Body by Amy, LLC

Metabolic Conditioning

Is this the new buzzword in fitness circles and what the heck is it?!

Metabolic conditioning exercises vary in intensity from moderate to high. Their goal is to improve, and increase efficiency, of the aerobic and anaerobic systems in the body.

How does metcon do this?? Through producing more/becoming more efficient at producing ATP (adenosine triphosphate, which fuels each & every cell in your body) and getting rid of metabolic byproducts - also quicker and more efficiently - which leads to better, faster recovery.

How do I implement this into my training?

Well, the good news is we runners train our aerobic and anaerobic systems every day when we run. Easy runs, tempo runs, rep & interval training, fartleks... they're all distinct types of metabolic conditioning workouts. But the other good news is we can train those systems in the gym, too. Here are some examples:

  1. Creating POWER is best considered during lower work-to-rest ratios. For example, squat HEAVY for 4-6 reps; take a couple minutes off. Or, pull a heavy sled a few meters followed by a long rest.

  2. Improving endurance is best considered for 1:1 or 1:2 work/rest ratios. So these workouts won't be as intense, but you'll be able to perform them for LONGER and rest less in between. For example, 20 bodyweight squats with equal work/rest.

  3. The middle of the road work:rest ratios are going to benefit your muscle building & calorie-burning potential. This would involve reps of 8-12 of exercises in the gym, maybe coupled with another exercise to create a superset, with

a couple minutes of rest after (1:3 - 1:5 work:rest).

I consider metabolic conditioning workouts in the gym to be a cornerstone of a successful running training plan.

Questions? Email