Metabolism is the process by which the body converts nutrients into the substances it needs to maintain itself. In the fitness world, metabolism is often defined as the speed at which a person burns calories. When a person exercises, their metabolic rate will increase because the body demands more energy. For most involved in exercise plans, however, the main goal is to increase metabolic rate while at rest. With an increased resting metabolic rate, a person will be able to eat more without seeing the consequences.

Metabolic rate varies by age, sex, amount of muscle mass, and one's current physical condition. However, anyone can start increasing their resting metabolic rate by getting involved in anaerobic activity such as weight training. In the course of these strength training activities, an individual will build muscle — a tissue that demands energy from the body, even when resting. A body with more muscle mass will have an increased metabolic rate because it needs to burn more calories to accommodate new muscle tissue.

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