An Extreme Example of Metabolic Conditioning
Katelyn Sander

An Extreme Example of Metabolic Conditioning

Living Well...together, while apart

Are you ready to push yourself to your limits? Check out this CRAZY mountain bike ride:

Metabolic Conditioning refers to any type of training where you push yourself to, or just outside of, your comfort zone for a specific interval. You rest just long enough – then go nuts again. And while the activity in the video certainly could fall into that category – you don’t have to go to such extremes to reap the benefits of this type of training which include higher energy, improved recovery, better endurance, better sports performance, and improved body composition.

Metabolic Conditioning is essentially a structured pattern of work to rest periods designed to train or strengthen a specific energy system:

  • The Phosphagen system harnesses ATP to fuel high intensity activities lasting between 10 and 30 seconds. Around the 30 second mark the body will tap into the Glycolytic system as well. Training this system will improve explosive power and ability to accelerate!
  • The Glycolytic system used carbohydrate to produce ATP and fuels activities lasting 30 seconds to 2 minutes, though after about 90 seconds your body will also on the Oxidative system. Training this system improves performance in many sports including alpine skiing, basketball, hockey, tennis, ringette, and soccer.
  • The Oxidative system is aerobic and uses oxygen to support energy production. It uses carbohydrates, fats, and proteins as energy sources and is harnessed during longer low and moderate intensity workouts. 

There will always be some overlap in the systems that come into play. Indeed, training any of the shorter energy systems will often translate into better performance in the slower ones. Still, the most effective training occurs when you determine which system you want to train and design your work:rest interval according to the system. The idea is to push as hard as you can for the work interval which is followed by an appropriate period of rest to ensure you can hit the same intensity for all subsequent intervals.

  • To train Explosive Power: 1:5 up to 1:20 work to rest. That is at least 50 seconds of rest for any 10 second all out interval. The higher the output, the longer the rest required.
  • To train more sustained Strength, Speed, and Power: 1:2 to 1:4 work to rest. So, for every 60 seconds all out effort you require 90 to 120 seconds recovery.
  • To train for better Endurance: anywhere from 1:1 to 4:1 work to rest. Again, the ratio will determine how hard you can go for any given work interval. Take care when you’re using longer ones that the intensity doesn’t suffer.

Workouts can involve simple intervals using a step, jump rope, treadmill, or bike for example, but they more often consist of a circuit of full body exercises followed by specific periods of rest.

The challenge is many high intensity full body exercises involve high impact moves and/or they tend to be very front dominant. Push Ups, burpees, even squats can preferentially train the FRONT of the body. Leaving the back exposed and weaker. They also typically avoid one legged work – which is so important for balance and joint integrity. Any/all exercises can be effectively used in a Metabolic Circuit as long as we keep the heart rate high enough that the intensity is maintained. 

In the Trainer Moves today, we focus on metabolic conditioning for the endurance system. Many runners and cyclists and group exercise enthusiasts are interested in increasing endurance for their activity as well as ensuring they have strength to balance over used musculo-skeletal movement patterns and avoid injuries. The circuits incorporate some GREAT exercises that focus more on the posterior chain and we’ve strategically mixed in some higher intensity exercises to keep that heart rate high. The work intervals run around the 4-minute mark with recovery around 60 seconds accordingly.

Today’s Inspiration

“Targeting the different energy systems in your training not only improves performance, metabolism, and ability to recover – it’s FUN!” - Meg Sharp

Today’s Live Workouts

Happy Monday! We’ve got exciting news today! Robert S is officially stepping in as the new Total Body Conditioning instructor AND Robert Y is bringing you a BRAND NEW Yoga Fusion workout this afternoon!


Join Robert S today for a Total Body Conditioning workout! Challenge your cardio and strengthen your muscles from head to toe with this incredibly effective no-nonsense bodyweight training.

No equipment needed today.

Join Robert at 12:00pm (30 minutes) from your own living room.

Click here to join the workout.

Meeting ID: 864 5295 2847
Password: 991724



Join Robert Y today for our new Yoga Fusion workout! A combination of hatha, ashtanga, and kudalini yoga techniques. This class will engage your muscles, open your joints, calm your mind, and lift your spirits. (All levels)

No equipment needed today.

Join Robert at 5:15pm (45 minutes) from your own living room.

Click here to join the workout.

Meeting ID: 899 4248 0739
Password: 624126


Click here to view our weekly schedule.

If you have questions about our virtual live workouts, please reach out to Lauren.

Today’s Trainer Moves

Meg’s incorporating some really effective exercises in today’s circuit – including some one legged balance work and some work for the back. Give it a try today. You can always make adjustments and swap in one exercise for another, just remember to keep your intensity levels up throughout the circuit.

For questions about today’s Trainer Moves, you can connect directly with Meg here.

Featured Bite


Hands-down the best jambalaya recipe! It is surprisingly easy to make, customizable with your favorite proteins, and full of bold, zesty, Cajun flavours that everyone will love. Recipe from Gimme Some Oven.

Like this recipe? Get more in our latest Spice of Life.


  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 lb andouille sausage, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 3 small bell peppers, cored and diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 (14-oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3–4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked long grain white rice
  • 2 tbsp Cajun seasoning or Creole seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup thinly-sliced okra*
  • Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • Optional garnishes: chopped fresh parsley, thinly-sliced green onions, hot sauce


  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a stock pot (or a very large, deep sauté pan) over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and sausage and sauté for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the sausage is lightly browned. Transfer to a clean plate and set aside.
  • Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the stock pot. Add bell peppers, celery, jalapeño, onion, and garlic. Sauté for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, rice, Cajun seasoning, thyme, cayenne, bay leaf, and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer. Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 25-30 minutes, or until the rice is nearly cooked through, stirring every 5 minutes or so along the way so that the rice does not burn.
  • Add the shrimp, okra, and stir to combine. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through and pink. Stir in the chicken and sausage, and remove and discard the bay leaf.
  • Taste season the jambalaya with salt, pepper, and additional Cajun seasoning if needed. Remove from heat.
  • Serve warm with your desired garnishes. Or refrigerate and store in a sealed container for up to 3 days.


Do you have a “Something of the Day” you’d like us to share?! Email Meg.

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