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Wednesday June 24, 2015 CrossFit Stapleton- Denver, CO

Metabolism and Energy

Metabolism and ‘Energy’ usage is a VERY misunderstood topic… read below for some basic helpful info on both metabolism and energy!


What is metabolism?

  • Defined as: the sum of all the chemical reactions in the body.
    • Metabolism helps turn the food we eat into energy that our bodies can utilize, sets the structure of muscles and other tissues, and maintains processes such as digestion, nerve transmission, and respiration.

The law of thermodynamics:

    • Describes that some of the rules by which the physical world is organized. Energy is never really created nor destroyed, it is transferred between entities.
    • We use the energy already stored in food to fuel us (we convert food’s energy into our own usable energy, ATP(energy).

We eat -> digest -> absorb -> circulate -> store -> transfer energy -> use the energy -> then repeat

How do we utilize nutrients?

We can utilize ‘new nutrients’ and ‘stored nutrients’ for energy

‘New Nutrients’ – Have been recently absorbed and passed through liver

‘Stored Nutrients’ – Have been stored in the liver, muscles, or fat cells and then are waiting for a call to action!

    • Our stored nutrient, primarily fat, actually provides the bulk of our energy to support our daily functions


We need ATP (energy) to fuel nearly EVERY action in the body.

  • Move our skeletal muscles
  • Move digestive muscles
  • Enzyme and hormone production
  • Molecule transport
  • Nerve transmission (thinking, feeling, reacting) and to make more ATP!

What energy are you using now?

Most of the energy you are using right now and for the rest of today stems from the nutrients you ate and stored YESTERDAY, the day before yesterday and EVEN the day before that! CRAZYYY

An exception to this above statement is during longer duration exercise. During this time  a lot of energy is required! Therefore requiring supplemental ‘Kcals’ pre and post WOD.

  • This allows the muscles to tap into both previously stored nutrients and and recently absorbed nutrients (ie: pre wod snack/G2/etc.) to fuel for the activity at hand.

The 2 most important important nutrient and energy stores in the body are:

1- Triglycerides (Fat) 

    • Formed from a glycerol and three fatty acid groups. Triglycerides are the main constituents of natural fats and oils.
    • Stored in both fat cells and a tiny bit in muscle cells
    • For longer term energy, like when you’re sleeping or exercising for long periods

2- Glycogen (Carbohydrates) 

    • A polysaccharide made up of that forms glucose (CHO storage (*energy*))
    • Stored in both muscle and liver cells for immediate energy and to be able to properly use fat for energy

These Both have big responsibilities

    • Provide energy for the tissues in which they are already stored
    • Responsible for the cells that don’t have their own capacity to store energy-producing nutrients (brain & blood cells)

Energy Balance:

Many factors beyond hunger and exercise influence energy balance

  • Environmental factors
  • Genetics
  • Hormones
  • Digestive/Absorptive
  • Body fat content

When energy balance is + nutrients are consumed in excess of your Kcal needs, these nutrients are stored in the body…. Excess Kcals = increase in body mass

When energy balance is – the body’s demands exceed intake. Our body will pull what stored energy we have on hand to stay alive! May lead to weight loss.

*70% of our body’s daily energy use goes towards basic maintenance functions.*


Are we all destined to decline metabolically as we age?

NO! Although aging is generally paired with metabolic decline (ie: weight gain, increased fat mass, decreased lean body mass) in reality this is not the case.

Muscle is VERY metabolically active… the more muscle you have the more metabolically active you will be. If you experience a decline is muscle you will also see a decline in your RMR.

The more active you stay as you age the less likely you will be to see rapid metabolic decline. Activity also maintains important functions for healthy aging, such as bone density and grip strength.

Keep lifting people!

For more info, or if you have any energy and metabolism questions email Tayler@CrossFitStapleton.Com





A. Every 6 minutes, for 30 minutes (5 sets):
Run 400 Meters
12 Overhead Squats (155/105 lbs)
12 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
12 Box Jump-Overs (24″/20″)

B. Three sets of:
Supine Ring Rows x 10-12 reps @ 2111
Rest 60 seconds
Face-Down Chinese Planks x 60 seconds
Rest 60 seconds



A. Every 6 minutes, for 30 minutes (5 sets):
Run 400 Meters
10 Dumbbell Thrusters
15 Push-Ups
20 Walking Lunges with Dumbbells

B. Three sets of:
Supine Ring Rows x 10-12 reps @ 2111
Rest 60 seconds
Hollow Body Holds x 60 seconds
Rest 60 seconds



AMRAP 15 Minutes:
15 Burpees
30 Ball Slams (30/20)
60 Bicycle Crunches
MyZone: Pace/ Yellow

Rest 4 minutes… then…

5 Rounds for Time:
6 Ring or Box Dips
12 Renegade Rows (30/20)
18 Calorie Row
MyZone: Pace/ Yellow-Red

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