Metabolic conditioning

Written by: Oliver on 3rd Jul 2011
Metabolic conditioning

Like most of you, I also get bored of my training programmes after a while and so to shake it up this time around I'm trying something completely foreign to me, Metabolic Conditioning (aka metcon or met-con).

What is Metabolic conditioning?

In a nutshell, metabolic conditioning is a type of training that groups exercises together one directly after another, creating a very intense workout. Its not too dissimilar to circuit training in that respect, but requires a greater level of fitness as this uses cardio exercises as well as weight training, this type of training is certainly not for those new to exercise.

The purpose of metcon is to condition the muscles to better use the energy passed to them. There are three pathways that provide the energy for all human action:
  • The phosphagen - fuels the highest-powered activities, those that last up to ten seconds
  • Tthe glycolytic - dominates moderate-powered activities, those lasting up to several minutes
  • The oxidative, dominates low-powered activities, those that last in excess of several minutes

I've been following the 'Push+Pull+Legs' method.  Here is a rough sample of what I've been doing, although I have changed it around a couple of times, depending on available equipment.

The following exercises performed back to back without a rest period

  • Push = 20 x Decline push ups (legs raised about a metre off the floor)
  • Pull = 10 x Wide grip pull ups
  • Legs = 15 x Squats with a barbell
  • Full body = 20 x Full body extension with a 20kg plate in my hands

Then rest for 60 seconds and repeat the above. This I would do for 15 or 20 minutes depending on how much sleep my baby daughter has allowed me that night!

End result = absolutely shattered!!!

Ive only recently started this so will keep you updated, but the first few sessions have been shattering and I consider myself to be pretty fit.
Watch this space....


"The purpose of metcon is to

"The purpose of metcon is to condition the muscles to better use the energy passed to them." Sounds good, but I'm tired just thinking about it! That would definitely use ALL my energy!

Oh no, not for me! That

Oh no, not for me! That sounds way out of my league, at least for the moment, but who knows where I will be in a few months if I keep up my current exercise regime?

Wow, that sounds crazy hard.

Wow, that sounds crazy hard. I might give it a whirl though as I am looking to change up my circuit training routine.