OH, hello. What are you doing here? Oh, right the article. Well, I’m reading right now, so can you come back tomorrow? Thanks.
Jeez, fine. Just step back a bit because you’re all up in my personal space right now and it’s making me feel uncomfortable. No, further back. A bit more. Ok, you’re good.
We’re all friends, right? Right. And so, as friends, we can confide in one another, yes? Good. Because I need to get this off my chest:
I really dislike cardio.
Not the walking out in nature basking in the sun’s warm embrace, kinda cardio, but like, being in a gym and trudging away on a treadmill for hours kinda cardio.
I can’t do that, because, well: I’m a peacock and you gotta let me fly.
If you didn’t get that reference:
a) Slap yourself
b) Watch this
c) Slap yourself, again. Because that’s one of the greatest comedies man has made since man began making comedies. And it’s obligatory viewing for everyone who advocates awesomeness.
But, I also know how important conditioning work and cardio is for a number of reasons beyond just wanting to look good.
So what we have in front of us is a conundrum: I dislike traditional cardio because hamster-wheel drudgery doesn’t really turn me on BUT I’m also acutely aware that I need some form of conditioning work because you know, health and stuff.
Fortunately, I have just the thing. Metcons.
– The Metcon
Metcons, or Metabolic Conditioning, is my go-to form of ‘cardio’. Not only are Metcons fun and effective, but also incredibly versatile: you can use them for fat loss and/or muscle gain, all with minimal equipment.
While METCON sounds really complex, it’s actually quite simple. A Metcon consists of doing a number of strength based exercises in a certain sequence to elicit a favourable hormonal response from the body; laconically put – they speed up fat loss, and if used properly, can also aid in muscle gain.
–Rules For The Metcon.
- Keep it intense: minimal rest and maximum effort – Intensity is the name of the game here. The Metcon is performed with intense effort, and minimal rest times. This will cut your workout time in half and have you torching fat.
- Use multi-joint, strength based exercises – The Metcon should be a total body routine. Exercises like squats, rows, presses and pulls will have you working more muscles and ramping up the metabolic cost [more fat burning].
- Use Resistance – This isn’t Zumba. We’re still going to want to provide mechanical tension to the body, so we’re going to want to use some external resistance: Dumbbells, Barbells and even your own bodyweight [pushups, chin-ups, squats and lunges].
- Keep it dense – Metcon’s should be no longer than 15-20 mins and can be as short as 5-10 mins. Remember: intensity.
– Benefits of The Metcon.
- Energy Flux – This is a term I first heard from John Berardi. Simply, G-flux is the name given to the “move more, eat more” heuristic; and I’ve found this to be one of the reasons I’m able to maintain a lean physique year ’round. In fact, research has shown the benefits of a high G-flux and that people who have maintained their fat loss in the long run are more physically active (in conjunction with a good diet) than those who lost weight and then regained it:
“Low energy flux, but not energy surfeit, predicted future increases in body fat in both studies. Furthermore, high energy flux appeared to prevent fat gain in part because it was associated with a higher resting metabolic rate.”By including Metcons alongside your regular training (and other activity like walking), you bump up G-Flux and resultantly your metabolism. This means you can eat more food while staying leaner. And, as Berardi rightly pointed out, it’s also conducive to a healthier and robust metabolism.
– MEMBER ONLY –
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Weeeeeeeell. It’s not.
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