Is MetCon for you?

As MetCon continues to gain popularity in the fitness industry, there are more and more highly advertised programs popping up on infomercials and in fitness magazines. However, the term itself actually refers to a type of workout designed to maximize the benefits of strength training and cardio workouts and not to any specific branded program.

The key to MetCon’s growing popularity is its promise to deliver fast results in less time than traditional workouts – something that resonates with almost every adult who is looking to get in shape.

What’s it all about?

MetCon is short for metabolic conditioning, which is a method of training that employs continuous repetition of high-intensity exercises with very short rests periods. Not only does this type of workout boost the amount of calories burned during each session it also boosts the amount of calories burned post workout. It’s the post-workout burn that speeds up the time it takes to start seeing results.

While there has been a recent increase in paid advertisements for high-intensity workouts that promise life-changing results, you don’t need to purchase a high-dollar, branded program to get in on the benefits of this fast-paced intense workout routine. The best results can be achieved by choosing simple exercises requiring multi-joint movements, as these allow you to work more than one muscle group at a time.

Who’s it really for?

Most of the highly advertised programs are geared toward athletes and other individuals who have already attained a certain level of fitness. While the commercials can be tempting, the workouts may be a bit over the top for the average person looking to get in shape.

However, you can still incorporate the MetCon concept into your own routine. To avoid injury or the desire to quit because the workout is too difficult, you’ll need to follow a program that’s more in line with your fitness level and desired goals.

Just getting started

Even if you’re new to working out, you can still enjoy the benefits of a calorie-torching MetCon workout. While the general idea is to perform various high-intensity moves at a fast pace for multiple reps, when you first start out, keep the exercises in your routine fairly simple and listen to your body if you start to feel fatigued. This is mainly to avoid poor form and reduce risk of injury, as your muscles will tire quickly due to the pace of the workout.

Basic exercises such as jumping rope or doing push-ups are good choices for beginners. Kettlebell swings, burpees and sprints are also good, as they are all easily learned and can be adapted depending on your level of fitness.

Once you’ve chosen a variety of exercises that target a good range of key muscles, decide on a time limit for your workout (usually between 10 to 20 minutes), and determine the number of reps you’ll do per exercise (this will be one set). Complete as many sets as you can within your time limit, but be sure to perform each exercise one after another with as much intensity as possible, and with only a short rest period between each set.

As your fitness improves, you can up the intensity of each exercise, attempting to complete more sets within your time limit and shortening the rest periods in between.

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