Metabolic Conditioning/Energy System Development

Coach Eck’s Training Sessions 2/11/13 – 2/25/13

Prevail Strength Coach Jacob Goodin

Have you ever wondered how Chris “Eck” Ecklund gets his training sessions in despite his busy schedule?  Below are his last eight sessions, complete with the rationale for each lift.  Enjoy!

Coach Eck’s Training Session 3/1/13

by Chris Ecklund, MA, CSCS, USAW

Quick Thoughts:

  1. No strength work today (I already got in 4 days this week, which is plenty for me).
  2. Just a fun workout of 6v6 soccer with the Prevail team.  Our games, unfortunately, are reminding me that I am brutally out of “conditioning” shape for soccer.  A little unhappy about that as I know I have more fun when I’m in a bit better condition.  Will have to work on that over the next 2 months.

Coach Eck’s Training Session 2/26/13

by Chris Ecklund, MA, CSCS, USAW

Quick Thoughts:

  1. Early morning session as my schedule was supposed to brutal again today (turned out I had some cancelations so had more time than anticipated).  
  2. I hate working out in the morning.  Takes me forever to get going…but…at least I get to do it, right?!
    1. As such, I didn’t get much done since I got to Prevail later than I wanted and it took me a while to warm up.

Energy System Development is below:

  1. I jumped in with my Adult SPARQ group today since I’m having difficulty getting in any conditioning.  
  2. Great session.  It always makes me work harder and pay attention to my movement patterns when I train with  my clients. (thanks for letting me train with you Wolfy and Liam)

Spring Back Into Fitness

By: Kim Clark, NSCA-CPT

In this four part series we will explore the foundations of program design (periodization), giving you some needed tools to apply the progressive resistance model, and finally providing you with an excellent plan to get back in shape through the Spring into the Summer. Are you ready to work hard so you can be ready for Summer?

Periodization is a tool that is very helpful in achieving your fitness goals.  Its 3 primary functions are to avoid chronic overuse injuries, plateaus and exercise cessation that comes from boredom/monotony.  Whether you want to lose body fat or gain lean muscle mass, periodization has consistently been shown in research to be a superior model of progression.  With the use of periodization, any population (from major athletes to stay at home moms) can realize constant benefits.

Periodization primarily offers its users improvement by progressively overloading the body and gradually increasing stress on the muscle to produce adaptations and decrease the risk for injury.  The model presented here for fitness cycles through three different phases.  Each phase will generally last 4-8 weeks depending on the current level of fitness. Phase one focuses on stabilization endurance training and doing low-intensity high-repetition strength training programs. This phase is very important as it strengthens your joints and core musculature while giving you the opportunity to do strength moves with correct form using lighter loads. Phase two focuses on strength endurance promoting increased stabilization endurance, hypertrophy (think definition and increasing lean tissue mass), and strength. This objective is to increase stabilization while increasing prime mover strength. This is accomplished by performing compound sets in your workout. A compound set is a set of two exercises that are performed back-to-back without rest. An example would be a bench press then a push-up. Phase three is strength and power driven. Using increased loads and fewer repetitions will increase intensity and volume. 

Periodization can also be used for your energy system development (ESD).  ESD is a term that is being utilized more frequently in the field to describe what was formerly known as Cardiovascular  or Aerobic Exercise.  There are three important energy systems that you need to know about. The first is Anaerobic/Glycolitic  System: this is what allows your body to push hard for up to three minutes (utilizing Carbohydrates as the primary fuel source). Next we have Phosphagen System and this allows your body to work at high intensity levels for up to 12 seconds (utilizing ATP as the primary fuel source). Lastly is your Aerobic System, which allows to body to work beyond three minutes so it can recover from intense energy bursts (utilizing Fat as the primary fuel source).  The phases or levels for ESD are as follows:
Level one is the aerobic phase- aerobic means your body will be using oxygen so you’ll be at a low steady state of cardio, you should be able to carry on a conversation when you’re at this level. 
Level two you start mixing in moderate interval training with the level one aerobic phase. You should find it difficult to carry on a conversation at this level.

Level three is basically just increasing the intensity of your intervals so your body will be ready for level four.

Level four is the most intense of the intervals where you push as hard as you can for 10-30 seconds. You will initially spend more time at levels one and two and work your way up to the more intense levels, which will improve your overall endurance, strength and power.

Here’s a program that you can do 2-3 times a week.  Do this program for a month and next month I will have the next progression of this workout. Make sure you do a full-body dynamic warm-up before starting the workout. Do each move for the designated amount of reps and go thru each section 2-3 times.

1a. Ab Roller        8-10reps   
  b. Side Bridge    Hold 15-30 secs
  c. Hanging Ab    8-10reps
  d. Quadruped     3x5secs each

2a. Goblet foot Elevated Split Squat   10-15reps
  b.Jungle Gym Rotational Row          10reps each side
  c.Self-Myofascial Release                30 secs

3a. Contra lateral RDL                        10-15reps each leg
  b.Anti Rotation KFT Push-Pull        10-15reps each side
  c.Active Isolated Stretch                   3 times for 5 secs each side

4a. TRX Single Leg Squat-Row 10-12reps each side
  b. TRX Bicep Curls                  10-15reps
  c. TRX Skull Crushers             10-15reps

Energy System Development:
Burpee   5-10 reps
Recover to a HR of 130-140rpm, and then repeat 5 times.
If you can only do 5 burpees the first time through,  each time you do this workout, add one more burpee so by the end of the month you’ll be doing 12 burpees!!
Remember to consult your physician prior to beginning any exercise regimen.  If you experience any dizziness or pain you may need to regress the exercise.

Questions?  Shoot me an email and I’d be happy to offer assistance.  Enjoy!

1.  Clark MA. NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training. Chapter 13. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008.

Originally from Lompoc, CA, Kim moved to Santa Barbara in 2007.  After a lifelong involvement in sports and exercise Kim decided to pursue a career in fitness.  Upon graduating from the Personal Training Program as SBBC, Kim earned her Personal Training Certificate and became a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Kim joined the PCPC team upon completing the Prevail Conditioning Internship Program.  She enjoys working with clients to help them achieve their general fitness goals and has future ambitions to work with athletes of all ages as well as coaching soccer. You can reach her here:

More Backing for Training to Run Instead of Running to Train

Train to Run Farther, Faster
Paul Robbins November 20, 2008

A training plan for the intermediate runner, this workout session will improve your movement efficiency and your time.

As an intermediate runner, the training sessions here will bolster your movement efficiency, meaning you’ll reduce wasted movement and use less energy to travel the same distance or speed. Think of it as upgrading to a more fuel-efficient engine. And by training common weak areas for runners, you’ll also become stronger and more resistant to pain and injury.

The Workout
You can consider yourself an intermediate-level runner if you’ve completed a 5K, 10K, or maybe even a marathon.

Directions: Rest at least a day between training sessions and vary your intensity. For example, you might run hard intervals on Monday followed by a day of rest on Tuesday, and then run at a medium intensity on Wednesday. Repeat this general training schedule,or get a customized program.

Intermediate Energy System Development
Warm up in what we call the “yellow zone” (65-75% of your maximum heart rate) for 5 minutes.
Run for 5 minutes in the “green zone” (80-87% of your maximum heart rate).
Run for 2 minutes in “yellow zone.”
Repeat steps 2 and 3 for duration of your 30- to 60-minute workout.
* If you don’t have a heart rate monitor, then correlate the “green zone” to a mile and the “yellow zone” to a ½ mile.

Barefoot Running: Part 1

By Chris Ecklund, MA, CSCS, USAW
written for The Independent (Santa Barbara)
Fads drive me insane…

Low Fat Diets
No Carb Diets
The 300 Workout
Juice Diets
The “Lose 12 pounds in 5 Days” Diet
Low rise jeans, baggy jeans, skinny jeans
Bent-billed hats, Flat-billed crooked hats
Mullets, Fohawks

The next infomercial…?

Now that I’ve probably offended all kinds of people out there, let’s move forward. Those that know me could have probably guessed it and are happy I’m admitting to it. I don’t know that there is anything I possess that would qualify as “trendy.” I just can’t do it. It kills me to buy stuff that I know will go out of style or be worthless in a year or less. My shorts aren’t too long, too short, too baggy, too tight… Call me cheap. Call me getting old. Whatever. It’s probably all true. I’ll accept all of the accusations.

I’ve been in the fitness and Strength & Conditioning industry long enough to see that fads and trends just keep making their way into mainstream thought. What’s more frustrating than that is the fact that most are just re-packaged trends from 10-30 years ago.

The latest? Barefoot running. Have you read about it? Or are you already doing it?

Recent pop literature hit the market and has initiated a tidal wave of change within the running community. Chris McDougal’s 2009 book entitled “Born to Run” ( as well as a review of literature and primary research from Dr. Daniel Lieberman ( — Harvard Professor of Evolutionary Biology—has flipped the running and shoe industry on its head…or foot, as it were. It’s not limited to the running culture, though. You’ll find that Strength and Conditioning professionals on all levels are implementing such practices as agility workout in bare feet (

So what’s all the uproar about? After sifting through the mounds of online, hard copy and research literature we can probably boil it down to two primary issues:

1. In ancient times, nobody ran in shoes. Or, if they did, they were extremely simply in construction. Throughout that time, humans were apparently able to do it with little to no injury. See the comparison of heel strike running with and without shoes below (less impact force with correct ball-of-foot ground strike).

2. Several people groups continue to run shoeless (Tarahumara Indian Tribe, Kenyans) and are showing minimal injuries associated with running as well high levels of performance and health.

Interesting, huh? Taking a quick look back at our recent history and you’ll find the modern running shoe was developed around the 1970’s. This is when the big “aerobics” kick spurred by Dr. Kenneth Cooper hit the American scene. Also of interest at that time (and ever since) has been the increase of injuries associated with running. Soles of shoes got thicker and thicker. Eventually we had plantar flexed shoes so we could “heel strike with less impact” and roll into the stride. A few years later we added the heel cups and supinated arch support to add “motion control” because too many people had pronated (flat) arches. Forty years later with exponential growth in technology and information, what do we see when we take another quick look at the shoe industry? Shoe companies designing shoes that marketed as being so minimal that it’s almost like running in bare feet (i.e. FiveFinger Vibram, Nike Free, etc.). Perfect. In 40 years we managed to come completely full circle and end up right back where we started.

Sound like I’m starting to buy in to the “fad” I despise? Bare with me (pun intended).

I watch people run, cut, jump, lift, lower, push, pull and stabilize everyday. The simple truth is this, we don’t move that well. I see it in adults. And, what’s more frightening is that I see it in kids. I have seen elementary aged kids that don’t even know how to skip anymore. Something is wrong there. Hear me on this: making the switch from shoes to shoeless is NOT going to fix this problem. It is not the cure. There’s no magic there. This is where the trendy running sole meets the road, so to speak. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in it for the right people in the right doses.

The research mentioned earlier, although inconclusive as of yet, is offering strong support that there may be value to this barefoot thing:

1. We have done it for much of history so why change now? Were we made for shoes or were shoes made for us (or neither)?

2. Good evidence that landing ground reaction forces differ between shod and barefoot athletes. Leiberman’s study shows increased ground impact in heel strike runners (heel contacts ground prior to ball of foot) and those in running shoes (who as a majority tend to heel strike).  (see figures to left showing shod and barefoot heel strike force–greater with barefoot but poor for both groups)

3. Heel striking during running increases both the braking (deceleration) force as well as breaking (literally adding to possible trauma of soft tissue and stress fractures of bones). Neither of these are beneficial.

4. Running in bare feet will most likely rapidly alter running mechanics toward efficiency. Why? Ever try running in bare feet and landing on your heel? It hurts! Generally the transition to a flat foot or ball of foot ground strike is a rapid adaptation that you’ll learn quickly or suffer the consequences.

5. Other research has shown landing and cutting ground reaction forces ( are better in barefooted athletes. Why? It hurts more to land hard in bare feet so the body naturally decelerates more efficiently.

6. Cutting or changing directions in bare feet requires more muscular demand from the entire foot-ankle complex because there is no shoe to support or provide traction for it. Look back at basketball players in the 70’s and 80’s and notice how little support their shoes had. Anybody notice how ankle and ACL injuries have been on the rise ever since our shoes and playing surfaces got “better?” Makes sense, doesn’t it? Tape an ankle that isn’t injured to add support and what happens…the ankle gets weaker because the tape is doing the work.

So where does that leave us?

“Are you saying do it or don’t do it at this point?!” Neither.

When I recently posed this question to local chiropractor Dr. Neal Barry (who is an avid runner), the response similar. Citing a few current studies he mentioned that the literature is simply inconclusive at this point. There is support on both sides of the fence.

As for me, you’ll rarely hear me say “always yes” or “always no” to fitness or athletic performance questions. The truth (frustrating as it is) is that it depends on you. You can’t box and sell answers. What are your goals? What is your exercise/fitness, health, and training history? Do you have any foot limitations or biomechanical/structural issues? All of these and more must be considered by qualified experts.

I’ll leave you with this: let’s bring back some logic to our thinking. First, can we agree that popular literature (including this article) should not be treated as God or gold?! Because it’s in writing does not mean it’s truth. Second, progression. Going from zero to 60 in anything is unwise. We know it so live by it. If you’re going to go down this road, use slow gradual progress and ease in to it. And finally, if it hurts…stop!

Stay tuned for Part 2 when we’ll address more specific biomechanics of running, cutting and landing as well as why I think 75% of people in Santa Barbara who are “running to get in shape” should stop running.

Trainer Workout 5/7/10

Here’s another one to enjoy.  Remember, always use loads, tempos and speeds you can maintain perfect technique with.  Poor movement with load = Pain.

Strength and Power
1a. Hang Clean 3×3-6
b.  Non Alt Bent Leg Quadruped Opposites w/MiniBand and Band Resistance 3×8 each, 30-60 seconds recovery

2a.  BB Dead Lift 3×8
b.  Push-ups on Bosu (with leg lifted) 3×10-40
c. Rotating Push-ups on Wobble Board Rotating 3×3-8 each
d.  Reverse Crunch on Bench with SB 3x 8-12, 30 seconds recovery

3a. Foot Elevated Split Squat SB – Foot Elevated Push Up 3×2/2 8-12 total
2. BB RDL – BB High Row 3×2/2 8-12 total, 30 seconds recovery

Metabolic Conditioning:
Each Station 30 secs

1. Mountain Climbers on slide
2. Jump rope
3. Cone Clock Drill
4. Box Jumps Up and Down
5. Sled pushes with 50lbs

One min rest. Repeat 2 more times.

Consult a physician prior to beginning any exercise program and stop at the onset of any pain or dizziness.

Trainer Workout 5/10/10

Every week the trainers at PCPC do a “family workout”. We take turns planning the workout and spend about an hour trying new moves and testing out different techniques. Here is the circuit from last night. Give it a try and feel free to add weight or repetitions:

Core (three sets at 30s per station):
a) Side Plank with hip abduction
b) V sit-ups
c) Russian twist
d) Supermans
e) Bosu bridge with knee cross punch

Upper body (3 sets):
a) Pronated Pull-ups, 9
b) DB Push press, 6
c) Feet elevated push-up, 6
d) Inverted row with feet on swiss ball, 6
e) Pike push-up, 6

Lower body (3 sets):
a) Crossover squats, 5 each
b) Lateral lunges, 5 each
c) Slideboard Leg Curl Hip Lift
d) Lateral hurdle jump x30
e) Lateral Slideboard conditioning, 30s

Some of these exercises can be viewed on our video site:

As always, please use caution when attempting any exercise routine. Complete at your own risk and check with a medical professional before commencing physical exertion.

Prevail Conditioning