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Nutrition, just like training, needs to be done with a purpose. Each day depending on my workouts I plan what kind of food I am going to eat. I typically eat similar foods everyday but mix and match based on effort and type of workouts or goals. I block off my workouts into categories: power endurance, strength endurance, strength, power, endurance, and recovery. Each of these have a purpose that leads to your end goal whether it is fat loss, sport specific, mass gain, weight loss, or power to weight ratio. 

It is amazing how nutrition can have a huge effect on your workouts and in this article, I laid out a workout from each energy system and a food recipe I’d recommend eating after the workout.

First, I want to explain what each energy system workout is and some general tips for eating with it. 

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Power Endurance

  • What is power endurance? Power endurance can be defined as strength times speed times distance.

  • Short power endurance is anywhere between 1 to 4 minutes

  • High-intensity, high acid tolerance and buffering capacity 

  • Intermittent, repetitive, explosive, power production, predominantly cardiovascular in nature, catch-all definition to cover "work capacity" when a session does not fall squarely within another category

  • Long power endurance is anywhere between 4 to 30-minutes

  • Hard and fast, steady-state efforts at a high percentage of Max VO2, requiring both high aerobic and anaerobic thresholds

This type of workout uses glycogen (carbs and sugars) for fuel. Ideally, you want to eat some carbs 2-3 hours before the workout. Some good sources might be eggs with rye toast or oatmeal with berries and nuts. During the workout, take in water and after the workout replenish with a mix of carbs, proteins, and fats. 

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Strength Endurance

  • What is strength endurance? The capacity of the muscles to repetitively produce (sub-maximal) force independent of limitations imposed by the cardiovascular system. 

  • Failure in a strength endurance workout initiates in the muscles, not in the heart or lungs. An example might be 100x Back Squat @ 40-50% without setting the bar down, or the Deadlift test where the athlete executes the maximum number of reps possible without setting the bar down.

  • This type of workout is great for hypertrophy and breaking down the muscles 

Ideally, you want to eat some protein and carbs 2-3 hours before this workout. Some good sources might be a whole-wheat tortilla with almond butter, yogurt and granola, and a protein smoothie. During the workout, take in water. After the workout, your muscles will need to start repairing themselves and to prevent getting extra sore take in protein, carbs, and lots of healthy fat. 

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  • What defines a strength workout? Max force productions and muscle recruitment.

  • 1 rep max or low rep high-load efforts

  • Slow, heavy, grinding, movements

  • Weight travels limited distance 

  • Not explosive 

  • Contraction time for each rep may be two seconds or more 

  • Rest periods between sets should lengthen as weight increases 

  • Rest periods are 2-3 minutes when the load is over 80% of 1RM 

Ideally you want to eat protein 2-3 hours before this workout. During it you want to ensure you’re drinking plenty of water. After? Replenish with protein and fats! 


  • What defines a power workout? Increasing the Rate of Force Production 

  • Three categories: Litvinov conversions, cardiovascular power, and explosive 

  • Litvinov Conversions: split second phase of changing gears between the force component and speed component, means the quicker the transition the better. Think, a barbell clean or a sprint. Whatever comes after the movement is the main focus

  • 3 minutes of rest between each.

  • Cardiovascular Power: less than 90 seconds that are usually repeated, max cardiovascular output, good example being a 500m ski

  • Explosive Power: single movement, less than half a second, low reps set work as well, usually use a force with a speed component, like deadlifts with box jumps 

Ideally you want to eat protein and carbs 2-3 hours before this workout. After this workout you want to replenish with protein and fats. Some good sources of protein: nuts, protein drink, chicken, fish, etc. Some good sources of fat: fish oil, avocado, udos 3-6-9, etc.


Endurance less than 90 minutes:

  • Recovery pace with heart rate below 65%. If it is above that 65% threshold, it becomes a power endurance workout.

Endurance greater than 90 minutes:

  • Endurance starts at 90 minutes

  • Hydration, fuel, temperature regulation and other factors play a role in performance

  • Usually sport specific 

  • The longer you go, the slower the pace, heart rate, and power output

  • Pace and power output are varied

If it is to influence the aerobic channel, I would like to be fueled as much by fat as possible. I would aim to train "low” though not depleted or fasted. Meaning, I train in the afternoon, with whatever muscle glycogen is on board after having eaten one small meal at breakfast time.

During the training, which is necessarily long-endurance up to no-harder-than-tempo pace, i.e. low aerobic to high aerobic but not sub-threshold, call it <85% MHR (threshold is at 91-92% MHR for me) I usually do not eat up to about three hours before the session. I will sip a carbohydrate solution, about 10% concentration, or only rinse my mouth with it, since this has been shown to a) reduce perceived exertion and b) reduce HR for a given level of output. This may provide a total of 150-200 calories during the training session. With a partially filled glycogen tank to start, and low intensity output, the favored fuel source is fat. The more I teach my body to fuel higher and higher output with fat, the more glycogen is spared for when it is truly needed.

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If the training session goal is to influence higher intensity mechanisms, which require "nitro" for fuel, I will go into it with fully stocked glycogen stores and I'll take in carbs/glucose during the training session. High intensity work can't be done and/or sustained without the nitro. This includes racing.


  • What defines a recovery workout? Easy pace and effort

  • Ski, row, bike, walk, hike

  • 30-60 minutes

  • Low heart rate, <65% of max heart rate

  • Promote blood flow

  • Create demand for food

  • Flush by-products of previous day's effort

  • Easy effort, typically something smooth (row, bike, swim, Nordic ski, etc) 30-60 minutes long, undertaken at very low heart rate (<65% of MHR) to move blood around, flush by-products of previous day's effort, and create demand for food

  • Active recovery is always better than simple rest. 

  • Recovery should be considered a significant component of every training program

This you can do in a fasted state and fuel after with protein and fats. Drink water during it. 

6 recipes and 6 workouts under the different energy systems 

 Power Endurance

 5 minutes easy cardio 


 6x30sec row/ski/run 150m 30sec rest (know your pace or individualize)

4 minute rest between blocks 

Repeat for x5 blocks

Power Endurance Meal

Stuffed Peppers


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 2 lb. ground turkey or beef

  • 2 c. dry, uncooked quinoa

  • 1 16 oz. can Amy’s light sodium tomato soup 2 c. shredded cheese

  • 2 tsp. cumin

  • 1 tsp. black pepper

  • 8 peppers, cored and cleaned

  • 1⁄2 c. shredded cheese 


  1. Heat olive oil in large skillet and meat and brown. 

  2. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add 2 cups of quinoa. 

  3. Return to boil then simmer for 15 minutes or until cooked and no water remains in the pan.

  4. Bring large pot of water to a boil and par boil the peppers for 2 mins each. 

  5. Arrange the peppers in a baking pan. 

  6. In a large bowl combine browned and drained meat, cooked quinoa, soup, cheese, and spices. 

  7. Spoon ingredients into peppers. Top each pepper with a sprinkle of shredded cheese.

  8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 mins at 350 degrees.

Strength Endurance Workout 

5 minutes easy cardio 


  • Pull-Up 

  • Dip 

  • Push-Up 

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of each 


10x Bench Press @ body weight 

5x Pull-Up (Strict, Dead Hang) 

10 set, rest 2 minutes between each 


10x10 Tricep Extension (one arm) To Failure (Right & Left) @ 20# DB 

Strength Endurance Meal 

Curry Salmon


  • 1 lb. of fresh, never frozen, wild salmon, cut into 3 equal pieces Juice of 2 lemons

  • Dash of pepper

  • 2 cups dry quinoa 

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • 1 pack of curry sauce – I use the chickpea variety 


  1. Arrange salmon in a glass baking dish. 

  2. Pour lemon juice over the top and sprinkle with pepper. 

  3. Bake for 15-20mins at 350 degrees. 

  4. Bring chicken broth to a boil then add quinoa.

  5. Return to boil, then reduce to a simmer until quinoa is cooked and all liquid in the pan is gone. It should take about 15-20 minutes.

  6. Serve salmon over a bed of quinoa and curry sauce.

Strength Workout 

5 minutes easy cardio 


Work up to a Heavy front Squat 

(Use volume approach i.e. 10x @ 35%, 7x @ 45%, 5x @ 55%, 3x @ 65%, 3x @ 70%, etc.


5x2 front squat @ 85% 


8x :20 work/:10 rest air squat 

Strength Meal


Start with a good quality whey protein. I use an organic brand available at our local food co-op. I recommend using one scoop, and moving to two if you find you’re lacking in protein intake.


  1. Add milk or plain yogurt for dairy base, about 1 cup. 

  2. Add almond or peanut butter or an avocado to get some healthy fat

  3. Choose a low glycemic fruit source if you are dying for flavor such as blueberries, but don’t use too much because of the sugars.

  4. I throw in 1-2 handful portions of spinach/kale/chard

  5. Put in 1 tablespoon of Fish Oil for your Omega 3

  6. I put in 1 teaspoon of pulverized wheatgrass, and use fresh when available

  7. Add ice cubes to make it cold and thick if you want

  8. Blend Well and Enjoy!


Strawberry Shake 

  • 4 Large Frozen Strawberries 

  • 2 Tbsp Peanut Butter

  • 1 Cup Whole Milk Yogurt

  • Vanilla Protein Powder - 1 ounce

  • Whole Milk - 1 cup

  • Banana - 1 medium

  • Flax Seed - 2 Tbsp

  • 5 Fish Oil Capsules

Add all to a blender and blend well to combine.

Power Workout 

5 minutes easy cardio


Work up to Heavy Dead Lift 


5x1 Dead Lift @ 80-90% 1RM (1 rep max) 

Each set chased by 5x Broad Jump 

3 minutes rest between each set, 5 sets


3x Back Squat @ 80% 1RM  

10 cal Bike Sprint (All-out) 

3 minutes rest between each set, 5 sets

Power Meal

Turkey Meatloaf


  • 2 lb. ground turkey

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1 cup whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs 2 eggs

  • 3⁄4 tsp. pepper

  • 1 1⁄2 cup ketchup

  • 1 tsp. ground mustard

  • 1⁄2 onion, chopped

  • 2 grated carrots 


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Either stir with an electric mixer or knead ingredients until thoroughly blended. 

  2. Transfer to 2 loaf pans and bake for 1 hour at 400 degrees. I use a drip pan to catch run off.

  3. Cut into slices, serve and enjoy.

Endurance Workout 

90min run/ski/bike/row HR at 75-80% MHR (max heart rate) 

Endurance Meal

Oatmeal (Steel Cut Oats)


  • 1/4 cup uncooked (expand to 1 cup when cooked)

  • 2% Milk - 1/2 cup 

  • Slivered Almonds - 1/2 ounce 

  • Raisons - 1/2 ounce 

  • Cinnamon - n/a 

  • Maple Syrup - 2 Tbsp

  • Vanilla Protein - 1 ounce 

  • 5 Capsules of Fish Oil 


  1. Cook oats according to directions, stove top of microwave. 

  2. Add vanilla protein and mix to combine.

  3. Add in milk, fish oil and maple syrup. Stir to combine. 

  4. Add you toppings and enjoy. 

Recovery Workout 

5 minutes easy cardio 

100x Turkish Get Up @ 10-20# (50 Each Side) 

(Slow and Deliberate) 

Recovery meal 

Chicken and Spinach Salad

Spinach - 4 cups - 28cal 

Almonds Slivers - 1 ounce - 170cal 

Olive Oil Dressing - 2 TBSP - 240cal 

Chicken Breast or Steak Skewer - 6 ounce - 245cal 

Small piece of bread with Olive Oil/Garlic - 1 small Slice, 2 tbsp - 65cal + 120cal


Crustless Quiche


  • 2 tbsp. butter

  • 2 shallots, chopped

  • 1 lb. fresh spinach or kale (remove spines of kale)

  • 6 slices of bacon, fried and chopped into small pieces

  • 12 mushrooms, chopped and sautéed in butter

  • 12 oz. Gruyere, Fontana, and/or Robust cheese, shredded 8 large eggs

  • 3 cup half and half

  • Dash of cinnamon 


  1. Whisk 8 eggs in one bowl and combine with half-and-half. Set aside.

  2. Melt butter in large frying pan. Add chopped shallot and cook until soft. 

  3. Add handfuls of spinach and cook down until the pan is full. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Grease 3 glass pie pans with butter. 

  5. Divide spinach, bacon, mushrooms, and cheese between your 3 pie pans. Add egg/half and half mixture to each pan and sprinkle top with cinnamon. 

  6. Place each pie pan in a larger baking pan filled with 1” of water so the pie pan is in a water bath. Bake for 55 minutes at 350 degrees.


More About Pat and Pat's Gym

If you want a more specific tailored workout and nutrition plan Pat offers online coaching through Pat’s Gym. He will design an adaptable workout and nutrition program for you based on where you train and what you have available. You will have access to one-on-one communication with Pat via email, text, phone, and an interactive website. Take the guessing out of working out and eating. Work with a coach, ask questions, and get results.

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