Looking for an intense full-body workout? Jenny Pacey shares her MetCon workout plan that will get your muscles burning…
What is a MetCon workout?
Whether you’re looking to get super fit, shed a few pounds or simply shake up your exercise schedule, MetCon (short for metabolic conditioning) has a lot to offer. Not for the fainthearted, this form of workout combines strength and cardio exercise to move your body at a moderate-to-high intensity for a prolonged amount of time.
The net result is the body’s three energy pathways– aerobic, anaerobic and glycolytic – are recruited, and you get an intense but extremely effective workout that increases EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or the afterburn effect).
MetCon combines strength and cardio exercise to move your body at a moderate-to-high intensity.
MetCon is a form of training that Jenny Pacey swears by. ‘I begin my own training week with half an hour of yoga followed by a MetCon workout split into the same rep system as this one,’ she explains. ‘I also tailor the same workouts to my clients– they love kickstarting their week with “MetConMonday”!’
Indeed, Pacey confirms that completing a MetCon workout just once or twice a week is enough to challenge your system, bust through a performance plateau and increase your total-body fitness. Enter Pacey’s MaxMetCon method.
MaxMetCon Method: full-body workout
Derived from Turn It Up, her new Pace & Go four-week programme on grokker.com, this 30-minute workout will crank up the heat with its mix of strength, cardio, plyometric and core exercises, done in a reverse pyramid format.
‘It’s not for beginners,’ warns Pacey. ‘You’ll need to have developed your fitness foundations with a firm grasp of basic movements like squats, deadlifts, rows and push-ups, plus have some level of conditioning before you can attempt it safely.’ But if you’re looking for a next-level version of high-intensity training, this workout is just the ticket!
HOW TO DO IT: Do the moves in order, rest, then reverse the circuit to go back up the rep range.
Sword adductor jumps
A great cardio move.
- Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointing to 10 and 2 o’clock. Squat and tap yourleft hand on the inside of your right ankle.
- Explode into the air with arms to your sides andadduct (or squeeze) your legs together mid-air.
- As you descend from the jump, extend the legs back to the starting position, squat and alternate hands (right hand to inside of left ankle).
Alternate side kick-through
Boosts core and leg strength.
- Start on all-fours with your shoulders stacked over your hands, knees an inch off the mat and your core activated.
- Lift your left toes and right hand simultaneously, then slide your left shin under your body, twisting through your hips until you’re fully extending your left leg. Point your left toes and draw your right hand to your right cheek. Keep your left shoulder away from your ear.
- Return to all fours and repeat on the other side.
Take-off plyometric lunge
REPS: 40 (20 each side)
- Start in a lunge position with your feet facing forward. Externally rotate your left ankle until your heel is directly above the ball of your foot, and draw your left hip forward to align your pelvis. Flex your left knee towards the mat and take your hands to your front ankle.
- Exhale and explode off your right foot, squeezing your knee towards your chest, driving through your left leg and flexing your right foot.
- Drive your right arm back to increase power, then return to the mat with a flat right foot and flexed left knee. Repeat on the other side, aiming to explode out of the lunge every rep.
Hollow body leg flutter
A great way to improve core activation
- Lie face-up on a mat and active your entire core, elongating your body into a rocker shape.
- Draw your ribs down, your pelvic floor up, squeeze the muscles around your hip bones in, and pull your belly button towards your spine. Hold this active core position as you take your arms overhead, and raise your right leg.
- Breathe and flutter your legs, focusing on keeping your upper body still and trying to lift your knees up to active your legs.
A great cardio finisher.
- Squat down and put your hands on the floor in front of you. Kick your feet back and hold a high plank position.
- Lower yourself until your chest and thighs are close to the floor. Jump your feet back in towards your hands.
- Jump immediately up into a lunge position.
- Then perform a lunge jump to switch legs.
- Finish with a tuck squat jump and repeat the entire sequence.
Works the chest, triceps and core muscles
- Start in a low plank with your hands shoulder-width apart, forearms on the floor and elbows in line with your shoulders. Spread the fingers.
- Activate your core (as you did in the Hollow Body position), then exhale and press into the mat to extend your arms.
- Keep your hips engaged, and keep looking at your fingers to keep your body in a strong straight line. Inhale and return to the mat, then repeat.