Here at Muscle & Fitness we’re dedicated to showcasing every aspect of the fitness world. There is no one way to get in shape. We want our readers to explore the multitude of possibilities beyond the confines of a standard gym floor. And so we’re tasking one of our own—Senior Editor Zack Zeigler—to go on a unique fitness journey and bring his experiences to you in our new series—WORKOUTS YOU’VE NEVER TRIED.


Workouts You've Never Tried, Tropper Fitness

Trooper METCON (short for metabolic conditioning) Camp is a combination of strength, cardio and HIIT, or high intensity interval training. The rationale behind the formula is clear. Trooper Fitness Co-Founder Flex Cabral explains, “You’re training all three energy systems… your glycolytic, your phosphagen, and your aerobic systems all mixed into one. It makes it difficult to transition through. Most people are pretty much [only] good at one…If you’re not accustomed to it, it can be fairly challenging.” The desired effect: rev up your metabolism to burn calories long after your last rep.

“The predominant feature of the class is that we do have a pretty heavy strength component where you’re doing 45 seconds worth of work and then 15 seconds worth of rest,” says Cabral. The strength component is a mix of four movements—an upper body push, an upper body pull, a lower body push and a lower body pull—in order to provide a total body workout during each class. Following the strength circuit, the class shifts to a continuous cardio piece consisting of switching between two exercises for 30 seconds each over a three to four minute period. The final component of the workout is a high intensity Tabata—20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds of rest for four minutes straight. Think you’re done there? WRONG. Run through the strength, cardio and Tabata pieces all once more (with different exercises in each portion) to push your body to the max. The wide array of exercises and the format of the class are intended to “shock your body” through “calculated muscle confusion”, says Prince Brathwaite, Trooper Fitness Co-Founder.

Not sure if METCON Camp is for you? Brathwaite says the class takes all: “METCON is one of those classes that you can move at your own pace. A beginner can move at their own pace, take their time… It will be challenging and definitely the most advanced person is going to be challenged as well. It is one of those classes that anybody can do.” And, regardless of your usual training preference, this style class is likely to incorporate some of what typically drives you—but also pushes you to take on a new and different fitness challenge. “In order to see a change you need to be challenged, and that’s not going to always look pretty… That’s totally normal.”

So what did Zack think? “It’s definitely a shock for people that normally do straight traditional sets or a body parts workout. This is way different; it’s much more challenging and you’re moving at a very fast pace.” Zack credits the quick, seamless transitions between the three segments of the workout with helping the 50-minute class fly by and the competitive and motivational nature of the group setting for pushing himself to make the most of his time at Trooper. “It was super intense, I sweated puddles, and probably torched a lot of calories. Definitely pushed myself strength wise… I was also pushed to doing movements I may not normally incorporate, which is good because it’s going to hit different angles of a muscle that I may have neglected.” And one last takeaway: “It was fun.”

Prince Brathwaite, Co-Founder of Trooper Fitness, NYC
Prince Brathwaite, Co-Founder of Trooper Fitness and METCON Camp Coach

Can’t find a METCON class in your area? Try this four move circuit in the gym or at home>>

What is “Workouts You’ve Never Tried”?

In this new series—presented by the makers of 5-hour ENERGY Protein Shots—Zack will be taking on fitness exploits that push him far out of his comfort zone. Zack’s traditional, gym-honed strength and conditioning will be tested with routines he, and others prone to focusing on the fundamentals, would normally never consider trying. Watch what happens when a gym rat tries some of the most creative and challenging workouts the wide world of fitness has to offer.


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