The key to unlocking your physical and mental potential.
Here I am, into my third decade as a service provider of fitness in the wellness space, and as the sheets of experience get laid, the layers of knowledge get peeled, because, another day, and another acronym pops up that throws me back in the books to make sure my dinosaur status in the industry doesn't become extinct.
How many things should I know? How many things should anyone know? Both rhetorical questions, and there is no answer, because experiencing life means there’s one constant. The constant of change. Change requires flow. By definition, the human experience is flow.
What’s this got to do with “metabolic conditioning” or “acronyms?”
Well, the etymology of “metabolic” links my cryptic script together.
It came from the Greek word “Metaballein,” which later became metabolikós, which means ‘changeable.’
Metabolic, by definition, relates to the metabolism of a living organism.
What living organism do you know that doesn’t go through change?
Metabolic conditioning gets abbreviated to “Met Con,” and in the fitness lexicon, it’s described as exercises that increase the amount of energy stored and released by the body but let's put a pin in this for a moment and explore the abbreviations and acronyms in my sector, which are confusing to most, and responsible for giving me anxiety.
Why anxiety? Because I must uphold my duty as a valuable service provider and act as the entrusted body to which self-investors can approach to gain trustworthy information.
I know it’s ok to not know, but if you have the means to know, then why not get to know? Seamlessly, I will slip into a fittingly beautiful poetic quote that was once spoken from a true, beautiful poet, Maya Angelou, who said,
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.”
Self-improvement investor: George, I was searching “Cross fit” on YouTube, and they kept on saying, “the WOD will be..”
Me: Workout Of The Day.
Continue the same line of curiosity by other self-health investors, and the list, although not exhaustive, looks like this:
AMRAP — As Many Reps/Rounds As Possible
EMOM — Every Minute On the Minute
FITT — Frequency Intensity Time Type
HIIT — High Intensity Interval Training
PR — Personal Record
PB — Personal Best
ROM — Range of Motion
EPOC — Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption
DOMS — Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
PAR Q — Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire
CNS — Central Nervous System
BMR — Basal Metabolic Rate
TDEE — Total Daily Energy Expenditure.
The “buzz word” for embarking on anything health related is “journey.” I say it myself, so I will not go against the saying, but I will challenge it by calling it a “process.” When I started my process of becoming better in this world of fitness, I stepped through the doorway of the Bodybuilding world, and quickly I found out one revolving theme, that in my bias thoughts, cannot be unproven. Everything that you see in the world of fitness was first derived, tried and tested by the bodybuilders.
Diets? We’re in 2023 and some of the popular diets are, Mediterranean Diet, Intermittent fasting (IF), The “Dietary approaches to stop hypertension Diet (The DASH Diet), The MIND diet, which is a mix of the Mediterranean and DASH diet, which stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, and the Flexitarian diet, which is a mix of vegan and vegetarian diets.
The Mediterranean diet comprises a wide range of macronutrients, with the emphasis on protein and good quality fats.
To build, repair and maintain muscle, the one macronutrient that is vital to consume is protein. Bodybuilders will not experience the growth they desire without protein.
Intermittent fasting. People often refer to this method of eating as “time restricted eating,” which means you have a limited time to consume the calories you need to gain the desired results. When bodybuilders go through a “cutting” phase, they are meticulous with measuring their calories to achieve the right energy balance, and they are reliant of diet models like “IF” to make weight for a competition or add size without overindulging.
The Dash Diet. Simply put, is the elimination of processed foods and the welcoming of whole foods, otherwise recognised as “clean foods.” So, bodybuilders understood the value of “eating clean,” and it's probably the reason they get accused of eating boring diets. Diets that comprise chicken, rice, and broccoli.
Flexitarian, MIND, Paleo, Keto, High Carb, Low Carb, the 5:2 Diet and so many more, were methods used by bodybuilders to do one simple thing; Create an energy balance in the favour of losing weight or adding muscle.
Models and principles of training — HIIT, strength, periodization, body part split, linear, progressive overload, calisthenics, power lifting, cross fit, and specificity, etc., were models and principles which bodybuilders used to carve and sculpt the perfect body. We know there's no such thing as perfect, but with practice comes progress, and progress is all to do with the process. The process that is electrifying my spirit is Met-con.
Let’s take the pin out and continue with the search to find the key to unlocking your physical and mental potential.
Potential is, by definition, having the capacity to develop into something in the future.
Philosophically, there is no future, there is only the now. So, if you practice in the now, you will be in the process; and the one thing you can do in the process is “enjoy the process.”
In conclusion, Met-Con is a discipline. The discipline of getting up, showing up, and owning it, and if you are going to embark in a process to unlock your human potential for optimal physical and mental health, then may I suggest you pick up some weights and train in the now with the most amount of muscular energy in the least amount of time. Trainwise.