2 weeks ago by Amelia Lawrey

The Pillars of Performance

Human Powered Health is built on the “Pillars of Performance.” The pillars – Movement, Fuel, Mindset, and Recovery – are science-backed approaches we use to achieve deep mind and body wellness.

Movement is one of the keys to feeling good in day-to-day life. Fuel is what we put in our bodies to keep them running efficiently. Mindset is about having a positive outlook so you can devote your full focus to the tasks at hand. Recovery is about letting our bodies rest, not pushing them over the edge, so we can wake up and do it all over again tomorrow.

There’s a delicate balance to these pillars that we strive for, to keep our bodies and minds running at their best.


As a cycling team (and as humans), movement is one of the keys to feeling good. If we aren’t moving, we literally aren’t living. By moving our bodies a little bit each day, we work towards a healthier life.

“Movement and exercise improve my life a lot. Not only to be the best cyclist I can be but also to be the best person and mother I can be.” – Jesse Vandenbulcke

“Movement is one of the most important things, next to nutrition and being with loved ones, for having a healthy life and a happy life.” – Bart Lemmen

Fast facts about movement

Regular exercise reduces causes of mortality by up to 30% for both men and women. [1]

Exercise improves one’s self-esteem and sense of well-being. [2]

Those who cycled the full length of their commute had a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and overall mortality. [3]


Fueling your body with the right stuff before, during, and after a workout is essential to staying energized all day long. Underfueling your body can lead to underperforming, both on and off the bike. Carbohydrates, staying hydrated, and proper protein intake work wonders for our body. And like the pillars themselves, fueling is all about balance.    

“You can always do the exercise but if you're not fueled you're not gonna get through it.” – Makayla MacPherson 

“When you’re under-fueled, you just have that flat feeling where you still have a long way to go and you just don't have anything left in your body.” – Colin Joyce


Fast facts about fuel

Adequate food and hydration should be consumed before, during, and after exercise to help maintain blood glucose concentration and improve recovery time. [4]

Eating carbohydrates during exercise will increase endurance capacity, increase the time it takes for muscles to become fatigued, and decrease the rate of perceived exertion. The trend nowadays is for our cyclists to consume up to 100g an hour during strenuous racing efforts! [5]

Skimping on nutrition can reduce muscle mass, lower bone density, and cause fatigue. This puts you at risk of injury and illness, increases recovery time, causes hormonal problems, and, for women, menstrual issues. [6]


In a grueling endurance sport like cycling, a positive and relaxed mindset can be the chief difference maker between a podium finish and the lanterne rougue. 

“If your mindset is not fully there then it doesn't matter how good you are physically or how well you're training or how well you feel. You just won't be able to put yourself in the position you need to be in to win.” – Lily Williams

“If you don't believe you can do it, it's going to be hard to achieve something at the end of the day.” – Matt Gibson

Fast facts about mindset

People who had a positive outlook were one-third less likely to have a heart attack or other cardiovascular event within five to 25 years than those with a more negative outlook. 

Having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on your body.

Mindfulness exercises can lower stress levels and literally rewire the brain.


Whether you’re training for Paris-Roubaix or prepping for a big presentation at work, without proper rest and recovery, you won’t be able to perform at your highest potential.

“My recovery routine is pretty basic. Number one is eating number two is sleeping” – Stephen Bassett

“My recovery routine includes a lot of sleeping. I think sleep is the most important recovery tool. You can have as many massages as you want if you don't get enough sleep and give your body enough time to recover.” – Mieke Kröger

Fast facts about recovery

Sleep is essential for cognitive processing. Loss of sleep is associated with a decline in cognitive function. [7]

The body releases hormones that are vital to recovery at night. [8]

Good, quality sleep is one of the most effective ways to recover and recharge after training and exercise. Sleeping enough—and soundly— will not only improve your physical performance, but it will help improve your mental and emotional performance as well. [9]