One of the newer fads in exercise is something called metabolic conditioning (metcon). It isn’t for the faint of heart. It is a grueling workout designed to bring you to exhaustion. The goal of the workout is to elicit chemical changes in the body that lead to maximal caloric burns following the workout. These workouts utilize all three of your major energy systems. This results in increases in lactic acid levels and the release of several hormones which in turn, leads to EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). When you create EPOC you have an after burn that lasts for up to 48hours after completing the workout. What this means (for those of you needing a translation) is you will still be burning calories at an elevated rate for as many as 2 days after doing a workout like this. Another benefit of metcon is that it only takes about 20-30 minutes to do. There are 4 major goals of a metcon workout:
1.) Use heavy weight (body weight can be used if heavy weights are unavailable)
2.) Feel like you are sprinting (become completely breathless)
3.) Create a lot of sweat (heat is key for chemical response)
4.) Achieve metabolic failure (meaning you’ve created so much lactic acid that you absolutely have to take a break because your body can’t do anymore work).
There are many different techniques to achieve a metcon workout such as Tabata training, time based workouts, 10-40 workouts, descending reps workouts, and 3×3 workouts. Remember, everybody is different, but to see maximal results you need to push yourself during these workouts until you can’t do anymore, and then rest only long enough until you can push yourself again.