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I Can Get A Good Workout In 8 Minutes?

Bit of a clickbait title, I know, but technically you can!

Part of the CrossFit methodology is the use of the MetCon (short for Metabolic Conditioning)! MetCons are typically exercises made up of different time domains, loads, intensities, and movements.

They can be quite long (30 minutes+ of continuous movement) or very short (less than 5 minutes). These different time domains being one of the main reasons each workout you do at Vegvisir can feel different from one day to the next. 

This week we are gonna be talked about how the different lengths of MetCons can affect you, what goals they help accomplish, and some prime examples of the best iterations of these workouts.

Today we are gonna cover the most surprising one of them all, The Sprint MetCon.

5 Minutes Or Less For 6-Pack Abs

Sprint MetCons are workouts that take 10 minutes or less. These workouts are designed to limit the amount of pacing required to complete the workout and have you mentally push to get everything you can out of them for them to be as effective as possible.

While these WODs won’t be the sole reason for you getting six pack abs, they help promote muscle growth and anaerobic capacity (the amount of work your muscles can do in a short amount of time).

This obviously helps athletes who was to get stronger, but it also helps athletes who want to lose weight in 3 respects:

  1. These workouts promote the use of carbohydrates as fuel, which should be a plurality of the intake we have in our diets (typically 9g Carbs, 7g Protein, and 3g Fat is a fairly safe split that is recommended by CF HQ)
  2. Your muscles are typically pushed to larger sets than you are used to because of the smaller overall volume of the workout. These promotes muscle growth to adapt to the new stimulus. Larger muscles burner more calories at rest.
  3. Your body will burn more calories over time after the workout as it repairs the muscle tissue damaged in the workout (this is opposed to longer workouts like Eva or Angie) as well as the use of fat stores as your heart rate returns to normal immideatly following the workout.

Some of the more famous Sprint WODs examples in the CrossFit Community are:

Fran

21-15-9

BB Thrusters

Pull-Ups

Dianne

21-15-9

Deadlifts

HSPU

Grace:

For Time:

30 Clean and Jerks

How To Get The Most Out Of Sprint WODs?

In order to get everything you can out of a workout that is 10 minutes or less and to see the benefits noted above would be to bring intensity to the workout.

As long as your movements are sound (you complete full ranges of motion without pain or stiffness), you can elevate your heart rate to a point where your body makes the necessary switch over to that anaerobic state (where you body starts to use carbs as it’s primary fuel source). I generally know I have reached this point when I feel my heart rate get quite high, I’m breathing heavily, and my saliva starts to thicken.

Try for bigger sets than normal and see how long you can hold on. Stay close to your bar and make finishing as fast as possible that end goal, while making the primary goal virtuous movement, and you’ll get the feeling these WODs should illicit!

Sadly, 5 Minutes A Day Won’t Get You Abs BUT…

While as much as I would love for Fran to be the ticket to life long health. Preparing for workouts like this actually take quite a lot of prep! In our gym you do about 35-40 minutes of exercising before you actually get to do a workout like this!

You, yes you, have a central nervous system and workouts like this do a pretty damn good job of wearing it out. From having your heart rate stay at its’ max BPM for an extended amount of time to the overall muscle output that is required to sustain the effort you are putting out, you will just feel warn out from doing too many of these WODs.

While the choice of movements does matter with how much your central nervous system is affected*. Taking a break from this metabolic pathway and choosing a different one (like the ones used for workouts that are 10-20 minus or 30+ minutes long), tends to allow us to keep our intensity up across a longer period of time (about 3 days). If we can produce more intensity and focus in each workout, we move better, hit more reps, and put our bodies in new situations to adapt and achieve what we want.

*(These workouts tend to be most effect with moderately loaded barbells and complex gymnastic movements that require using the exact opposite muscle groups as the barbell movement. This is what adds to the sucky feeling of these WODs).

If you want to learn more about how these shorter WODs affect athletes, go ahead and check out this Pepperdine University lecture on the affects of short CrossFit WODs on athletes: http://journal.crossfit.com/2012/11/pepperdineparttwo.tpl (to watch click “Download as 720p HD MP4 and it will appear as a player on your browser).

To talk to a coach today about getting the most out of your workouts, click the link found HERE to schedule your No Sweat Intro

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