"What Weight Should I Use For the Metcon?"

What weight for the metcon blog

This is a chart to help you determine approximately what weight you should be using on a metcon if you don't have a coach to give you direction (maybe you are working out at home or in open gym) and the workout description is vague on the correct stimulus. Primarily this is designed for barbells (since we usually have an idea of what our 1 rep maxes are, unlike DBs or KBs)

Metcon Percentage Reccommendations.png

The way it works:

  1. Look at the reps per set (or largest set if the numbers change each round)
  2. Follow the row over to the column that has the total reps of that particular movement.
  3. Use that percentage of your one rep max (or a conservative estimate of your 1RM if you aren't sure). It works for Pounds or Kilos!

This will work for just about any barbell movement, but use your brain. If there is a movement that is challenging for you technically, or you've struggled with in the past (possibly causing a 'tweak' or injury), err on the side of caution and use the 'low' end of the spectrum OR change the movement to something less complex/dangerous.

PDF download here: Metcon load percentages.pdf.

Rather just have a "Calculator" do it for you? Click Here.

This is very generalized and should only be used as a starting point when selecting a load. Context matters (see below). Save it to your phone or, if you are a Coach, print out the PDF and post it up at the gym.

Be sure to read the fine print:

1 rep maxes DO NOT correlate directly to doing larger sets of the same movement in a metcon. They are different stimuli. The main reason why we would even talk about it at all is that a lot of people know about what their 1 RM is (and hopefully it is fairly recent).

It ALWAYS depends on the person, the movement itself, other movements involved, workout design, desired stimulus, etc. This is your coach should be doing for you in every workout; guide you toward the best options for your goals and limitations! (No matter what the chart says).

The PDF has examples for reference:

 Metcon load scaling examples.png

You will notice that for a workout like Grace to be truly a ‘fast’ metcon like it should be, ladies should be clean and jerking 135+ and men should be at 225+. People can certainly complete all of the reps of Grace without these maxes, but the farther off they are, the more they are going to have to slow down and the more likely they are to not get the proper stimuli.

Fran should be more like a 1 RM thruster of 95 for ladies and 135 for men (using 10-14 reps per set and 25-49 total reps per workout).


Post These Around the Gym. At the very least it will help prevent as many questions in class. It may also prevent ‘arguments’ with the guys who are always trying to go too heavy on the metcons.

At the very best, it will help people understand why the strength training is so important. While not ‘directly’ correlated with metcon loads, the road to getting higher maxes is paved with getting better at sets of 3, 5, 6, etc.

"Fitness-cizers" (You):

If you want to improve your performances and get fitter in general, you should make sure you are focusing on the strength component of the training and not just "MOAR-METCON!"

Thrive on.



Please share this if you found it useful or if you think it might help someone else. 

Here are a few other things you may find interesting:  

Modifying a Workout Doesn't Mean You Are Inadequate

“At the moment when we accept our weaknesses and stop deciding to grow, we’re the BEST we’re ever going to be. It’s all downhill from there.” -Ramit Sethi.png

You have probably noticed that this training, working toward mastery, causes many benefits outside of the gym.

It is because we are deliberately working on our weaknesses. We willingly accept the truth of where we are at, and we put effort to making ourselves better....


Fast versus "Best" - How to use the Scaling Guide in workouts

Scaling Guide(Time or Rounds).png

The ‘Scaling Guide’ is one of the most important tools for getting the most out of your time at the gym. The key is to remember that the goal isn’t to get the fastest time, or the most rounds. The key is to use the ‘best’ progressions to land you right smack dab in the middle of the guide!

Quick Tip Video Playlist:


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