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How Quickly Can You Complete Five Rounds Of This Metcon Workout?

A woman crouches by a barbell
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Speed is the name of the game when it comes to this metabolic conditioning (metcon) workout.

EvolveYou (opens in new tab) coach Melissa Kendter, a PT and advanced functional training specialist certified by the American Council of Exercise, has chosen five moves that together work the lower and upper body as well as your core.

Metcon is a style of high-intensity training that combines strength and cardio conditioning,” says Kendter. “A metcon workout is usually structured in circuit style with exercises performed back to back. Metcons can be quite intense and are typically programmed for intermediate to advanced fitness goers. Although the aim is speed, you want to be sure that your form and technique stay on point.”

You need a barbell and set of dumbbells to perform this workout. Choose your weights carefully: you want ones which pose a challenge but still allow you to move at speed with flawless form. Once you’ve thoroughly limbered up (use this gym warm-up if you don’t have your own routine), set a timer and see how quickly you can complete five rounds of the following.

1 Barbell front squat

Woman performing the front squat

(Image credit: Getty Images / Rich Legg)

Reps 10

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, back flat and a slight bend in your knees. Hold a barbell so it rests on your upper chest with your palms facing away from you and elbows pointing forwards. Keeping your chest up, push your hips back and bend your knees to lower until your thighs are at least parallel with the floor. Push through your heels to return to standing. 

2 Barbell bent-over row

Group of people performing the barbell row

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Reps 10

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and a slight bend in your knees, holding the barbell in front of your thighs with your palms facing you. Hinge at your hips and lower your torso until it is almost parallel to the ground, letting your arms hang down and keeping a slight bend in your knees. Draw your elbows up past your torso to raise the barbell to your ribs. Pause and squeeze your shoulder blades, then slowly lower the barbell. 

3 Dumbbell lateral lunge

Reps 10 each side

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding dumbbells by your sides. Take a big step to the right and, keeping your left leg straight, lower until your right knee is bent at around 90°. Make sure your right knee doesn’t travel past your toes and keep your torso as upright as possible. Push through your right heel to return to standing, and alternate sides with each rep. 

4 Hammer curl to press

Woman midway through the hammer curl and press, with dumbbells by her shoulders

(Image credit: Getty Images / Mireya Acierto)

Reps 10

Stand holding dumbbells in front of your thighs, palms facing. Bend your elbows to curl the dumbbells to your shoulders, then extend your arms straight up to press the dumbbells overhead. Reverse the movement to the start.

5 Sit-up

A man and woman performing sit ups

(Image credit: Getty Images / Delmaine Donson)

Reps 10

Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Place your hands wherever is most comfortable. Raise your torso to meet your knees using the muscles in your core. Pause at the top, then lower back to the start under control. Aim to keep your feet flat on the floor throughout. 

Lucy Gornall
Lucy Gornall

Lucy is a freelance journalist, and former health and fitness editor across various UK women’s magazines. She is also a level 3 personal trainer and is trained in pre- and post-natal fitness.