Routine Written & Demonstrated by Derya Cil Eren, CPT, CrossFit Level 2
Photography by Paul Buceta

Even after a year (and then some) of keeping up with our workouts without the convenience of a gym, at-home workouts still carry the stigma that they’re not as intense or effective. And while that’s not entirely true, even we’ve grown a little tired of resistance bands and bodyweight exercises. 

With that in mind, we turned to one of the most intense fitness movements to come our way since, well, ever: CrossFit. 

Don’t worry, you won’t be doing dozens of double-unders or pull-ups. Instead, these workouts borrow CrossFit’s extremely effective training method, metabolic conditioning (or MetCon, if you want to sound hip), and apply it to a sweat session you can do at home with just a set of dumbbells or kettlebells. You’ll also need a timer or stopwatch. 

If you need some convincing, these are the benefits you’ll reap from putting in the extra effort: 

1. Improved calorie-burn after training for more than 24 hours.
2. Targets different types of energy systems to boost metabolism.
3. Improved cardiovascular conditioning (a.k.a. you’ll be fitter).
4. Builds strength, endurance, and power.


Below, you’ll find two mini MetCons. Depending on your time, fitness level, and goals, you can either perform them all in one longer training session, or split them up into different days. You could even add them to your other workouts as a cardio finisher. Always begin with 5-10 minutes of warm-up movements like jogging on the spot, skipping, jumping jacks, or a cardio machine. 

Workout #1

Protocol: Perform each exercise for 60 seconds, completing as many reps as possible of each.
Complete 3 rounds.

1. Dumbbell Thruster
2. Mountain Climber
3. Dumbbell Goblet Squat
4. Russian Twist
5. CrossFit Sit-Up

Rest 1 min between rounds.

If doing both MetCons in one session, be sure to rest two minutes between each workout and drink plenty of water. 

Begin by standing with the dumbbells resting gently on your shoulders (A). Drop into a low squat (B). Explosively come up to standing, pressing the weights overhead (C). Repeat quickly, but with control, for all reps.

Begin in a high-plank position. In a quick, “running” motion, alternate bringing one knee towards your chest, followed by the other. Repeat for all reps. 

Stand holding a dumbbell by one end with both hands in front of your chest (A). Lower your hips into a squat, keeping your chest lifted and spine neutral (B). Press through your heels to come back up to standing. Repeat. 

For all squatting movements, only go as low as you can while maintaining proper form. 

Sit holding a dumbbell in both hands while balancing your weight on your glutes so your knees are bent and feet are off the floor. Keeping your legs stationary, rotate to one side. Rotate back to center, then twist to the other side. Continue for all reps. 

Begin sitting up with the bottoms of your feet pressed together, knees out to the sides, with your fingers touching on your toes (A). Lie back using control, bringing your arms overhead (B), then sit up with power, using some momentum, and reach forward and touch your toes (C). Repeat for all reps. 

Workout #2

Protocol: Complete 1-3 rounds (depending on fitness level) of the following for time. 

50 DB Toe Taps
40 DB Front Rack Squat
30 DB Forward Lunge
20 DB Push Press
10 CrossFit Burpee

Stand with a dumbbell on the floor in front of you. Quickly hop from one foot to the other, tapping your toes on the dumbbell. Go as fast as you can for all reps. 

Begin by standing with the dumbbells resting gently on your shoulders (A). Bend your knees and lower your hips into a squat, keeping your chest lifted and spine neutral (B). Press through your heels to return to standing. Repeat. 

Stand holding dumbbells down at your sides. Take a large step forward with one foot, then bend both knees and lower your hips until your front thigh is parallel to the ground. Push off your front foot to return it to the starting position. Complete all reps on this side, then repeat on the other leg. 

Begin by standing with the dumbbells resting gently on your shoulders (A). Bend your knees slightly, then explosively extend, pressing the weights overhead (B). Return to the starting position and immediately repeat. 

This move differs from the thruster in that it isolates the shoulder muscles, where the thruster is a full-body exercise.

From standing, place your palms on the ground and hop your feet back into plank position, lowering your chest and torso all the way to the floor (A). Push through your palms to raise your upper body (B), then press into your toes and raise your hips to the ceiling (C). Hop your feet to your hands (D), then explode straight upwards, bringing your arms overhead (E). Land with soft knees and immediately repeat.

To modify this exercise, do not drop your chest to the floor and eliminate the jump at the end.

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