WTF is a Met-Con?

Amigos, you may have seen in our article talking about carb backloading that we mentioned something called a “met-con”. Wait, WTF is a met-con? That’s what we are here to square away.

Met-con is metabolic-conditioning. According to Coach Dugger (he’s like Doc Brown from Back to the Future), “The use of met-con is to increase the storage and delivery of energy to the muscles for any activity or conditioning. This increased efficiency of the fuel delivery system in our body is obtained through training along the different metabolic pathways.”

So, the metabolic pathways he is speaking of are the phosphagenic, glycolytic, and oxidative. As you can see in the graph below, these three pathways represent different types of power output. Phosphagenic would be some short period, yet high power output movement or lift, for example the snatch or clean & jerk. Short period, high power. The next would be the glycolytic system, an 8-12 minute event where you may have multiple movements and you need to maintain power output for a longer period of time. The final pathway would be the oxidative, pretty much something we don’t focus on in our programming. A oxidative pathway example would be running a 5k or some other longer endurance event. We’re talking 20+ minutes.

CFC Chart1

The 3 Main Metabolic Pathways

Ok, that’s great! We are pretty much training ourselves like Van Damm in Bloodsport to be a more efficient slayer of booty in the club and crushing fools in the gym or our sport. However, this doesn’t mean just hitting the gym and elevating your heart rate willy-nilly. There is an efficient and scientific way of accomplishing our task.

Coach Dugger gives us the scoop: “So the “I.W.T.”, or interval weight training, is the best method of training our metabolic conditioning because you can control the rest periods and focus on which energy system you’re working on.”

In intervals where we are going really heavy, we will take more rest to allow our bodies to recover. In intervals where we are doing low power stuff for longer time frames, we will take less rest.

I feel like we’re doing some high-tech stuff here. Below you can find an example interval weight training workout. In our example, we are keeping the rest relatively long, so when we are going through the work portions the intensity can remain as high as possible. We’re conditioning the pathway to respond better during times of work.

3 rounds of:
30 second all out sprint, bike, etc.
2 Deadlifts @ 85-90% of your best Deadlift
2 minutes rest
*5 minute break*
3 rounds:
400m run
10 Squats @ 50% of your best Squat
2 minutes rest

There it is. You found treasure better than that of Indiana Jones, and you didn’t have to dodge any poison darts or a rolling rock (but I’ll give you a Rolling Rock). If you’re looking to increase both your strength and conditioning, then mix something similar to this into your workout plan. Ideally, you want to accomplish the strength first, a break, then do the conditioning. In a perfect world, your strength and conditioning are done in two different gym sessions with ample rest for us to maintain high levels of intensity. Plan on seeing a conditioning track pop up in the programming & events section soon.

Yipee Kay Yay.

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