What is Metabolic Conditioning?

adding weight plates to barbell

Metabolic conditioning is one of the fast becoming trends in the fitness industry. As a matter of fact, you might be doing it without realising that your workout follows its principles. Often regarded as MetCon, Metabolic Conditioning is a hot term today, as coaches and trainers from various disciplines put their clients through the sweat-inducing workout type.

But, what it is exactly?

Metabolic conditioning is a method of training that involves a very high work rate, using exercises designed to burn more calories during your workout and maximise calories burned after your workout. These routines are intended to increase your body’s storage and delivery of energy for any activity. It includes high-intensity circuit-type workouts that often involve challenging the total body, compound exercises and very short recovery intervals.

Although the term may not really ring a bell for you, especially if you are a newbie in the gym, you probably heard of the fitness programs such as P90X, Insanity, and CrossFit. These fitness programs are patterned and follow Metabolic Conditioning principles. They are known for pushing the human body to its limits with fast-paced cardio and strength exercises to build muscle, strength, and endurance.

MetCon is usually applied in health and fitness, specifically in programs that aim to help people lose weight.

Contrary to the common misconception, the term metabolic conditioning is not really a specific workout routine or program that is designed to be followed step by step. It is a type of workout meant to challenge the two major energy systems that contribute to exercise.

Metabolic Conditioning engages the large muscle groups in the body and makes use of structural and compound types of exercises. These require a maximum amount of energy as multiple joints and muscles are involved and utilised in the movement.

At the same time, it incorporates high-intensity training that will make your heart race and catch your breath. This is the reason why people who do MetCon bathe in their own sweat after each session.

Because of this, you will feel the burn. Even though the depth of the muscle stimulation from metabolic training may not be as deep as a bodybuilding program where you hit one muscle the entire workout, it’s still significant.

Benefits of MetCon:

  • Improves your cardiovascular capacity

Although MetCon is not as aerobic as going for a jog or dancing, doing HIIT exercises can increase in V02 max beyond that experienced by exercisers following an aerobic program.

  • Improves your hormonal profile

Several studies have shown that hormones that promote “lipolysis” (the technical term for fat loss) increase as a result of high-intensity strength training

  • Allows maximum calorie burn

While calorie burn studies come to different conclusions as to the total calorie burn off metabolic training, it certainly burns a ton of calories. The calorie burn during a workout is easily around 500 calories for a 30-minute workout, but it also increases the metabolic rate from anywhere between 10% to 25% for up to 48 hours, with some studies showing an increase in metabolic rate for up to even 72 hours.

Can anybody try MetCon?

Though it is practically safe, it would be better if you do MetCon exercises under the guidance and supervision of a trained professional. You can also consult your doctor first to prevent any complication that can happen during the course of the workout.

Whether you try MetCon to be generally healthier or lose weight, it would drastically improve your journey towards better and improved fitness. The sheer volume and intensity of this training will make sure that you get back what your body put effort into. However, MetCon is advised better for with a long history of exercise who can handle taking their bodies and training to the next level. These kinds of workouts that are too intense for beginners can lead to injuryburnoutsevere muscle soreness, and the strong desire to quit altogether if not done correctly or under supervision.

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