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Ninety-five percent of your energy is made by your mitochondria. But let’s zoom way out, since you’re probably reading this on your phone during your lunch break and don’t have time for a rehash of Bio 101.

OK, your body has three systems for making energy to use during activity. I talked about one of them, the aerobic energy system, last week; I promised to cover the other two this week. But first, to quickly recap: Super simply, the aerobic system—also called the Oxidative system—is the endurance dominator. It dominates when you are performing steady state, low intensity activity, for a stretch of time. Think long runs or bike rides.

The other two energy makers are anaerobic systems. Anaerobic and aerobic come from the Greek words for air and life. “Aero” is air, “bio” is life, “an” is without. So, the anaerobic energy systems make energy without oxygen (air) and the aerobic system makes energy with oxygen (air). Anaerobic is fueled instead by the energy stored in your muscles.

As you can imagine, it gets complex fairly quickly. We won’t go down the rabbit hole, but that should help you remember the differences between the two. You’ll want to remember because it will help you better vary your workouts and meet your goals.

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“Cardio” is more than you probably think. When you say “cardio”, as in, “getting some cardio in,” you most likely mean getting some aerobics in, or since it’s not the 1980’s, getting an aerobic workout in that isn’t aerobics. Cardio can be aerobic and aerobics, but doesn’t have to be.

Have the semantics confused you yet? Don’t worry, we’ll make sense of it. And you’ll be able to better understand the fitness magazines you read and workouts you try. It’s important to understand this stuff even at a high level so you can get clearer on your health and fitness goals and better understand what approaches work for you, making you more likely to reach your goals. Read More

It’s October, which means everything food-related is now pumpkin flavored, chili included. Here’s my recipe. Feel free to play around with the seasonings and add more broth or water if you don’t like it as thick as I do. Enjoy!

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