The sport of CrossFit has risen to stardom in the past decade. CrossFit has aided a cultural transformation that has shifted the outlook on traditional olympic lifting, strongman and bodybuilding. How we train as athletes and how we instruct athletes as trainers has been influenced in some way or form by CrossFit. Arguably the biggest influence you can see today has to be metabolic conditioning, or Metcon as it’s more commonly known. Most of us that are familiar with metcon know that it is a type of training that focuses on conditioning by burning as many calories as possible in the shortest period of time.
However, metcon has grown into something much bigger than high intensity interval training. Metcon has grown into a global phenomenon, to the point where it has become a prerequisite in our programming.
Metcon: The Birth of a Brand
If I had asked you, 10 years ago, what metcon is or was, you'd probably be perplexed. Because the truth is metabolic conditioning only grew in prominence over the past decade so much so that metcon no longer represents exercise but an entire brand.
Metcon is now a household brand, thanks in large part to the formidable Nike and the emergence of the Nike Metcons’. A training shoe that is supposedly the swiss army knife of trainers, being suitable for both stationary movements such as Olympic lifts and running a 400m race.
However, we’re not entirely convinced on that notion as we believe (we might be a little biased here) the metcon training shoes were designed and marketed as a brand first, their functionality is just an added bonus. But our opinion aside, what the folks at Nike have managed to do, similar to the Jordan brand in basketball, is create a brand and product line synonymous with a specific niche. Which in this case happened to be the crazy world of CrossFit.
So besides being a global brand, Metcon has managed to change our approach to exercise. Particularly with regards to conditioning. Regardless of the setting be it professional or amateur, individual or team sports based, almost everyone has incorporated metabolic conditioning into their programming.
Why? The short answer is simply because it works. The efficacy of metabolic conditioning clearly outweighs the hype around it. Scores of research have been done around metcon and the clear consensus is that it allows you to make significant cardiovascular fitness gains in a shorter and more efficient period of time.
Metabolic conditioning’s ability to positively affect cardiovascular conditioning, strength, muscular endurance and body composition, makes it one if not the best training method out there today.
Why Does Any of This Matter?
Well, given the amount of fluff that has managed to creep its way into our industry, metcon is almost a breath of fresh air in a room filled with questionably smelly training techniques. Okay, that might be a bit over dramatic, but the point I am trying to get across is that metabolic conditioning has gone from a training style developed for the professionals to a household name. It has transcended multiple layers of scrutiny and in my opinion is, when executed properly and consistently, the ultimate training tool you can have in your arsenal.