I was recently featured in Experience Life magazine and was contacted by the publication to discuss “workout finishers” or “metcons”. I’m sure you all are familiar with these terms, especially if you’re familiar with Crossfit, any of Geoff Neupert’s Kettlebell Burn Programs, and overall circuit training. A workout finisher, also known as a “metcon” — short for metabolic-conditioning session — is a timed interval circuit tacked on to the end of any training session to elicit a cardio or fat-burning effect. It’s generally short (no more than 10 minutes), sweaty, and relatively straightforward.
Honestly, I don’t really like the term “metcon” as it normally makes circuit training sound more complicated than what it really needs to be (I also think the word “metcon” just sounds intimidating for some reason, but that’s my personal opinion). Metabolic conditioning sessions are just short burst of intense physical activity that have a specific work and rest period (aka work/rest ratio).
For me personally, I will do metabolic conditioning sessions at the end of my lifting sessions and I have now factored in certain conditioning days that are all circuit training sessions. Generally speaking, I stick with the ballistic lifts for metabolic training sessions. These lifts include, kettlebell swings, high pulls, snatches, and I have been known to throw in some kettlebell jerks from time to time as well. As for the timing of the circuits, I personally do 10-15 minute conditioning sessions. As newbie may be fine with just 5-10 minutes.
Here’s an example of my own kettlebell swing circuits training based on a 10-15 minute cycle.
Beginner: Swing for 20 seconds. Rest for 40 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
• Intermediate: Swing for 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
• Advanced: Ramp it up to 40 seconds on, 20 seconds off, or if you can swing it (no pun intended), 1 minute on, 30 seconds off. Repeat 10 times.
You will want to work up to more advanced versions and additional rounds as you get stronger. More advanced workout finishers may include complexes, be they single or double kettlebell loads. I am currently working through a program that requires a double kettlebell complex at the very end of my heaviest workout of the week. Should you choose to do the same, this will make for an extremely demanding conditioning session as well as strength training session (side note: I should expect no less considering who gave me this program 😉 )
Here’s an atypical workout-finisher that I like to do to push my energy demands as well as my mental endurance.
Grab 1 kettlebell that is your 3-5 rep military pressing max. Set your timer for 10 minutes and perform 1 Turkish Get up on the Right and Left Side as many times as you can in 10 minutes. Please note that you would NOT be rushing through your get up. The heaviness of the weight here will make for the extra push at the end of your workout.
That’s it for today folks! Until next time!
Master your instincts!
Special thanks to Experience Life Magazine for the incredible opportunity and spotlight in their January, 2016 edition. Please visit Experience Life today and request your subscription on their website!