What is MetCon (1)

What You Need to Know About MetCon

We as a society, with a vested interest in health and well-being, are always searching for the secret to unlocking our best selves.

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As the number of lifestyle-related diseases and illnesses continue to soar in our nation, the fitness and wellness community are trying to stay on top of fixing the issues. In the past and to this day, we have taken an interest in various means of doing this.

An obvious part of this is exercise: the question of what exercises and how to do them usually seems to be the topic of conversation.

One promising vessel to this secret of health that has surfaced in recent years is MetCon-this is short for metabolic conditioning.

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So, you may be asking, “what could be so great and different about this metabolic conditioning thing?”

To answer that, let’s talk a little more in depth about what exactly MetCon is and how it works…

Metabolic conditioning is a way of training (it has gained a lot of popularity in the CrossFit community) in which you can condition or speed up the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) to burn more calories on average.

This way of training has been a secret weapon of trainers and coaches alike for ages, and it isn’t a rare thing anymore! MetCon workouts are becoming increasingly popular due to how efficient they are at whipping people into shape.

MetCon exercise routines are short-but-intense workouts which place greater metabolic demand on the body. The workouts are typically a mix of strength training and cardio training (weightlifting and running for example) so as to integrate use of multiple metabolic systems.


Let’s briefly look at the 3 Metabolic Systems used in a Metabolic Conditioning Workout:

  • Phosphagen – for short bursts of effort, like a max squat
  • Glycolytic – for medium-length efforts, like a 400-800 meter sprint
  • Oxidative – for long-term efforts, like a 10K run.

The use of all of these systems in a workout will raise your heart rate and tend to keep it at a slightly elevated levels for up to 72 hours. This (along with the fact that you are doing simultaneous strength and cardio training in one workout) helps to burn more calories even after the workout ends!

Talk with a coach about setting up your best MetCon workouts for your specific body and goals by setting up an appointment today!

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Metabolic Conditioning workouts are cardio conditioning, strength building, and fat burning, but they are also quick and efficient because you need less rest, you’re stack cardio and strength workouts, and you burn more calories in less time.

They are also great because MetCon workouts don’t require a lot of equipment to get the job done. That makes them the perfectly adjustable to wherever you are, giving them versatility.

Additionally, these sessions are easily customized to your fitness level, whether you are a beginner and an advanced athlete. Because of the lack of time and equipment, progressions and regressions of exercises are easy to adjust for your owning ability.

The best reason of all to do this style of workout, and what keeps people coming back, is the fact that Metabolic Conditioning routines are also pretty fun. People have been known to find MetCon a bit more compelling than regular slow and steady strength and cardio workouts. If you find interest in your program, you are probably going to stick to it which is how you will get the results you’re looking for!

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Right now, MetCon training might sound a little too good to be true, almost like an unrealistic fix-all. So, you may be wondering what’s the catch?

There is one thing to keep in mind with Metabolic Conditioning: too much of a good thing can have consequences. MetCon workouts can be difficult to recover from so if you’re making it your sole training style be careful not to undercut your ability to repair and rebuild. If your goals have anything to do with muscle gain or strength building, MetCon may not be helpful more than 2-3 times a week. Also make sure that you are eating for nutrition and sleeping enough to recover.

That being said, MetCon is still a valuable addition to your routine. It has many benefits as a training style and should absolutely be explored by anyone who is interested, so long as you are staying with in your body’s abilities and with adequate recovery. Check out an example of a MetCon workout style called H.I.I.T. on our blog!

This mini-article was written by Krystin Rennie CPT, Strength and Conditioning Specialist of Adapted Fitness. Learn more or schedule a virtual coffee at AdaptedToYou.com