Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post
I have always wanted to try MetCon, short for Metabolic Conditioning. I was never the guy with the “bodybuilder mindset’, obsessed with having big muscles but with limited functional movement. No offense to bodybuilders though, huge respect for the sport. For me, fitness is about having a healthy lifestyle and being functional. Which is why MetCon really appealed to me.
Many people confuse MetCon with CrossFit. It is not the same, because MetCon is part of CrossFit, but without all the Olyimpic lifts. MetCon is more of a circuit where it engages the whole body with a succession of workouts with limited rest time. This allows an increase of caloric burn even after the workout is finished. Such a high intensity during the session increases EPOC and leads to a higher resting metabolism for the next few hours.
So you can imagine my excitement when I found out that a gym called The Pit offered MetCon classes. For the longest of time I wanted to pay a visit to the gym and try out a class, but I couldn’t find the time. On Thursday, which was Valentine’s Day, I finally managed to find time to head down for a trial class. My friend, Jia, is a regular at The Pit and she kindly joined me for the class.
She had me flipping tires for warmups. It was my first time and I really enjoyed it.
Then came the actual MetCon class. Honestly, I thought I could handle the class easily since I incorporate High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in to my workouts and I workout 3 times a week. But MetCon is on a whole new level.
The trainer for the day, Andyn, started us off with warm ups. Burpees, Bodyweight squats, Kettlebell clean to squat, Push ups and Mountain Climbers. Once we finished, I thought warm up was over. To my horror, Andyn announced that we had 4 more sets to go. I was like “This is warm up?!”, because I was already panting like crazy.
After we had completed 5 sets, my lower back was starting to ache. But I remembered that we had only just finish warm ups. So I decided to dig deep and hang in there even though I was about to give up.
Next, Andyn asked the class to pair up. While one person was doing medicine ball slams, his/her partner would be doing “around the world” with a weighted plate while in a half squat position. We needed to keep doing till Andyn called time and we would switch. By the 3rd or 4th set, my arms were tired and my lower back was screaming with pain. Andyn could see that I was struggling with the 20kg weighted plate for “around the world”, so he got me a 10kg plate, which I was so thankful for. I was cursing the medicine ball as I slammed it down. Because it didn’t bounce back up, I had to pick it up and slam it down again.
I think we did 5 sets of that. I couldn’t remember because I was so tired. I had to take frequent breaks while doing the slams and the “around the world”. When we were done, Andyn told us to go for a cool down run around the block for 2 rounds. He had Jia lead us. Well, the strong woman was still strong after the whole workout, that the run became a sprint. I couldn’t keep up because my lower back was aching like mad, but I didn’t want to stop, so I jogged.
I came back and looked like this:
Well, even though the whole experience felt like a torture, I love it! I’m definitely coming back for more. If there’s one thing that I took away from the class was that I had a weak core, so I used my lower back for most of the workouts, hence the aching. So for anyone who thinks that he/she has a good core and think you are fit, try MetCon. I assure you it will be a humbling experience. The Pit is an awesome place to workout. Once you step in, you know it’s not a normal gym, it has the “hardcore atmosphere”, where people come to train their ass out.
But remember, leave your ego at the door!
For further reading about MetCon: