Everyone who works out wants to burn as much calories as they can in the shortest period of time. However, not everyone understands exactly what to do or how to accomplish this.

Heck, they may not even know what the term “metabolic conditioning” means, making this goal even more unrealistic!

Metabolic conditioning is a type of conditioning exercise that’s intended to increase the storage and delivery of energy for any activity.


Most people think of aerobic training to be the primary catalyst when trying to improve endurance, condition the cardiovascular system or improve transport of blood to the working muscles.

However, metabolic conditioning goes a step further- conditioning the muscles to enhance the use of the fuel delivered to them through improving the efficiency for the different metabolic pathways.[1]

According to multiple studies done by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, developing an efficiency in a particular energy system not only help’s to improve athletic performance and physique, but also EPOC (excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption).

This is awesome because EPOC can raise your metabolism 24-48 hours after your workout! So, why not take advantage of metabolic conditioning, by working smarter throughout your workouts.

Some great calorie-busting metabolic conditioning workouts that provide EPOC and that increased caloric burn for hours afterward, include:

1. Tabata

This is a form of exercise that is entails 20 seconds of hard work, followed by 10 seconds of rest for a total of 8 rounds.

2. 30 On/30 Off

Pretty self-explanatory- this is where you commit 30 seconds to hard work, followed by 30 seconds of rest for a total of 6 rounds.

3. Circuits

A familiar name and one I am sure you have heard used rather frequently these days. Circuits include 3-6 exercises that are performed in a row with minimal rest between sets.

However, make sure that when performing a circuit, the exercises correspond with one another. For example: push, pull, squat, hip-hinge, full body, and loaded for a balanced circuit training approach.

4. Multi-joint

Think of multi-joint movements as some of your best options within a metabolic circuit. Exercises like kettlebell swings, box jumps, burpees, or barbell thrusters work more muscle groups in a shorter period of time, thus ramping up a larger metabolic response. Calorie burn anyone!?

metabolic conditioning workout2

Putting together your own metabolic circuit doesn’t have to be challenging or time consuming.

In fact, it can definitely add that variety and key component to an otherwise mundane training routine. Simply put, choose one of the methods above: Tabata, 30 on/30 off, or circuits and then add in your mult-joint exercises like: burpees, kettlebell swings, box jumps, rope slams, sprints, etc.

Once you have that written down, think about the amount of weight you can handle for 12-15 reps- even if you’re only working for a set period of time.

This will really get that metabolism jacked up, as you incorporate the new metabolic conditioning routine on an off-lifting day, post strength training session, or for some total-body conditioning.

[1] http://www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/workout-tips/5-keys-metabolic-conditioning/slide/2

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