The New Year’s Resolution Conundrum

res·o·lu·tion
/ˌrezəˈlo͞oSH(ə)n/
noun
a firm decision to do or not to do something.
eg. “she kept her resolution not to see Anne anymore”

Some things happen in life with the flick of a switch. When you want to turn a light on you simply flip the knob, clap your hands or yell across the room to Alexa and “voila”, let there be light. Others take time to build, layer upon layer, like a brick house. The process can only happen in a very specific way. With a strong foundation, one brick at a time.

On January first many folks scramble to find the switch that will yield the results they are looking for. But behavior change is not a light switch. Behavior change is a process. Getting stronger, eating healthy, or losing weight won’t happen instantaneously. It happens brick by brick. You only get the results if you
follow the process. The right plan and the right effort simultaneously.

“You are never pre-qualified to live your dreams. You qualify yourself by doing the work. By committing—even overcommitting—to what you believe you should do.” – Benjamin P. Hardy

If you are committed to an outcome then the process it will take you to achieve your goal should be irrelevant. Your focus is on results now. Your focus is on determining the right plan and taking the first step towards achieving.

If you are someone who worries about how far away you are from your goal then you are focused on the wrong thing. Focus on what you want, not what you don’t.

When you set your goals say exactly what you want. Getting specific here is key. Numbers and dates. These make your goals realistic and allow you to work backward to where you are today. This will help you set realistic expectations for what you can and should be achieving on a given day.

If your goal is to lose 40lbs then it would be impossible to achieve in one session. Your goal doesn’t feel like something that you can actually achieve. By February you may be frustrated that you haven’t hit it.

But if you start thinking about the future version of you that weighs 40 lbs less than you can start to understand what needs to be done. Your focus is not on losing weight but acting like the person who has already lost it.

You might do things like have a gym membership that you use regularly. Have a salad for lunch every day. Go for walks and spend your weekends on the go. You probably have other healthy friends that support your decisions.

“You can not entertain weak, harmful, negative thoughts ten hours a day and expect to bring about beautiful, strong and harmonious conditions by ten minutes of strong, positive, creative thought.” –Charles F. Haanel

In his book The Master Key System, Charles Haanel unpacks the process of achieving one’s goals. He explains that you have to “be it” and “do it” BEFORE you can “have it”. Most people get this process backward. They expect that they will change their behavior once they have achieved their goal. Instead, you must act in accordance with what it means to achieve your goal. Ask yourself, “Would a person who cares about their health make the decision I am about to make?”

The more your decisions and actions align with the goal, the faster it will come to you. Don’t let this New Year slip away from you. Stop looking to flick the switch that will make all of your problems go away.
Instead look for the path that is more difficult, but leads to success. Surround yourself with people doing the thing that you want to be doing. Who looks the way you want to look. Learn from them, adapt their behaviors, and put in the work.

This is your year.

Mitch Stout

12 Reasons You Should Be Deadlifting

The deadlift is one of the most polarizing exercises in sport and fitness, but it shouldn’t be.

Provided you are training with a certified professional, the movement’s benefits far outweigh the risks associated with avoiding the movement. But, chances are you’ve even been told by a medical professional to avoid the exercise to ensure you don’t hurt your back. Why is that?

I believe a mixed bag reason could lead to injuries associated with the lift. These including well-meaning individuals try to teach themselves the deadlift without the supervision of a certified coach, an improper mix of intensity or volume, wretched form propitiated ego, all the way down to improper footwear while lifting.

When performed correctly and under the guise of a trained professional, the benefits for the deadlift are crazy good for everyone, from a D1 athlete to your grandma, the deadlift is your answer.

Let’s be clear, if you have a medical diagnosis or issue that dictates you approach this movement with caution, do so! There is a multitude of variations of the moment that can still be beneficial, but the king of all strength movements has a world of benefit you can’t get with any other exercise.

Here are my 12 reasons you should be deadlifting:

ONE: Historical records date back to the 6th century B.C. of the lift being performed in Olympia, Greece. This lift has been performed for thousands of years and is ingrained in our daily lives.

TWO: At one point in the 1700s, the Deadlift was named the Health Lift, and it wasn’t until recently it was viewed as something to be avoided.

THREE: Due to the exercise’s complexity, many upper body muscles are also recruited as stabilizers and synergists; more on that to come below. This means you can work your abs while deadlifting (I know, your mind is blown, right?!?!)

FOUR: Some form of the DL is found in every strength sport. From powerlifting to highland games, you will find a variation of the movement. This is because powerful people can know how to deadlift, and powerful people are hard to beat.

FIVE: If you want to be a better athlete, regardless of the sport, you need to deadlift. That’s due to the movement teaching hip flexion. Think about it, is there a sport that doesn’t involve hip flexion? Everything from kicking a soccer ball, throwing a baseball, or using a slap shot in hockey uses the movement.

SIX: The Deadlift the simplest of compound strength movement. This means you will work multiple muscles over multiple joints simultaneously—bang for your buck.

SEVEN: The deadlift lift is a requisite for more complex compound movements like the Olympic clean.

EIGHT: Compound but yet irreducible. This is an important one! This means the benefits you get from performing the movement can NOT be replicated by breaking down the movement into simpler exercises like a plank, hamstring curl, and barbell hip thrust.

NINE: The neuroendocrine response produced by large muscle mass exercises like the deadlift stimulates the body’s anabolic and growth hormones. Consequently, this response proves critical to tissue growth and remodeling and leads to subsequent strength gains. One of my favorite strength coaches has a famous quote to sum this one up, “If you want a bigger bench press, deadlift.” Mark Rippetoe

TEN: Which leads me to the next point, if you want to burn more fat, you need more muscle, which, oh, by the way, the deadlift will help you with. So, deadlift = fat loss.

ELEVEN: The deadlift not only builds muscles, but it will also strengthen bones and connective tissue. This one is a little long, but follow me on this.

Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand (SAID) is a basic exercise science principle. This means that the body will over adapt to the stress the body is forced to endure. Exercise is stress; at least it should be physical stress that is greater than what the body experiences in homeostasis. This stress causes the muscles, bones, and connective tissue to over adapt to ensure safety in the future. Your bones are the framework your muscles and connective tissues are built upon. As your muscles grow, so too will your bones to ensure they can meet the demands the muscles will place on them. So, if you want bones stronger than Wolverine in your 90’s, you need to be deadlifting.

TWELVE: You need it for everyday life. Knowing how to deadlift will help you safely pick your kids up, help your buddy move his couch, and carry 42 grocery bags at the same time (because we all know making two trips is a waste of time); you need to know to deadlift properly.

I could go on, but to spare your time, I believe in the deadlift, and you should too. But, it needs to be performed correctly and under the supervision of a trained professional.

If you would like to start gaining all the benefits of the Deadlift, come train with us. We will set you up for success with our foundation program that includes teaching the Deadlift.

Christophir “Smitty” Smith

Top 3 Reasons To Train With Kettlebells

If you could only buy one piece of equipment to accomplish all of your training what would you buy? Treadmills and cycles are great for cardio but definitely won’t get you stronger. A barbell is great but where do you have room to keep it and let alone use it? Total gym style machines always feel so awkward, the cables never work and they seem to be built for someone elses body. So what exactly can use to transform your body, build strength, burn fat, and improve your cardio?

Enter the kettlebell.

Kettlebells are a great and diverse tool that you should implement into your training. Kettlebell swings train the total body and can be a low impact way to build muscle.They can be used to improve performance as well as make you look and feel strong and capable. Of course a tool is only useful as long as you know how to use it. Consider learning the basics with a certified coach who can show you the ropes. 

Today let’s dive into the top 3 reasons to train with kettlebells so you can see if they are a good fit for your fitness regimen. 

    • Carry Over To Sport and Life
    • Add Variety To Your Training
    • Quick And Effective Way To Train

1. Carry Over To Sport and Life

Kettlebell swings have tremendous carry over to your sport and lifestyle activities. They teach you how to hinge at the hip, one of the most important movement patterns for health and optimal function. A strong and healthy lower back as well as a tight core will be developed rapidly when you train kettlebell swings with good form. You will also develop an iron grip. Grip is one of the best indicators of a healthy human and Harvard has found strong correlation between grip strength and cardiovascular health. 

Swings will also improve your performance with the olympic lifts and power lifts and any other hip dominant movement like jumping. Kettlebell swings teach the dynamic hip extension that is the foundation of a powerful lifter and athlete. When you become strong and proficient with swings you can continue adding load becoming stronger and more explosive in the process.

2. Add Variety To Your Training

You can train Kettlebell swings more often than many other strength movements. Performing swings 2-3 times per week can really improve your strength and endurance and shake up your typical workout routine. By adjusting the weights , the number of sets, repetitions, and how long you rest you can get totally different responses from your kettlebell workout. 

A typical Monday workout could focus on strength and power. You would use fewer reps and a heavy weight taking 2-3 minutes between sets to fully recover. 

Wednesdays workout could be focused on building cardio. Use a light kettlebell and swing it for a long time. Pick a number like 20, 50, or even 100 reps and see how quickly you can get there. Or set a timer for 5:00 and see how many swings you can get in that amount of time. 

On Friday you could train kettlebell swings in a high intensity interval workout. Use light to moderate weights and focus on explosive efforts followed by bouts of recovery.

3. Quick And Effective Way To Train

Learning swings comes easier for some and harder for others. They are also easier to learn than the olympic lifts and far less technical. Swings are a great alternative for individuals who are focused on fitness for their health and young athletes. They also require less time to prepare the body for in terms of warming up the joints, muscles, and nervous system. They can be a fast and fun way to fit in a workout if you don’t have much time.

The kettlebell swings is such an effective tool because it trains both the eccentric (lengthening of the muscle) and concentric (shortening of the muscle) in a dynamic fashion. The snatch and clean both require a focus on a strong concentric contraction as the weight is lifted, Swings offer a different stimulus that may better suit athletes in sports like basketball or soccer or folks whose goal is not to lift maximal weight overhead. 

Kettlebell swings are a fun and effective way to train. Just like most exercises, it’s best to learn from a certified coach so you know you are performing them properly. If you are interested in getting in shape and training in a fun new environment come in for a free consult and we can show where you how training can be fun and get you results!

Ditch the Bench…

The top 8 Press variations you should be training instead

There are an incredible number of options of exercises to train the chest and shoulder muscles. Yet most athletes stick with the same barbell and dumbbell presses year after year. When it comes to training upper body pressing there are many alternative movements that will improve strength and mobility.

If you’re reading this it might just be time for you to ditch the barbell bench and strict press. These exercises are great for building pure strength, but without some variability in your training could leave you vulnerable to injury in other ranges of motion. Selecting a wide assortment of pressing exercises to train your chest, shoulders, and triceps is best for an athlete who is serious about long term growth and success in their sport.

Ideally working with a coach who can program the best drills and exercises will optimize your training. Here are the top 8 movements that will help you build strong healthy chest and shoulder muscles and convey other performance benefits as well.

  • Behind The Neck Push Press
  • Z Press
  • Filly Press
  • Plyometric Pushups
  • One Arm Dumbbell Bench
  • Bottoms Up Kettlebell Press
  • The Sots Press
  • Landmine Press

Behind The Neck Push Press

The push press performed from behind the neck is a great exercise for developing strength through the full range of motion of the press. It has high transfer to other exercises like the jerk. Many athletes find they are able to develop better neural connection between the dip and drive portion of the lift than when performed in the front rack because the load stays directly over their hips.

“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” -Thomas Jefferson

Z Press

Named after the strongman Zydrunas Savickas, the Z Press is a press performed sitting flat on the floor with legs extended in front so your body is in an L shape. It requires trunk strength, hip flexor mobility, hamstring flexibility, and lumbar and thoracic spine health. The Z press can be performed with any implement of your choice and is great for training out inefficient movement patterns in the press.

Filly Press

This is a 1 arm dumbbell Arnold Press while holding a Kettlebell in the front rack position of the non-working arm. This exercise is great for building scapular stability as well as core strength as you balance the two different implements throughout the press. `These are also great for address muscle imbalances.

Plyometric Pushups

The ability to generate power can often be beneficial to athletes. Lifting heavy loads slow is generally not as useful as rapidly being able to generate force. Plyometric push-ups provide a way to train the fast twitch muscle fibers of the chest and triceps. You also achieve a stimulus as you receive your body’s weight during the eccentric deceleration experienced after every rep.

One Arm Dumbbell Bench

One arm movements are great for challenging stability and core strength. For an added challenge try performing this movement with only your upper back resting on the bench while driving your heels into the floor and bridging the hips to full extension.

Bottoms up kettlebell Press

The bottoms up kettlebell press is a very challenging movement that should be learned with extremely light loads. It is tremendous for teaching proper pressing mechanics and learning how to develop stability in the shoulder. You are forced to stay engaged with a tight grip, elbow underneath the wrist, and tension in the total system.

The Sots Press

The Sots press is an tremendous strength and mobility exercise created by weightlifters but beneficial for all. This movement requires you to press from the bottom of a front squat and will force you to increase mobility and strength in the hips, back, and shoulder girdle, while increasing core stabilization. Clearly this movement has huge carry over to athletics and completing it with a moderate load is very impressive.

Landmine Press

The landline is a great tool for developing pressing strength in the upper chest and shoulders. It is effective because it provides a new vector to move weight through and disrupts the vertical resistance curve you are used to with most pressing movements.

There you have it. The 8 pressing variations you should be training!

When implementing new movements or routines into your training safety is the most important factor to focus on. Working with an experienced coach to learn the proper progressions is the key to having long term success!

Eat to Thrive, Not Survive

There are a lot of areas in life where “good enough” can be the goal. Ultimately, you have a finite amount of time on this planet and if a task is not important to you then you want to outsource it or put in the minimum effective dose of effort so you can move on with your day. There are also many areas where you should put in your very best work. When it comes to movement you want to be strong and pain-free. When you do your taxes you ensure that they are accurate and timely. When you spend time with the ones you love you put the phone away and are fully present in the moment.

One area that often gets the “good enough” treatment is your diet and nutrition. In my Level 1 Seminar, our flowmaster (head CF coach) talked about the “Theoretical Hierarchy of Physical Development,” which included a pyramid separated into five sections starting from the bottom containing each section getting smaller and smaller until you reached the tip of the pyramid…Guess what’s at the bottom of the pyramid? You guessed it, NUTRITION.  We are what we eat and our fitness starts at a molecular level.  Eat like crap? Perform like crap!  If you skip the “foundations” or ignore the basics, all things you have been working on above it (conditioning, gymnastics, weightlifting & sport) will fall apart or stop progressing immediately or in the future. We as athletes have to learn to prioritize certain aspects of training when the option is given. Nutrition is a great start (and foundation).

When life gets busy or making healthy choices becomes inconvenient the spectrum of foods you consume tends to take a dive in quality. Rather than let slide occur in favor of other activities that seem more important, you may find it worth your while to optimize your diet and nutrition. Here’s why:
Even if the doctor says you are healthy, you are happy with the way you look, and you can’t stand cooking – nutrition is one area that literally transcends into ALL areas of your life.  If you only ever aim for the minimum in your diet then you are capping your maximum potential in how much you can lift, creatively solve problems, and even love your family.

We often treat food as an activity that gets scheduled into the day. Food breaks up the workday and provides structure in the evening. It is a social affair with the family or a way to do business.
The foods you consume during the day are the driving force behind all of this. They not only provide the immediate nutrients needed to fuel your physical and mental performance but are also the long-term building blocks for every cell in your body. Every bite you chew or sip you take is going to be broken down into the amino acids that build your muscles and organs. The fats and oils become the cell walls that handle communication between cells in your body and control processes like your immune system function and inflammatory response. The vitamins and minerals will help your body create the energy it needs to keep you moving and eliminate toxins from your body.
Scientists have even found links between our gut bacteria and neurological disease. The foods you are eating today and the way you prioritize diet could determine your likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease later in life. The way you choose to eat is affecting the way you live, both today and 40 years from now. If you want to be your best self for your family, your career, and the things you care about accomplishing in life then taking care of your nutrition is not a “nice to have”. It’s a must.

Not sure where to get started? Start by having a conversation with one of our coaches today.

Mitch Stout

 

Work, Play, Compete, or Live Forever

If you are thinking about trying out a new training routine it’s important for you to consider your goals versus the goals of the program.

Most folks who participate in CrossFit and other HIIT styles of training may not know or understand the different styles of training available and who they might be best for. Some gyms offer a wide variety of classes to address the different needs of their members while others pride themselves on a particular specialty.

Put some thought into which camp you fall into when selecting a training program and you’ll be most likely to maximize your results and achieve your goals. Most folks fall into one of 4 camps.

1.Work
2.Play
3.Compete
4.Live Forever

Work
Let’s start with folks who train for work. They may have physically demanding jobs that require their bodies to perform for the execution of the job or to keep them safe. Law enforcement, firefighters and rescue personnel, and members of the armed forces all need to be in shape to keep them safe and performing at a high level. Other folks may have physically demanding jobs that require them to have strength and endurance for. Maintaining a high level of fitness let’s construction workers, landscapers, loggers, and other active professionals do better at work.

If you fall into this category it is important you find a training routine that supports your job performance. Workouts should be varied and keep you balanced. It’s also important that the workouts address the demands you will face on the job to help prevent injuries. Beware training programs that overwork you and leave sore or unable to perform your daily duties.

Play
If you fall into this category you know the importance of getting daily exercise, but you want it to be as fun as possible. Training should be engaging and allow you to connect with others who have the same goals as you do. You may lose interest doing the same routine over and over again so it’s important that you find a training program that mixes things up and keeps you engaged.

Compete
You train to make you better at a particular sport. Whether your sport is running, biking, skiing, soccer, or even CrossFit your training routine should be specific to the activity you are trying to excel in. Workouts need to consistently train the movements patterns you will experience in your sport to improve performance and reduce injury risk.
A great coach will know the volume of training needed to help you improve and how to plan out a training schedule for preseason, in-season, and off-season training cycles. Make sure you are training for the demands of the sport and not just following a powerlifting or bodybuilding program that doesn’t line up with your goals.

Live Forever
You train because you know it’s important for health and wellness. You’re not looking to compete but to enjoy your life and your family. You may not have a physically demanding job so you need a balance of cardiovascular and resistance training to keep you feeling good and moving well. You may also be looking for nutrition advice and other best practices to ensure you have a long and high functioning life.

If you fall into this category make sure you are training with the minimum effective dose in mind. You should leave most training sessions better than you went in.

Want to get started training, but still not sure how? Talk to one of our coaches about which of our programs might be best for you and we can answer all of your questions!

Where does alcohol fit into your training?

Since about 7000 B.C., alcohol has been a staple for gatherings in many cultures. You may have heard that wine can actually be a healthy beverage for your heart, or that a hot toddy when you’re sick makes you get better quickly. Are these claims true? Like most answers: yes and no. It depends on a myriad of things like your genetics and the way your body processes alcohol, additives and the quality of the booze you’re consuming.

So where does this fit into your life? If you’ve ever wondered if you should avoid it all together, or can have a glass or two of your favorite red or microbrew, this article is for you.

Let’s talk about the science of alcohol. What’s in it that gives us that fuzzy feeling? The answer: ethanol. This substance absorbs into our bloodstream and causes a “depressing effect” on the systems in our bodies.Our reaction times slows, stress and anxiety are reduced, and the body altogether slows down.

Weightlifting and exercise in general generate metabolic waste for the body to process. The liver is instrumental in clearing these waste byproducts from the body. If you are working hard in your training you may be putting a hefty load of work on your liver. Make sure that if you are exercising and enjoy a few drinks you are getting ample rest and recovery to keep your body in balance.

There is also the additional calories to consider when it comes to alcohol. If you are trying to lose fat then there is most likely no room in your diet for excess calories. You want your primary calories to come from lean protein, fibrous vegetables, and heart healthy fats. Replacing some of those calories with alcohol put you at risk for nutrient deficiencies. Not only that, but after a few drinks you may become tempted to reach for foods that don’t support your body compositional goals.

Consuming alcohol doesn’t make you unhealthy or a bad person. Just like anything else you consume, it should have can have a place if you are responsible and keep it in balance with your health and wellness goals.

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?

 

[GYM OWNER:] Add a call to action here, like: “Schedule your Free Consult here” with a link.

Energy Systems Exploration

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. As you can see in the pictures above these athletes have trained to optimize a certain energy system in their body to improve performance at their respective sport. 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!