There are few better modes of exercise to blast calories and burn more fat than metabolic conditioning (metcon) training. This form of exercise, popularised in CrossFit boxes around the world, consists of high intensity, short duration work that targets multiple muscle groups and energy systems in a single session.

The benefits of metcon training are derived from its ability to create a metabolic ‘disturbance’, both during and after your session, as your body works to recover, restore and repair your energy reserves and muscle tissue after these intense workouts.

Commonly referred to as the ‘after-burn effect’, this post-exercise rise in metabolic rate can last for up to 72 hours after a session, and is capable of burning hundreds of extra calories during this period, even when you’re at rest.

And that’s not all! Metcon training is also one of the most effective ways to increase your fitness levels, and the types of exercises normally incorporated are functional movements, which have a beneficial spin-off in other areas of daily life.

With so much to gain there is little wonder why more people are including two or three metcon sessions in their programme each week. It’s guaranteed to give you a hardcore calorie-blasting workout that gets the sweat pouring and heart pumping, all in minimal time.

Types of metcon workouts:

Complexes – Two or more exercises using the same implement (barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell etc.) and load, performed back to back, without resting between exercises.

Tabatas – Work at maximum intensity for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and repeat until you have completed eight rounds.

Circuits – Set up a variety of stations, each with a different exercise. Perform each exercise for a specific number of reps or amount of time, with minimal rest between stations. Take a short rest once a complete circuit is complete, then repeat 3-4 times.

Ladders  select 2-3 of the exercises mentioned in this article to perform a metcon ladder – start with 10 reps for the first set of each exercise (performed back to back), then work your way down all the way to one rep in the last set.

Bar complex metcon

Squats

Drive up through your heels as you extend your knees and hips from the deep squat position.

Battling Ropes

For an additional option perform double arm rope slams instead of alternating waves.

    

Deadlifts

Throughout the lift, keep your hips low, shoulders high, and your arms and back straight. Your knees should point in the same direction as your feet throughout the movement.

Battling Ropes

Barbell Thrusters

Push your hips back and lower your body down, while pushing your knees outwards. As you extend your hips and knees press the barbell overhead. Finish in a standing overhead press position.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Battling Ropes

Barbell rows

Flex your hips to tilt your torso forward at a 45-60 degree angle. Pull the bar from the fully extended hanging position to your upper waist/lower chest.

    

Spider planks

In the plank position raise one knee out towards your elbow. Alternate legs with each rep.

Dumbbell complex metcon

Squat with curl

As you drop your hips towards the floor curl the dumbbells up. Do not fall forward as you do this, and keep your head up.

 

Walking lunges with overhead press

Ensure that your leading knee does not extend over your toes. Press the dumbbells overhead as you lunge forward.

     

Renegade row

Do not let your hips drop during the row movement. For an added boost perform a push-up between every dumbbell row.

Skipping

Add some variety and boost the intensity with single leg skips, alternating leg skips and double-unders.

Reverse lunge with dumbbell side raises

Raise the dumbbells out to the side as you descend into the lunge. Step back as far as possible.

Dumbbell snatch

Stand with a dumbbell in one hand. Dip down, dropping the dumbbell between your legs. Pull the dumbbell up and overhead by extending your hips and knees forcefully. ‘Catch’ the dumbbell at arm’s length overhead in a semi-squat position.

 

 

 

 

 

    

Mountain climbers

In a push-up position bring one knee up to your chest, then plant your foot back down. Alternate legs with each rep.

Burpees

Transition from a deep squat, into the push-up position, back into a deep squat, before exploding upward into a jump squat. Ensure that your knees and feet are tucked under your chest before exploding upward.

    

Calorie busting metcon circuit

Kettlebell swings

Use the power generated from your glutes, hamstrings and core to ‘pop’ your hips and initiate the kettlebell swing movement.

        

Sled push/pull

Load the sled (prowler) with a moderate-to-heavy weight that still allows you to run fast as this creates the largest metabolic disturbance.

Jump Lunges

Switch your legs in the air to alternate the leading leg on which you land. Ensure your knee does not extend over the toes of your leading leg.

    

Battling ropes

Each wave should travel the length of the rope. If it doesn’t end the set, recover slightly and repeat.

Jump squats

Explode up as you reach the fully extended position of a bodyweight squat. Reach up with your arms to go as high as possible with each rep.

    

Shuttle runs

Set up two cones 10-25m apart, depending on your fitness levels. Sprint between them as fast as you can.

Pull ups

Pull your chest up to the bar from a dead hang. Do not kip to pull yourself up.

Clap push-up

Explosively push yourself off the ground so that your hands leave the ground. Clap them before planting them back on the ground to ‘catch’ yourself. Progress to this move by perfecting the standard push-up, then start with kneeling clap push-ups.

    

Enjoy the workout and let me know how you do!