Fitness TipsMenopause Transition

The Metcon Workout

By February 6, 2024 No Comments

I want to find the “right” way to exercise in order to lose some weight without obsessing over it.”

“I feel like I’m taking a random stab at lifting more weights because I keep reading that weights are an imperative part of losing weight and being healthy, especially as I age.” 

“My workouts feel pretty unfocused; I just do the workout that I feel like or that fits the schedule without any real work towards a goal of any kind.”

Do you relate to any of these statements? 👆

I feel you.

Figuring out the “right” type of exercise can feel overwhelming and then you second guess if WHAT you are doing is worth your time. 🙄

You see hundreds of exercise videos on social media that promise tight abs, strong butts… blah blah blah.

Keep it simple. 

But first… Embrace the concept that strength training is WORK. 

It should be challenging. 

It does need to push you OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE in order to see and feel the gains.

One of my favorite forms of strength training to 🔥burn fat and 💪build strength is a metcon.

Metabolic conditioning, or metcon, is a workout strategy designed to enhance your body’s energy systems, specifically focusing on the pathways that contribute to burning calories both during and after exercise. 

Metcon workouts can be useful for everyone BUT are a game-changer for perimenopausal women dealing with hormonal changes. 

Why? 

  • Metcon sparks a hormonal response that can counterbalance some of the effects of declining estrogen during perimenopause. 
  • High-intensity exercise helps release feel-good endorphins, combating mood swings and promoting mental well-being. (Helpful for all!)
  • Additionally, metcon enhances insulin sensitivity, crucial as insulin resistance tends to increase with age. 

PRO TIP: Perimenopausal women need more INTENSITY / HEAVIER WEIGHTS to stimulate muscle growth and support insulin sensitivity due to declining hormones. Our bodies are just not as efficient as they were when we were in our 20’s.

Heavy weights and intensity can assist in managing weight and mitigating the impact of hormonal fluctuations on metabolism. 

The varied movements also contribute to bone health, addressing concerns about osteoporosis during this perimenopausal transition.

In a nutshell, metcon becomes a powerhouse ally, not just for physical fitness but also for navigating the hormonal roller coaster that perimenopause brings.

So what would a metcon workout look like? 

🔥 They are short and intense. 

💪🏻 They combine both weights and cardio. 

⏱ Always use a timer to stay on target.

Be mindful to warm up for 5-10 minutes before you dive into the workout AND budget 5-10 minutes AFTER to allow for cooldown/stretching to de-stress the body.

Here are a couple of my favorite circuits:

METCON #1: — Gym or home version 

(2 minutes of work: 1 minute recovery between sets)

  • 5 Deadlifts (using a weight this is challenging for 5 reps)
  • 5 Elevated Pushups
  • Use the remaining time (60-75 seconds) working at a fast/uncomfortable pace on treadmill, rower, stairclimber, elliptical, bike…

Rest 1 minute. Repeat 4 more sets. (15 minutes total) 

*You should feel spent after this 15 minute circuit. If not, try to increase your intensity with weights or move more quickly between the 3 exercises.

METCON #1: — Home version with dumbbells and no access to cardio equipment 

(90 seconds of work, 45 seconds recovery between sets)

Rest 45 seconds. Repeat 5-8 more sets (10-12 minutes)

METCON #2: — Gym or home version 

(Use timer to monitor recovery time between sets)

Give yourself 1 minute recovery between sets. Repeat 5-7 sets.

METCON #2: — Home version with dumbbells and no access to cardio equipment

(Use timer to monitor recovery time between sets)

Give yourself 30-45 seconds recovery between sets. Repeat 6-8 sets.

Did you notice the theme in these metcons?— 

  • First exercise is using heavy weight to load lower body (biggest muscle group)
    • squats, deadlifts, KB swings, lunges… 
  • Second exercise is a core-centric, upper body exercise 
    • push-ups, double bent over/gorilla/renegade rows, pullups…
  • Third exercise is a fast-paced, intense CARDIO activity
    • treadmill, rower, stairclimber, elliptical, bike, jumping rope, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, running in place

Use this formula to create your own metcon with the equipment you have access to and the time you have to exercise. 

And as I prompt my clients, you know you hit ideal the ideal intensity if you mutter, “This sucks!”.

Xoxo, Cassandra

P.S. If you’re struggling to figure out what to eat, how much to eat, what type of workouts to do to be the healthiest version of yourself— know that I’m here to provide CLARITY!

Grab a spot for a brand NEW 1:1 Clarity Coaching Call.

🎯 This 45-minute session is your guiding light to get unstuck and move forward with a customized plan so that you can feel confident that you are making the right choices.

Email me, Cassandra@ActiveMomsCLub.com and tell me, “Coach C, I need clarity!” ❤️