All tagged metcon

I Don't Know if We'll Have Enough Time (we do...for Bed, Bath, & Beyond, and for Muscles).

Adding a strict strength or hypertrophy program to the chaos here can seem daunting, especially if we’re not in the habit of ascribing to a program that requires us to spend time in the gym regularly (or if we are and just don’t do it…been there, done that, about 38098 times.). Not all of our goals are to get super huge or totally shredded. Many of us want a few simple things: to look a little better (naked or otherwise), to feel a lot better, to prevent injuries, and to make life easier on ourselves.

We can *totally* accomplish this goal in less time than you’d think.

Happy New Year!

In line with our recent chats about making workouts more efficient by upping the weights and cutting down on the time (because the best results don't come from the smartest workout on paper, but from the workouts we actually do consistently), I came up with a 2017-themed metcon (!!).

Your Eating + Exercise Shouldn’t Make you Miserable.

These types of workouts help regulate our hunger, energy, and cravings, making it easier for us to comply with better nutrition that matches our training rather than some arbitrary diet. We become more in tune with our bodies, so we aren’t adhering to a plan so much as replenishing our nutrient stores and serving ourselves.

Enter: metabolic conditioning. If you’re involved in the fitness blog world at all (you are, by virtue of receiving this newsletter. ;) ), you’ve probably come across the term “metcon”…short for metabolic conditioning. A metcon circuit is a series of compound movements done back to back with little to no rest in between. Each workout should last 20-40m (really!). There are TONS of super intricate circuits out there, if you Google, but the trick here is not to overcomplicate it. What we’re going for is quick, to the point, easy to transition between exercises, working our full body with multi-joint movements, ideally in multiple planes of motion.

Translation: don’t spend a lot of time doing it; rest when you need to, but not for very long; perform a wide variety of movements that use more than one part of your body at a time.

The key here is to push HARD, since it’s short duration (think, “you can do anything for 10s,” if you’ve seen The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt). 

So... How Do I Program This?

I add conditioning days to the lighter or more moderate days, mostly from a length-of-time standpoint, both in the gym and in the time it takes to recover. Conditioning workouts, if done with high intensity, are super tough! Overloading my system on heavy days + conditioning is too much; I’d never recover properly to produce enough force for my lifts (with sound movement patterns, anyway) the next day, plus I’d just feel terrible, which is rarely (heh.) the goal.

Placing the conditioning workouts where we will be able to both drive the intensity highest (lighter lift days or days where the posterior chain is activated and primed for movement) and recover in time for heavy lifts is vital to being able to achieve both strength + body change goals. I find many programs run into trouble by trying to do too much all at once, leaving you exhausted after a week or two, and giving up after three, leaving you pretty much right back where you started (we’ve all been there, myself included.).

Finding a balance is huge. This is what works for me and many clients, but all programs are adaptable to your individual needs. Working in the realm of high intensity + building strength is where the magic happens. Figuring out strategies to do both in the context of real life was the game changer for my consistency in workouts, because I was actually having fun AND seeing results.