It's supposed to be hard. The hard is what makes it effective. The hard is what makes it great."

My job is predicated almost completely on trying to get the most out of each and everyone of my clients. I'm NOT there to count their reps. I'm there to:
  • design the best programs to get the results (safe and fast)
  • enforce proper form on each exercise
  • keep them accountable, andmotivate and push them harder than they would push themselves. 

As much as this sounds like it's all blood, sweat, and tears, I also think that working out SHOULD BE FUN.

The programs I design for myself and my clients are always hard (and always rooted in science...every exercise...every set....every rep). But "hard" is a relative term. What is hard for one of my clients may not be for another. And what is hard for me may kill one of my clients. BUT... 

One thing that I like to include in all of my Body Transformation Programs that are both intense and fun are Metabolic Finishers.

What are Metabolic Finishers?

Simply put, a “Finisher” is an exercise or series of exercises performed at the end of your workout done specifically with the intention of 
  • adding some extra volume/work density, 
  • increasing intensity,
  • burning more calories (DURING and AFTER the workout)
  • and, yes, having some fun. 

Believe me when I say that these last 5-10 minutes can be the difference between a workout that’s just okay and one that’s excellent!

Most of my metabolic finishers are set up as planned circuits, but they can be almost anything. The only rules I have for a true metabolic finisher is they should be:
  • fast-paced
  • brief (no more than 10 min)
  • Intense/exhausting/taxing
  • in line with your current goal
  • ​something you enjoy doing...this one is optional ;)

The idea behind these finishers is to create more EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption), boost the metabolism, burn some more calories, and make the workout more effective overall.

Here are a couple of samples of common finishers that I use with my clients...

A1) Pushups
A2) Jump Squats
A3) Mountain Climbers


A1) Kettlebell Swings
A2) Burpees
A3) Medicine Ball Slams

As you can see, these circuits are made up of exercises that get the heart rate jacked! It's the ultimate in combined muscular and cardiovascular training. Other exercises I like to utilize are Prowler/Sled Pushes, Jumping Rope, Sprints, Jumping Lunges, Plyo Pushups, Battle Ropes, Sledgehammer Swings, the Rower, Stationary Bike Sprints, and multiple core type of movements...just to name a few.

Whether I do just one exercise or a circuit of exercises, they are both incorporated one of two ways: either for a set amount of reps per exercise or for a set amount of time. I will start someone with 1:2 to 1:4 work-to-rest ration, depending on their current condition, and work their way down to a 1:1 or less work-to-rest-ratio. Ultimately we want as little down time as possible between each burst.

The Finish (aka - Conclusion)

So if you are looking for a little extra from your workouts, you may want to try adding some finishers. Depending on your current fitness condition, you may not be able to handle the exercises listed, but there is usually a way to include them. It just takes a little knowledge of exercise and the body. If confused, now may be the time to contact a qualified, experienced personal trainer to help you.

You'll definitely feel the intensity. And if you are anything like me, you'll feel the fun.

Contact me for a FREE Consultation

If you are in the Nashville area and aren’t yet one of my clients, then take this opportunity to do something wonderful for yourself. Contact me today to get started on the most effective fitness program that you’ll ever find. (Limited to time slot availability).

And be sure to check out all my training and diet tips on the Cutting Edge Facebook Page. You will get motivated. You will get educated. And I just may make you laugh here and there :) So go "LIKE" my page, because you won't want to miss anything! You'll find that you learn a lot. I post daily!
James Cipriani
Cutting Edge Personal Training
Personal Trainer
Nashville, TN Area
Nashville's Premier Choice For Personal Training Services
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