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The 5 Key Pillars of Performance


Performance is not limited to the gym, sports field, or workplace; it transcends every aspect of life, including relationships, finances, and your overall well-being. There are five essential pillars that underpin performance: Strength/Speed/Power, Progressive Overload, Aerobic Capacity, Nutrition, and Recovery. These pillars, while individually significant, are interconnected, and their order of importance may vary from person to person. In this blog, I’ll share my perspective as a 31-year-old, and why I now prioritize longevity.


Recovery and Sleep

In today’s fast-paced world, quality sleep and recovery are often neglected. I firmly believe there’s no such thing as overtraining; rather, it’s being under-recovered. Think of lions that sleep for hours to rule the jungle. Modern life, with its constant digital distractions, has disrupted our sleep patterns. Research shows that the seeds of health issues like Alzheimer’s are sown in our 20s and 30s. So, it’s time to prioritize sleep and recovery for a healthier, longer life.


Strength, Speed, and Power

 As a performance coach working with athletes and everyday individuals, I understand the importance of strength, speed, and power. Regardless of your background, training across the force-velocity curve enhances your skills and keeps you competitive as you age. The human body is incredibly adaptable; challenge it, and it will respond positively. Embrace the philosophy: Adapt or die.



The age-old saying, “You are what you eat,” holds true. Recently, I experienced the impact of restaurant dining on my well-being. Even if I ordered salmon and salads, restaurant-prepared food can’t match the cleanliness of home-cooked meals. Paying attention to your nutrition is vital for optimizing your performance and overall health.


Aerobic Base and VO2

Aerobic capacity plays a crucial role in performance. It helps you sustain steady-state work and aids recovery. My journey towards a full Ironman in Lake Placid next summer highlights its importance. However, individual goals will determine the priority of this pillar. For me, maintaining strength, speed, and power takes precedence.


Progressive Overload (Volume, Intensity, Density, Rest)

Progressive overload is a versatile tool for getting stronger. While strength should never be considered a weakness, setting personal records isn’t my primary focus right now. It’s essential to understand that progressive overload can be achieved through various means, but for me, it’s not at the forefront currently.



These five pillars of performance, though subject to personal variations, form the foundation of a healthier society. Start with one, then work your way up to all five. You can take charge of your well-being and inspire others to do the same. Find an accountability partner to help you stay on track and share the knowledge for a better, more prosperous life.


With Strength,

Colin Masterson – Performance Coach

Employee – CM1 Performance

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