Here’s the secret to maximizing your calorie burn in minimal time…Metabolic Conditioning
Metcon” is a popular term used to describe a workout involving repeated and/or sustained high-intensity exercises, usually involving weight lifting movements, with short rest periods in order to burn fat or create a “conditioning” effect.
The short definition of metabolic training is completing structural and compound exercises with little rest in between exercises in an effort to maximize calorie burn and increase metabolic rate during and after the workout. FYI, your metabolism(aka metabolic rate) is how many calories your body burns at rest.
Metcon” is a popular term used to describe a workout involving repeated and/or sustained high-intensity exercises, usually involving weight lifting movements, with short rest periods in order to burn fat or create a “conditioning” effect. Most CrossFit workouts are metcons.
Why are MetCons so popular?
Because these kinds of workout offers two very important things that other workouts don’t: Shorter workouts and more calories burned than you would find with most traditional cardio or strength training workouts.
This is why most of our workouts in the Warrior Goddess Kettlebell Training studio are never more than 30 minutes with different time intervals from 20 second Tabata style training to 1 minute intervals
Today I want to share some specifics if you’re new to this style of training. I’ll cover the basics of Metabolic Conditioning is, the benefits in terms of fat loss, and whether it’s right for you.
Here are just a few of the benefits of metabolic conditioning:
Fat loss/Muscle gain – The most attractive thing about MetCon is the fact that the high levels of intensity help you burn more calories during and after your workout. The exercises, which usually include whole body, compound movements, help you lose fat and gain muscle more quickly and more efficiently than cardio or strength training alone.
More strength, power and endurance – Because you’re targeting all of your energy pathways in one workout, you’re conditioning the body on every level
High level of fitness – If you can work at that high level of intensity, you can probably kick butt in just about every other activity in your daily life.
Variety – People enjoy MetCon workouts because they have so much variety. You’re not slogging on a treadmill for 45 minutes to nowhere. You’re doing a variety of exercises that will keep both your mind and body engaged.
Short and sweet – You have to work very hard, of course, but the payoff is you only have to do it for 10 or 30 minutes
By definition, metabolic conditioning refers to the exercises and methods intended to increase the body’s storage and delivery of energy for physical activity. What distinguishes metabolic conditioning from other forms of training is how energy is created, how it is used and how rapidly it is expended.
In terms of weight loss, metabolic conditioning is superior to low-intensity endurance efforts, also called “steady state cardio.” This is because there are several mechanisms that metabolic conditioning style training triggers, which cause the body to burn more calories in the time after exercise than after steady state efforts.
MetCon exercises aim to cause an adaptive response on a cellular level to increase the efficiency of their energy production and use. Consistently switching movements and varying the work prevents adaptations, which can (over time) decrease the effectiveness of efforts (i.e., a plateau). You begin to teach your body how use different energy systems more efficiently, including the phosphagen system (immediate energy required), glycolysis (intermediate energy required) and the aerobic system (extended energy required).
The answer depends on a few factors: your goals and your current fitness level. The high volume and intensity of the workouts are best suited for people accustomed to taking their bodies and training to the next level. Workouts that are too intense for beginners can lead to injury, burnout, and severe muscle soreness. If you don’t work your way up to the workouts, you may find them so difficult, you’ll quit altogether. So, if your workouts haven’t been particularly challenging, you must gradually build up your endurance and strength before tackling the MetCon challenge. Also keep in mind this Metabolic conditioning is scaleable. If a workout calls for x # of rounds and you’re exhausted at the end of 2 rounds, you still will benefit from the workout. So don’t be afraid to give them a try!