Movement. Strength. Power. Endurance. These are the pieces that make up a well-rounded fitness program and a well-rounded human being. Each piece, just as important as the next, must be incorporated properly to ensure great results. Regardless of the goal, each piece is vital to success. Let’s define each one:
Movement – Quality range of motion through each joint and control of that range through muscular contraction and relaxation.
Strength – The ability to move load through a full range of motion. All daily activities require some form of strength.
Power – The ability to produce force quickly and efficiently to move fast. From jumping to throwing to preventing a fall, all of these are forms of power output.
Endurance – The ability to perform tasks without losing breath or getting fatigued. Endurance is specific to the activity. For general purposes, endurance is a big part of the fat loss equation.
Each of the pieces have a very important role in physical ability, however the focus of this article is endurance and its role. Endurance training plays a big part in both physical ability as well as aesthetic improvement. The problem with endurance training is the misconceptions that have been created over the last couple decades. Many times endurance training leads to the thought of running. 5k’s, 10k’s, mini-marathons, and so-on have become more popular due to the crowds of people hoping to lose weight. Running doesn’t take a lot of equipment, a pricey gym membership, or much thought. While running has its place it also comes with a lot of problems. Being that running is very repetitive there are many injuries that can come from it, especially when people just jump right into it. Running also moves the body through very short movements, not taking advantage of the full range of motion. These issues lead to imbalances, aches, pains, and injuries that can hinder and ever stop someone’s progress to fat loss. Instead of running for fat loss, try something movement based instead.
The Answer to Your Running Woes
The fat loss path has been set and nutrition has improved, strength training has started, and lifestyle has been set yet the progress needs to be quicker. What’s the answer? METCON. Metabolic conditioning is a form of endurance training that involves intervals instead of steady state, long-duration activities. Intervals use alternating periods of work and rest, causing the heart rate to jump between periods of high and low. The intensity of these types of workouts is much higher than that of continuous training however the rest periods give an individual time to recover. This type of training has been shown in research to be highly effective in fat loss as well as endurance improvements. METCON also incorporates movement training into the mix, creating a more well-rounded body. Full range movements such as squatting, rowing, pressing, pulling, as well as more “functional” movements like shuffling, crawling, and skipping create better movement at the joints and better balance across the body.
METCON classes are that missing piece to the fitness journey. While running may work for a while, the body will adapt and pain may set in. With METCON the movements and sessions are constantly changing preventing staleness and improving results. The group setting also encourages people to push harder and have more fun. Each member is like a teammate cheering the others on to reach their goals.
Don’t ditch running if you truly enjoy it, but also don’t make it your only means of conditioning. Use running as an outlet of stress-relief and a form of recovery from strength training but use METCON as that boost towards fat loss. Fulfill each piece of the fitness puzzle and results will be guaranteed physically, mentally, and aesthetically.