What is Metabolic Conditioning?

Metabolic Conditioning


Metabolic conditioning refers to training that builds cardiovascular fitness, endurance and stamina using movements or activities that engage multiple large muscle groups.


  • Metabolic conditioning taxes energy systems leading to adaptations like improved VO2 max, lactate clearance, and greater calorie burn.
  • Training choices like sprints, bike intervals, battling ropes, kettlebell and bodyweight circuits, and CrossFit WODs provide intense metabolic conditioning.
  • Aim for shorter duration high intensity efforts with minimal rest that leave you spent. Lower intensity steady-state cardio does not qualify.
  • Metabolic workouts transform the body, revving up fat burning, muscle endurance and cardiovascular capacity.


  • 10 rounds of 15 kettlebell swings, 10 burpees and 5 pull-ups for time
  • 30 seconds sprint, 60 seconds rest x 8 intervals

Related Terms

  • HIIT, cardio intervals, EPOC, aerobic vs. anaerobic

Common Questions

  • How often should I do metabolic workouts? 1-3 times per week depending on your goals and ability to recover.
  • Is this just high intensity interval training? Essentially yes, using full body movements elevates metabolic demands even further.

Do Not Confuse With

  • Steady state cardio – Lower intensity, constant pace endurance training.
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