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The purpose of strength training is to enhance your ability to apply productive force. Whereas metabolic conditioning (metcon) improves endurance and stamina–your ability to gather, process, deliver and utilise oxygen and energy. Strength, endurance and stamina are all important pieces of fitness with each skill requiring unique training methods. Hoping to achieve the benefits of one skill through training in another skill is like eating an apple but expecting it to taste like an orange.

This is often seen in metcons that include weightlifting movements. You want to get stronger so you opt for the prescribed load because you understand that to get stronger you need to be able to move heavier loads. You know that you can manage the heavier load too. And you do manage it–you get through some rounds and reps, but because the load was relatively too heavy for the metcon, you either didn’t complete a decent amount of reps or came well short of the time cap.

You ate an apple hoping for it to taste like an orange. But you got neither apple nor orange.

Metcons improve your endurance and stamina. That’s precisely what they are programmed for, even if they include weightlifting movements. That is why, depending on the goals of the workout, the guideline loads are relatively low to moderate–to enable you to get lots of work done in minimal time. When you opt for a load that is too heavy, you don’t get enough work done. You don’t improve your endurance and stamina. No apple.

Metcons do not make you stronger. They are not programmed to make you stronger. No orange.

Strength days are programmed to make you stronger. So on strength days, go as heavy as form permits. Even risk failing a lift here and there because that’s part of the strength process. But go into a strength-based session with the go heavy mindset and with consistency and persistence you will get stronger.

In contrast, go into metcons with the hard and fast mindset–get as much done as you can in as little time as possible. That will improve your endurance and stamina.

There certainly is some carry over between training methods, but it’s indirect and minimal. Strength training gets you strong, metcons improve your endurance and stamina. Apples and oranges 😉


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