Metabolic conditioning

Burn more fat in less time

Over the years there have been a number of theories put forward as to which type of exercise is best for the purpose of burning fat and improving body composition. Aerobic dance, long slow duration exercise like walking or jogging, hill sprints, high-intensity intermittent training (HIIT) and Tabata to name a few have all been used with varying degrees of success, with each one having its die-hard advocates swearing it to be the best.

I am not writing this post with the lofty intention of solving the argument, but to examine Metabolic Conditioning (Met Con); the latest weapon of choice in the fat burning wars.

What is Met Con?
Generally, when we think about fat loss activities we tend to think of aerobic type activities which improve the transport of blood to working muscles and over time allows us to train for longer periods which in turn allows us to burn more calories. This is great for those who enjoy long outdoor runs in all types of weather or have the patients and time to put in the hours on the treadmill or elliptical trainer at the gym. But what if your time is limited or you just find cardio boring.

Metabolic conditioning comprises two or three fast-paced high-intensity exercises repeated in rounds and completed in a short period of time. An example would be two strength-building exercises like squats and pull-ups, with an intense cardio exercise like shuttle runs or burpees, shoot for a rep range of 10 to 15, rest for thirty to ninety seconds and then repeat for two to three sets.

Some exercises to include in your metcon workouts:


  • Snatch
  • Hang Clean
  • Hang Clean & Press
  • Push Press
  • Plyo Pushups
  • Squats
  • Jump Squats
  • Jump Lunges
  • Deadlift
  • Burpees
  • Shuttle Runs

Because of the intense nature of this type of exercise, metcon workouts should only be done two or three times a week. Build into it slowly and above all have fun.

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