Energy Systems: A simple analogy that delivers graduate level understanding

CrossFit Level Method

All this technical stuff can get pretty complex when talking about energy systems.

But just as a quick review, last time we covered how energy systems give us insight into how workouts should FEEL & how we want to blur the lines in all that is true functional fitness, we want to as objectively strong (lift big & heavy) as we are relatively strong (strong bodyweight movements)! We also want to blur the lines in-between energy systems & that will be explained below. We want to be as good at sprinting as we are at endurance distance workouts & everything in-between, Level Method highlights any weaknesses for us to work on.

The truth is the body is complicated, and to make the best progress, you shouldn’t do crushing workouts all the time.

Energy systems give us a language and framework to understand these concepts.

If I said about the phosphagen, glycolytic & oxidative energy systems, most wouldn’t have a clue what I was talking about, never mind how what each involves, why & how to need to improve them to be more well rounded.

And we use a “House” analogy to teach and simplify these concepts.

But even in simplifying, much of this can seem complicated.

That’s ok, just know you are gaining knowledge that only a tiny percentage of people have & over time these concepts will sink in.

We use these words to indicate the roles that they play in a house.

In a house there is electricity, with wiring that provides shocking power, it has plumbing with pipes that deliver and flush fluids, and it has ventilation, with ducts and windows that keep the air flowing and temperature controlled.

It’s the same way with the body, but for us, electricity is the signals from brain to muscle for powerful contractions like sprinting or performing a snatch 1 rep max. Plumbing is the cellular fuelling elements like capillaries or heart & are really tested in short workouts like FRAN. The ventilation is how we get air through the lungs and blood & is more for longer distance, more controlled intensity workouts.

Each one of the 15 categories of the Level Method falls into a specific energy system.

And here’s where it gets really interesting!

By taking the appropriate scores from your levels, we can determine what your energy system strengths and weaknesses are!

These are known as AGGREGATE scores — a complicated word that basically means a SUMMARY OVERVIEW of what systems you are best in!

Your Electricity score is an aggregate score of your overall muscle strength.

Your Plumbing score is an aggregate score of your overall cellular fuelling.

Your Ventilation score is an aggregate score of your overall aerobic fuelling.

CrossFit Level Method

In our model, there are three broad systems: Electricity, Plumbing, and Ventilation.

Again don’t worry if a lot of this new information is going over your head. Overtime all this will sink in & knowledge is power. The more we know about any weaknesses you may have, the faster we can help you progress.

In our next Blog we’ll be covering the TRUE meaning of “RX”.


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