Tag Archives: Crossfit

What is Metabolic Conditioning?

The words “metabolic conditioning” are thrown around quite a bit in the fitness industry. In one setting, it may mean something as simple as intervals while in a different gym it may consist of a complex circuit involving kettlebells, rope slams, and medicine ball work. So what does metabolic conditioning actually mean? Furthermore, what types of metabolic workouts are the most effective?

Metabolic conditioning simply refers to structured patterns of work and rest periods to elicit a desired response from the body. This desired response is usually to maximize efficiency of a particular energy system. The body has several different methods of getting energy. Different ratios of work to rest periods call upon different energy systems and cause specific adaptations. Therefore, researchers in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research concluded that a metabolic conditioning workout should be based on desired outcomes and an individual’s level of fitness. For instance, someone looking to add size should have a different work to rest ratio than someone looking to get leaner or run farther. Pairing difficult exercises together and blowing through a circuit with no regards to timing isn’t nearly as beneficial as a planned attack.

To fully be able to apply the concepts of metabolic conditioning, let’s first look at the main ways the body gets energy during exercise.

Exercise Metabolism: The Basics

Metabolism simply refers to how we break down food for energy. Everything we ingest must be broken down into smaller particles in order to be used by the body. There are three primary pathways for metabolism that each has their own place and purpose.

The Immediate System

Commonly referred to as the creatine phosphate pathway, think of this system as the fastest and most powerful method of getting energy. It’s mainly utilized when performing power exercises that last less than 10 seconds (think Olympic lifts and sprinting). More important than the duration is the recovery time. This system (since it’s so quick and powerful) takes around three to five minutes to fully recover.

The Intermediate System

Called the glycolytic pathway, this is an intermediate system that provides energy for activities lasting between one to four minutes. It’s primarily used in shorter duration, intense activities including weightlifting and mid-distance running intervals (400-800m). The glycolytic pathway takes between one and three minutes to recover.

The Long-Duration System

Often referred to as the aerobic system, this long-lasting energy system can go for hours upon hours of easy to moderate intensity work. Since we have almost limitless amounts of fuel for the aerobic system (fat), it can recover in a matter of seconds.

With the three major pathways outlined, keep in mind that there is always interplay. No one sole pathway is working at a time. Throughout a workout, each system is contributing to some degree; however, certain work to rest ratios call upon one primary system.

Developing Your Metabolic Conditioning Circuit

The purpose of metabolic conditioning is to maximize the efficiency of a particular energy system to perform better in sports or develop your desired physique. One added benefit is the increase of caloric burn even after the workout is finished. Such a high intensity during the session increases EPOC and leads to a higher resting metabolism for the next few hours according to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

The effectiveness of your metabolic conditioning is determined by the specificity in the work to rest ratios. The key is finding out exactly what you’re trying to improve. If your goal is to play better in the weekend-warrior football scrimmage – you’re better off working in the intermediate pathway since it closely mimics the demands of the sport (20 second plays with about a 40-50 second rest). However, if your goal were to become better at endurance exercise, you would be better off incorporating longer circuits with minimal rest in between exercises. Keep in mind that the intensity of the set should remain as high as possible throughout the specified work duration. In order to elicit the desired response, the body must be pushed in terms of performance.

Rather than focusing solely on the intensity of the circuit, take into account the rest periods between working bouts. If your goal is to enhance the intermediate system, it’s important that you allow enough time to recover between sets (two to three minutes). Repeating the exercise bout any sooner runs the risk of lowering intensity and turning the workout into an aerobic session. To get the most out of your metabolic conditioning workout, use total body exercises with moderate loads that still allow you to use proper form.

Metabolic Conditioning can be done by all fitness levels, just be aware of your own limitations and what they mean.  If you are willing to push yourself to the limit and then committed to taking a break – you will see improvement in your performance. One of the best things about Metabolic Conditioning is that it is going to challenge your system no matter what resulting in improved conditioning and sometimes even weight loss when paired with proper eating habits.

Try something new – The Eau Claire YMCA start October 30th

Metabolic Conditioning

Wednesdays 5:10-6:10pm.

XFit – on going

Mondays 6:30-7:30pm

Thursdays 12:05-1:00pm or

Thursdays 6:30-7:30pm


For more information or to register please call 403-781-1684


Source: http://www.mensfitness.com/training/endurance/metabolic-conditioning-the-key-to-better-performance


Fall Registered Programs start today!

Looking to supplement your current fitness program?

Want to try something new?

Need a new Challenge?

YMCA registered programs start today. Join a 7-14 week program and experience the benefits of progression and adaptation in your workouts.


So many options available for preschool, youth and adults!

Don’t miss out! Register today! Visit member services or view our program guides.


Fall Registered Programs start today!

Looking to supplement your current fitness program?

Want to try something new?

Need a new Challenge?

YMCA registered programs start today. Join a 7-14 week program and experience the benefits of progression and adaptation in your workouts.


So many options available for preschool, youth and adults!

Don’t miss out! Register today! Visit member services or view our program guides.


XFIT at the Eau Claire YMCA

Kick it up a notch with XFit at the Eau Claire YMCA

This high intensity, metabolic based workout is designed to challenge you to the max! Build strength, endurance and improve your fitness level this summer!

Mondays 6:30-7:30pm

Thursdays 12:05-12:50pm

Thursdays 6:30-7:30pm

Please call 403-781-1682 for more information or to register.

This Summers hottest workout trends – how does Calgary compare?

I took some time to look around at what to see what was hot this summer in fitness.  I happened across an article from New York about trends and thought, I wonder how close Calgary is to being on top of current trends…..I was pleasantly surprised!

XFIT –International trend Crossfit, even has it’s own Crossfit Games competition–it’s not a fad. So whether it is the Crossfit brand, Brick Crossfit workout or the YMCA’s own XFit classes, this workout  advocates a mix of aerobic exercise, body weight exercise, gymnastics, and Olympic weight lifting. CrossFit describes its strength and conditioning program as “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement,” with the stated goal of improving fitness. Workouts are typically short and intense, demanding all-out physical exertion. Not for the weak of heart, Crossfit offers intensity with results.

Eau Claire YMCA – Mondays 6:30-7:30 pm and Thursdays
12:05-1:00pm Starting July 2nd.

Outdoor Bootcamps are a great way to get outdoors and get fit this summer. These interval based workouts are also a great way to get ready for the popular obstacle based races that have grown in popularity over the past few years like Spartan Races.

Check with your local YMCA Branch for times and dates for Outdoor Bootcamps closest to you. Summer programs start July 2nd.

Indoor Cycle Classes– Whether your goal this summer is a triathlon, fondo or Spartan races, indoor cycling offers great training opportunities and advantages. High intensity coupled with minimal impact on joints, indoor cycling runs rain or shine during the summer months!

Drop in cycle classes run all year long, check with your branch for scheduled days and times.

The last trend mentioned in the New York article is Bike Share, similar to the Car2go idea. This trend is growing wheels in Calgary according to the article in the Calgary Hearld (see link below). Until this concept really takes off, take your own initiative and book one day a week and cycle in. Even if your commute is extensive, Calgary has one of the best bike path systems in the country. Enjoy a beautiful ride, stay fit and be kind to the environment. See the link below to plan your route.





Non Member Summer Registration Opens Today

Please note registration for Summer programs for Non Members opens Monday June 3rd – 5:30am.

Join us for summer fun at the Eau Claire YMCA – swim lessons, Adult programs including yoga, pilates, outdoor bootcamps, zumba, zumba toning, baby and me stroller workout, Xfit, Kettlebell, Run for your life and much more.

Please visit our on line brochure or call 403-781-1684 for more information.


It’s not to late to join registered programs at the YMCA

It’s not too late to join spring classes at the YMCA! So much to choose from! Come in … Have Fun… Be healthy.

For more information, please call your local branch or take a look at our Program Guides for times and selection.

YMCA Spring Summer Program Registration

Spring/Summer Program Registration is open

Spring Programs start April 1st – it’s not too late to register!

Members – February 25th 5:30am.

Non Members – Spring March 5th 5:30am

Non Members – Summer June 3rd 5:30am

Don’t miss your chance to register for your favorite programs.

Choose from:

Preschool – Swim Lessons, Variety, Sports, Tumble Time, Kangaroos and Climbers, Gym and Swim and much more.

Youth – Swim Lessons, Junior Lifeguard Club, H20 Extreme, Steve Nash Basketball, Parkour, Court Sports, Floor Hockey, Badminton, Handball, Indoor Soccer and more!

Adult – Yoga, Pilates, Fusion, Resistance Training for Triathlon, Kettlebell Bootcamp, Yoga for Runners, Tai Chi, Zumba, Xfit, Outdoor Bootcamps, TRX, Running programs, Boxer’s workout, Metabolic Conditioining, Triathlon Swim, Masters Swim, Learn to Swim, Stroke Improvement, Swim Fit and Aqua Boot Camp!

This Spring More XFit at the Eau Claire YMCA

You asked for it! We’ve added a new XFIT class to our already busy line up for Spring 2013

Join us for XFIT

Mondays 6:30-7:30pm or 7:30-8:30pm

Thursdays 12:00-1:00pm *NEW or Thursdays 6:30-7:30pm

and PUSH yourself to the next level!

Please call 403-781-1682 for more information and to register!

Don’t miss out, space is limited.

It’s not too late to sign up for Registered Programs!

Registered programs start this week! There is still space in many of our upcoming fall experiences. 

Adults can choose from: Zumba, Introduction to Olympic Lifting, TRX Suspension training, Yoga, Pilates, Boxer’s workout, Metabolic Conditioning, Crossfit, Ski and Snowboard Conditioning, Military Bootcamps, Learn to/Improve your Run, Aqua Bootcamp, Tai Chi.

Youth Program options include: Badminton, Swimming Lessons, Soccer, Steve Nash Basketball, Parkour, Leadership and Leader in Training programs.

Preschooler’s can enjoy Court Sports, Twist and Shout, Gym and Swim, Swimming Lessons, Tumble Time, Little Einsteins, Kangaroos and Climbers and variety lessons.

Check out our website at www.ymcacalgary.org or call 403-269-6701 for more information and to register today!