Do you want to wear the minimum pieces of flare?

In today’s episode of the Principia Podcast, we talk with Trisha about her experience with Principia CrossFit.  This podcast is FULL of great nuggets of motivation. Trisha wanted to feel better and despite being terrified her first day she conquered fear and lost 40lbs! We were able to give Trisha clarity, and then her execution and consistency produced serious results!

Get Out of Pain

One of the BIGGEST reasons people don’t stick with their workout regimen is because they hurt all the time: their back aches, their shoulder hurts, their neck tweaks, their knees throb. When it starts, the pain isn’t always sharp or intense, so they keep grinding. But over time, the minor aches and pains slowly escalate until one day, they just can’t fathom continuing with what they are doing.  Unfortunately, many people ignore the pain, pushing through it for short-term gains, while ultimately causing long-term damage.


Watch this 6 minute video to see what is really happening when you push past your minor pains.


“Getting older” doesn’t have to mean accepting these aches and pains as facts of life. We have the education, experience, and programs to help guide you out of this cycle and keep you doing the things you love, pain free.  We assess your history, your current regimen, and where you want to be. With the data obtained from your assessments, we create your plan that will eliminate your pain. Period. Follow our guidance, get out of pain, and watch your fitness thrive!  It will be one of the GREATEST decisions you have ever made. Sound too good to be true? Check out some testimonials from our current members.

Are you ready to get out of pain? Schedule an assessment with one of our coaches today!


The little voice inside your head.  It is always talking.

I’m too old.  I just don’t have the time. It’s too expensive. It’s easier for everyone else. I have bad genes. It’s out of my control. It’s never worked before.

It feeds you lies.

You are smart. You are worthy. You are important. Your age does not define your abilities. You are qualified to take action and GAIN CONTROL over your future.  You are ready for the next step. You are not always successful, but you ARE great at learning from your failures. YOU ARE BULLETPROOF.

If this doesn’t feel like you, that’s OK.  But it should be how you think about yourself.  And even if you’re not there yet, we will get you there.  


At Principia CrossFit, we work to turn our community into productive, driven, decisive, positive, and resilient people.  We provide challenges, both physically and mentally, honing the systems to conquer life’s obstacles. You will be BULLETPROOF.

And guess what? On that path to becoming bulletproof, we want you to fail.


You might be thinking to yourself, “Whoa whoa whoa, pump the brakes. These people have been hyping me up about how bulletproof I’m going to be, and then they tell me they WANT me to fail?”

Yeah, that’s right.  We do want you to fail. Not fail overall all, but we do want to see you fail occasionally.  Failure is important; it means you are trying something new or testing a boundary. 


“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”  -J.K. Rowling


Failure is going to happen; it is a fact of life.  When that failure does happen, will you be prepared?  Will you know how to learn from it, to overcome it, to grow?  Or will that failure cripple you, leaving you afraid to ever take another risk?  We want you to fail occasionally, and instead of being crippled, we want you to hunt for the growth and lessons in that experience and turn things around!  

We coach you physically.  We improve your stamina, your endurance, your strength.  We get you to look good naked. But the biggest transformation–the most impactful transformation–occurs on the inside.  We coach your mindset, training you to be a resilient, education-craving individual.


“Most great people have achieved their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.”  -Napoleon Hill


Failure sucks in the moment.  It is hard to face. Your family, you friends, don’t want you to hurt. They may even attempt to shelter you from it. Don’t let them.  Cut yourself loose because that failure is going to change your life. 

You will fail, and you will have the tools, the strategies to overcome that failure.  We are going to help you conquer life’s challenges, and right around the corner, you will be more successful than you ever thought you were capable of.

Macro Highlight: Protein

In the world of fitness, nutrition is always a hot topic to talk about.  Any time we think about changing our diet, it is important that we don’t bite off more than we can chew (punny right? #dadjoke). For the month of February, I would like to focus on one macronutrient: Protein. I believe that a solid month of making a change to a macro like this can be great for making more consistent results! This article is a guide to protein broken up depending on your goals.  But every body is different, so this guide is just an approximation to point you in the right direction.

Goal: Weight Loss

As with any weight loss regime, your calories in must be less than your calories out.  Keep in mind that 1 gram of protein is 4 calories. To find out how much protein to eat each day, I recommend that you take your realistic goal weight and consume 90-100% of that in grams of protein. So taking for example a 145lb female who wants to weigh 135lbs, she should consume 120-135g of protein. This is 540 calories of your daily allowance. If she is to consume 1500 calories a day, protein takes up about 1/3 of the overall calories for the day. Why so much? It is very difficult for your body to breakdown protein into carbons to be utilized as energy and therefore the conversion rate is low. This lower conversion not only staves off the storage of extra carbon (fat) it also provides plenty of amino acids for your body to utilize in creating structures and healing and other recovery processes in the body. In layman terms, a high protein diet will discourage fat storage and promote lean muscle building.

Goal: Performance

If you are happy with your current weight and want to focus on performance, your protein intake will likely need to shift a bit.  You should be looking at your current bodyweight, and trying to intake 70-80% of that in grams of protein. Using the same female from above that weighs 145lbs and has a desire to increase Fran times and lift heavier, she should be taking in 100-115g per day of protein. This same person would also be looking at a higher total caloric intake of let’s call it 2000 calories per day. At this rate, protein would account for 460 of the 2000 calories. This is about 25% of the daily caloric allowance, giving the athlete more opportunity to ingest carbs and fat to be used as fuel in workouts.

Goal: Weight Gain

Weight gaining goals are basically an onslaught of eating as much as possible. With this is mind, we would want to eat 100% of the GOAL weight in grams of protein in order to reach the goal. With weight gaining, you really just want to make sure that you have plenty of protein so that recovery is happening quickly and your body is able to focus more energy on the digestion of fat and carbs.  Eating much more protein than this is typically not as useful as one might think because excess amino acids will simply be flushed out when you urinate. Our example female weighing in at 145lbs needs to consume 2500+ calories per day. If she wishes to gain 10lbs she should be consuming 155g of protein per day which is 620 calories. This is also about 25% of the daily caloric intake. 


What do they have in common? 

  1. Well the examples should all be taken with a grain of salt as each individual’s basal metabolic rate (BMR) is different. Because BMR is different the total calories will change per individual. 
  2. That’s a lot of protein!  No matter what the goal, you should probably be trying to eat more protein than you do throughout your day.
  3. Every person, regardless of goal should be looking to get most or ALL of their protein through REAL food. Easy sources are meat products. While supplementing is okay, it is not quite natural. If it isn’t quite natural, you may not be getting MICROnutrients that your body should have in order to better process the food you are eating. Supplements might not give the liver the amino acids it requires to function better along with other organs. If your organs are operating sub-optimally then you might not be as efficient. Even with whole, real foods, getting a good variety of protein is the key to efficiency… so no, you cannot have chicken with EVERY meal!


For the month of February, I challenge everyone to count their protein intake and begin to tweak it little by little. By the time March hits, it will be a new routine and you can shift focus to the next nutrition goal!

Forging Your Own Way

As I sit here, programming countless hours of exercise for the athletes that I care for, I often find myself struggling with making decisions about what workouts are truly best for the classes. The difficulty lies within me recalling specific athlete’s weaknesses and how I can’t program the whole class to perform the same thing because so-and-so has it as a weakness. I also find that developing the strength to perform some movements is not completely necessary for those that already have strength in that department. An example would be the pull-up. A lot of people are good at pull-ups, while many others cannot perform 1. How can these athletes be on the same program? How can I program the same volume in the shoulder when some athletes have great balance in the shoulder while many do not? There are many other factors that need to be considered as well. How much sleep is everyone getting? How much food are they eating and what is the quality of that food? What stresses are being put on everyone? How consistent or inconsistent are people being with their gym routine?

It is impossible for me to know and track all of these, for 100+ people, AND create a program that suites them all equally. This is the point: The program is a template to health and longevity. The workouts are designed for people to move with certain mechanics, consistently, and at a preconceived intensity and have everyone feel as though they had “fun” or accomplished something. That being the case, not everyone will perform 10 rounds of 5 pullups and 5 burpees the same at all! This means that every athlete needs to take their workout into their own hands and make some decisions about the work ahead. Given the above workout, if an athlete cannot perform pull-ups at all, then they should perhaps take the workout time to develop the strength in their lats and grip. Say they haven’t performed cardio for a while though, then just lower the reps and scale the pull-ups and keep the burpees. This way they can move fairly continuously throughout the workout and get some work on pull-ups and preserve the desired intensity with still doing burpees. This is not me saying that you have to coach yourself! The opposite really. You should be able to ask your coach for advice and that coach should be able to lay out several options that will do the job! 

What I plan on doing moving forward is to add options below the workouts that people can add or do instead in order to develop the strength and skills required to improve. They will be organized into different categories depending on the movement and there will be options for preserving stimulus while scaling. Through communication with the coaches and working on the things you need to improve, you can make the workouts exactly what YOU need.

Learning to Fight

Welcome to fight club. It is your first day and today we are fighting hand-to-hand combat against an experience fighter who has a knife. You get no weapons at all. 3…2…1… GO. In this scenario, do you feel well enough prepared to fight the person who has a knife on the first day of fight club? If you are smart and don’t have a long line of training hand-to-hand combat including lessons in disarming and defending against an armed assailant, then you should be screaming “no” to the question above. If you make a mistake, it could cost you your life. While CrossFit may not be a life or death fight like the scenario above, it is still a dark comparison to the first day of CrossFit and say, a workout like “Amanda.” 

When starting fight club, I think it is reasonable to assume that the first month you will not actually fight anyone. Instead you would probably spend a whole class on stance and foot work. Another class on throwing a jab. Several classes on grappling techniques. Several classes on defensive postures…etc. You would breakdown the knife fight scenario over MANY smaller scenarios where your life is not in danger. CrossFit is no different. Just starting out you should spend plenty of time learning stances, postures, body control before even picking up an external load like a barbell. It is imperative that you are not impatient with this because all that high intensity stuff you see, and extreme weightloss… that didn’t just happen overnight, or even over a month. It took YEARS. Not A year, YEARS. 

Alright you have been in Fight Club for a year and you are about to go into your first, real, hand-to-hand fight. Are you going to challenge an opponent who has a weapon while you still do not? UNLIKELY. If you are saying that you would then stop wasting your time in the civilian world and go pursue a special forces career, because you are clearly too advanced for general population and you clearly do not care if you are hurt permanently or not. Seriously, if you think a year of training is enough, stop reading this, stop doing CrossFit and go actually find something to fight for. CrossFit is not for you. Okay now that they are gone we can continue a conversation rationally. After a year, the scenario would still need to be broken down and practiced in segments. A single strike against you with the knife; Master defending and countering that before you move on. Even the competitive setting should have been practiced. Normal hand-to-hand fighting, grappling only, boxing only, etc. Only after YEARS of this would you feel ready. CrossFit is no different! Years of work to master your body and moving load around your body, then roll with the big boys. 

All of this boils down to one thing, following a template that is merely a guide to success. It still requires that you, the individual, in communication with your coach, make adjustments daily to ensure that you are making progress. It should be slow progress! Master one thing at a time! Not more than one. Let’s go back to the aforementioned “Amanda.” This workout is 2 movements and a total of 42 repetitions (21 each). It is one weightlifting movement elegantly paired with 1 gymnastics movement. 9 muscle-ups, 9 snatches at 135lbs for men and 95lbs for women, then 7 and 7, and finally 5 and 5. That is all there is to it! You have been doing CrossFit for a year or 2 and the snatch is very doable for you but the elusive muscle-up has evaded your grasp entirely. Maybe you should chat with the coach about just working on the muscle-up today. Maybe you can somewhat preserve the stimulus and drill the muscle up with banded transitions or jumping variations. I would also consider eliminating the clock. Just try to move well with the snatch and then focus during your drill. Maybe your time will be slow, maybe it won’t. It doesn’t matter if you got one step closer to the muscle-up, you are still on top!

Is Boutique Fitness Right for Me?

If you’re ready for results it’s time to ditch the health club…

There was a time when we got all the exercise we require from our daily activities. But as hunting and gathering lead to farming and eventually the industrialized world we live in today the need for human “labor” has been nearly eradicated. Now that we work desk jobs, eat our meals from the hot bar at Whole Foods, and enjoy a generally sedentary lifestyle we are required to reintroduce this missing physical activity. For some reason, the question of how to add physical activity, or work, back into our lives is one that has proven to be puzzling, controversial, and difficult terrain to navigate.


In response to the demands of the market the fitness industry has grown tremendously, particularly in North America where an estimated $28 billion was spent in 2015. Much of this industry is dominated by health clubs and large gym franchises that offer a sampling of strength equipment, cardio machines, TV’s, massage chairs and minimal staffing. Granted  how many staff members do you need when your members don’t actually attend the club? In a study done by students at UC Berkeley found 67% of gym memberships are never used in the population they surveyed.


“If you are not going to the gym, you are actually the gym’s best customer.” -Stacey Vanek Smith, NPR


The savvy marketers at big box gyms know how to target their marketing towards individuals who won’t actually come to the facility. As humans we often get a rush of excitement by a new fitness undertaking. “This is it, the time I actually change, no looking back,” you say. The challenge is that the health club has made zero commitment to you. They don’t care if you show up or not. Luckily there is someone out there who does.


Boutique fitness is the alternative to the traditional health club model. Boutique gyms offer specialized classes based on the expertise of the owners, teachers, or coaches. CrossFit boxes, Barre studios, Bikram yoga, parkour facilities, spin classes  are all great examples of the boutique fitness model.


These communities succeed when the all parts are working together; the owner, staff, and clientele all succeed when they each meet their goals. This synergistic effect leads to faster results and more satisfaction from all parties. As a client you have a team of coaches and fellow members who are all rooting for you, teaching you, and most importantly holding you accountable. Becoming fit doesn’t have to be a chore, a challenge, or a pain point. In fact, it can even be fun 😉


Boutique gyms have been seen rapid growth in the past decade as clients recognize that when it comes to fitness, not all gyms are created equal. Some of the most common excuses sound like:

  • “I have a hard time sticking to a routine”
  • “I’m just too busy to exercise”
  • “I get bored with going to the gym, it always feels like work”
  • “I don’t know how to lift weights/choose a routine/eat the right food”


These are great excuses, but since you’re ready to make a change it’s time to ditch the excuses and focus on RESULTS. By implementing a system that counters your excuses you’ll be left with the only option, the results that you want to achieve.


If you struggle with sticking to a routine you will benefit from the coaches, friends, and community members that you’ll meet at each class. A group of people that will ask you about your day, learn about your goals and life, and most importantly encourage you to show up consistently to your workouts.


If you claim to be too busy then you should sign up for classes ahead of time. The wide variety of classes that are available each day at time frames that are consistent with your schedule make it easy to squeeze in an hour long workout.


If boredom is your challenge then a workout that changes every day is exactly what you need. Not only that but the different coaching styles and friends you’ll make at different times of the day make each class a totally unique experience.


If information is the enemy then relax, because that’s already been taken care of for you. Your coach has put a lot of thought into a training program that will improve your fitness and will be by your side to instruct you on form, breathing, and what weights to use. Keep an eye out for group nutrition challenges to boot!


To get the results you want sometimes you need to try a new approach. If that trip to the gym feels more daunting than Frodo walking the ring to Mordor then it’s time to see what a boutique gym has in store for you!

The Power of Choice

Most of us have an area in our life we wish we were performing better in. That part of us that doesn’t quite fit into our own skin. It could be a touchy subject that our spouse and friends know to steer clear of, the elephant in the room. It could be the promotion you still haven’t received, the credit card you haven’t paid off, or the weight you were supposed to lose by the beginning of  summer… in 2012.


And because you’re wearing this very uncomfortable skin that’s not quite your size I am happy to tell you that you are exactly where you chose to be today.


I can already hear the objections rising up so let me explain why.


You see I totally understand your story. I understand because it’s yours, mine, and everyone else’s. Sometimes having a new baby, a busy time at work, or the worst timing for a medical emergency/broken down car/economic depression can happen. There are a million and one events in life that can derail us. They are not always fair and can seem impossible to overcome when they show up knocking at our door.


“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths.”

-Arnold Schwarzenegger


At that point we do an admirable thing. We give up on our dream. We set it aside to go fix the problem. We change our identity and become the superhero who knows exactly how to work overtime and take care of a sick parent. We do it because we want to make sure the story has a happy ending. We do it out of love.


And life goes on.


And sometimes the situation gets better. And sometimes it doesn’t. Either way, the situation that called for a superhero 6 months ago no longer needs a hero to save it. But there you stand in cape and tights committed to action. Except now it’s time to go home. Time to write a new story.


Where you stand today is a result of many choices. Some of your hero moments were the big decisions that shaped your trajectory. Like I said, I’m proud of you for doing that. But now it’s time to get back on the path. Your path. The one you stopped telling yourself that you wanted because it hurt too bad to think that it may never come true.


You might think it’s too late (it’s not).


You might want to try, but feel that you strayed too far (you haven’t).


You have to remember you have the power of choice. And it’s a good thing that you do. It gives you the power to turn your greatest adversity into your greatest strength. You always have the option to shy away or to stand and fight.


It’s time for a new story. You’re the hero and you’re at the turning point in the movie of your life. So what are you going to do next?You’ve endured hardship, learned tough lessons, and fallen time and time again. Wouldn’t this be a great time for everything to turn around?


Maybe you can recruit someone to help you get there, a long lost friend or a wise old mentor. Maybe you need to crank up “Eye of the Tiger” and experience the training it will take to achieve your success.


The time to act is now. Don’t slip back into your old story. You are the hero. The power of choice brought you here. Your choice decides what happens next.


So what are you going to do?


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The Importance of Oxygen

The Importance of Oxygen

It’s Monday and you are ready to kill your week of workouts. Feeling refreshed and centered after the weekend, you see that coach has programmed “Fran” (21-15-9 of Thrusters and Pull-ups). You have done this workout before and just seeing the name sends you into fight or flight: you are now aware of the air passing through your ventilation system as your senses become energized. I mean, NO ONE is about to get the drop on you as you would feel their presence.

Last time you did this WOD you were so pumped, and your adrenaline was peaking before you even started. The countdown chimed, and you attacked the barbell with the swiftness of a lion taking down an antelope. With all the excitement, your breathing has been inconsistent and unconscious. You dropped the bar to do pull-ups and realize that this is the first breath that you actually remember taking. No time to dilly dally, you jump up to the bar and begin your pull-ups. As you drop from the bar you feel drained already. Your muscles are over-excited and starving for oxygen and your breathing is heavy and uncontrollable.  You still have 15 reps and 9 reps of each movement, but your set of 15 is now taking just as long as the 21 did. You are slowing down, and your body is so starved of oxygen that you are becoming acidic and PUMPED (Don’t get me wrong; I love a good pump. But it is hard to be coordinated and move through complex, full ranges of motion when you are swole). You finish “Fran” in 6:00 and it is a few second PR for you. You feel as though you worked hard and that you should be seeing better results. The lights darken and while it is a win on the PR board, your ego still took a hit.

Sometimes an improvement in performance is simply a change of focus. It is okay to feel nervous and be in fight or flight before the workout. But there is one element you need to harness before, during, and after every workout if you want to make the most of it. That element is Oxygen. Oxygen is involved in many processes in your body. What your body can do when it is properly oxygenated is astounding in comparison to when it isn’t.


Before the WOD

Deep breathing before a workout can center your focus and calm your nerves, allowing you to make better decisions under pressure. It seems like there aren’t many decisions to make in a short workout, but when you are trying to reach peak performance, it absolutely is. You have to decide when to take a short rest, focus on how your positioning is throughout the movement, and of course, when, where, and how much to breath throughout the movement and the WOD. So, lay down, and take some deep diaphragmatic breaths to give your body plenty of oxygen to deliver to the cells preparing for battle. Something else you can do is breath through your diaphragm while doing the motions of the workout scaled down (like an empty barbell). If you do that, you are creating a neuromuscular pattern that tells your brain that you can be calm and move at the same time. Your body will respond with hormones that will balance out the adrenaline and keep you in the moment.

During the WOD

Oxygen in exercise is primarily used to create more ATP in the body. It also is used to flush out waste in your blood. That being said, whether the workout is targeting the phosphagen, glycolytic, or oxidative systems, [button link=”” newwindow=”yes”] Learn more about alactic, lactic, and aerobic systems HERE![/button] more oxygen in your blood is paramount to better performance. This means that in a workout like “Fran,” your oxygen is being used to push out waste during the first :60-:90 of the workout. But it is also cuing up to start creating a TON of ATP through the oxidative system. That much demand for oxygen means you better be focused on constantly breathing and trying to breath as deep and as smooth as the movement and your training allows!

After the WOD

Now that you have tried “Fran” again with your recent enamoring of oxygen, you PR by nearly 2:00! That feels a lot more like a win, and your ego thanks you. You are writhing in pain on the floor and you decide to just lay there and breathe. Great, you are focused on regaining oxygen and flushing out some waste. It can only be made better by doing some low threshold movement like bicycling. This will keep your muscles asking for the oxygen and you will likely be less sore because of it. That is called a cool down. It doesn’t mean you stop focusing on breathing! You have to force the deep breathing pattern (using your diaphragm) in order to finally stabilize your energy and hormones again.



I used “Fran” as a familiar example, but this is all relevant to any workout! Do yourself a favor and set an alarm every hour and just remind yourself to focus on breathing for a few breaths. EVERYTHING will be that much better!

Exploring the Alactic, Lactic, and Aerobic Systems

Exploring the Alactic, Lactic, and Aerobic Systems

As a living, breathing, blog reading individual you’ve probably learned the basics around how food provides the body with energy. There are actually several different ways that this can occur and they depend on the activity being performed. Depending on our sport or activity, nutrition, genetics, and level of training will each play a role which energy system is primarily utilized. Regardless of which energy system  is predominantly used, all energy is stored in the form of ATP.

Adenosine Triphosphate or “ATP” is the energy currency of the body. Each of the energy systems in the body have their own way of producing ATP to power our daily activities. There are pro’s and con’s to each energy system but ultimately having a better understanding of how our body uses energy can help us make informed decisions on diet and exercise. Let’s learn about each energy system…

  • Alactic System aka the Creatine Phosphate System
  • Lactic Acid System aka Glycolytic
  • Aerobic System aka Fatty Acid Metabolism


“No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.” —Tony Robbins


Alactic System

(aka the Creatine Phosphate System)

What is it: The alactic system utilizes creatine phosphate (CP) as an energy source. It fuels high intensity efforts. Creatine is able to donate its phosphate molecules to the the Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP) molecule allowing it to return to ATP, with potential energy stored in its chemical bonds. Creatine comes from the food that we eat with the highest levels in red meat, pork, poultry, and fish. It can also be supplemented for vegetarians and vegans.

Time domains: This energy system is exhausted in 8-12 seconds for most individuals and you will fatigue when your CP and ATP stores have depleted. It is great for quick bursts of energy.

Efficiency:It requires 30 seconds to 2 minutes to replenish energy stores.

By products: Heat released from the breaking of chemical bonds.

Examples of activity: You may see this energy system in action through the short powerful bursts seen in weightlifters, powerlifters, pitchers, and shot putters.

What training looks like: Training the CP system means using short time domains with long rest periods in between. In the gym this means keeping rep ranges to sets of 6 or fewer reps.


Lactic Acid System

(aka Glycolytic system)

What is it: The lactic acid system utilizes glycogen (glucose stored in the muscles and liver) as a fuel source. It is for longer lasting high intensity activities. Our body is able to store about 500 total grams of glycogen in the muscle and liver tissue which provides around 2,000 calories worth of energy. Running out of this fuel source is commonly referred to as “bonking.” Some athletes consume carbohydrate foods, drinks, and supplements during training and competition to prevent running out of this valuable fuel source.

Time domains: It is the primary fuel source for activities lasting from 30 seconds to about 3 minutes. You know you have fatigued this energy system when hydrogen ion accumulation causes a burning sensation in the muscles.

Efficiency: The lactic acid system is very efficient at providing fuel but fatigues quickly. Due to the long recovery time it is favorable to alternate levels of intensity between glycolytic and aerobic dependence to sustain high output.

By products: The byproduct of this system is pyruvate. Which must be cleared from the blood to continue to utilize this energy system. This can take 30-60 minutes.

Examples of activity: This energy system would rule during a 400 or 800 meter sprint, a hockey lines time on the ice, or most CrossFit workouts. It is seen in mixed use with the aerobic system during longer workouts or soccer and basketball games where the players alternate between a slower jog pace with periods of intense sprinting and jumping.

What training looks like: To train this energy system you can utilize interval style training. Intense bursts of energy followed by a recovery period that allows you to stay at a threshold of high output. These athletes tend to have increased muscle mass and ideally lower body fat percentage.


Aerobic System

(aka Fatty Acid Metabolism aka Krebs Cycle aka Citric Acid Cycle…)

What is it: This is the creation of energy from fat, glycogen or protein in the presence of oxygen used to power low and moderate intensity activities. The mitochondria present in muscle cells takes the available fuel source through a variety of reactions to produce ATP. Since fat molecules packs 9 calories per gram they tend to be the main choice for this energy system. Even the leanest individuals carry enough body fat to fuel many days worth of activity.

Time domains: Any activity lasting more than 3 minutes in duration.

Efficiency: This system produces energy much more slowly than the others. The good news is it can utilize an unlimited fuel supply of fat.

By products: The aerobic system only produces water and carbon dioxide when generating ATP.

Examples of activity: This energy system is your predominant fuel source for jogging, cycling, swimming long distances, and most of your daily activities.

What training looks like: Athletes who have become efficient at using fat as a fuel source are able to convert the energy from fat more quickly, allowing them to sustain higher levels of work capacity for activities with long durations. These athletes are usually easy to spot as they have exceptional muscle definition and extremely low body fat.

As you can see from the graph, our average work capacity is dictated by the length of time we are performing an activity.By training in all three energy systems we can become more efficient in all areas, thus increasing our work capacity across the board.Individuals who only try to utilize cardio or lifting heavy weights to improve work capacity will fall short of their well rounded counterparts. If you’re an individual who wants to improve general health it is beneficial to train each of the energy systems.


If you’re ready to increase you work capacity and become more fit, give us a call today and we’ll help you get started!

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