I’ve made no secret about this –
I don’t like KB MetCon workouts.
It’s not that they’re bad per se…
It’s the random indiscriminate use of them by so called
“trainers” and “instructors” that I despise.
They have a place.
A very small place in the overall effective programming
of the human machine.
The other problem is context.
You’d agree that in order to run 3 miles you have to be
able to run 1, right?
And, you’d also agree that you have a better chance of
running 3 miles faster if you can get your 1 mile time
Just stands to reason – it’s common sense.
Then how come so many KB workouts neglect the
necessity of getting stronger to make progress?
Said another way, how can you do effective MetCon
workouts if you can’t maintain your technique under
fatigued conditions or heavier loads?
Both of which contribute to acquiring strength.
The reality is, if you lift heavy enough, with the appropriate
rest for the task at hand, you’ll get enough MetCon.
Don’t believe me?
When I was a trainer almost 20 years ago in NYC, I did
a little experiment.
I strapped a heart rate monitor on myself and tested my
5 rep max on the barbell back squat.
My HR was 177.
That was 90% of my max heart rate at the time.
Again, that was from ONE set of 5 reps.
My point is simply this:
If you lift heavy enough with the right exercises, you
can not only get strong, but also get your MetCon
The opposite does not hold true.
Training your MetCon will not make you strong.
In fact, if you don’t include any strength programming,
you’re MetCon addiction will make you weaker.
I will admit, MetCon has it’s place.
If you’re an athlete training for a specific goal (like
a wrestler) or you’re chasing a particular event (like
a 5 or even 10 minute Snatch Test) then you need
to do MetCon –
But not willy-nilly like most of the stuff I see.
It needs to be specifically planned.
For everyone else, you just don’t need it.
Sure, it can be fun to do, but don’t mistake it as a
Here’s your takeaway:
Train for strength.
Then episodically use MetCon for other specific purposes
like sports, specific events, and even sometimes accelerated
fat loss programming. (Notice I said “accelerated.”)
What “kind” of strength?
Turning your 5 rep maxes into 10, 15, and sometimes even
20 rep maxes is the way to go.
In fact, failing to do this is probably the primary reason you’re
not seeing the results you really want.