What is Erin Simmons Fitness?

Hi, my name is Erin Simmons and I have a passion for science-based nutrition and exercise. ESF was born in my post-NCAA athlete days and has continued through my educational and professional journey. My goal for this page is to provide advice and motivation to others who are navigating their journey to improved health and share my tips for creating a healthy lifestyle.

I have a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Biology from Florida State University, a Ph.D. in Nutrition from Texas A&M University, and hold a CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) certification and FMS (Functional Movement Systems) Level 1 Certification. I am a physiologist for the Navy and my research focuses on metabolism, energy expenditure, and human performance. In my free time, I enjoy staying active by working out, playing sports, competing in triathlons and obstacle course races, SCUBA diving, paddle boarding, playing with my pup, Hank, and enjoying the great outdoors.

I have had a lifetime interest in sport and exercise. I was a student athlete during both my undergraduate (2006-2008) and graduate (2008-2011) programs at Florida State University. I competed in the heptathlon (100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m, long jump, javelin, and 800m), triple jump, 4x400m relays, 100m, and finally specialized in javelin for my last two years of eligibility. In addition to my own collegiate athletics career, I was a volunteer assistant coach for multi-year national championship track and field teams at Texas A&M, where I worked with athletes in strength and conditioning, rehabilitation, and event-specific training. I had the privilege of not only working with top-level athletes, but also with top-level, world-renowned coaches, doctors, and training staff.

Along the way, I have created my own brand of fitness and health advice and motivation via the social-media and blog-based “Erin Simmons Fitness”. It’s been so much fun to watch this community grow over the years! I enjoy answering fitness questions, giving diet and nutrition advice, and providing general motivation for those making their way down a path towards better health and better bodies. My goal is to provide science-based nutrition and training advice to assist others in making better daily choices that turn into habits and ultimately a healthier lifestyle! I believe in the importance of holistic health and utilizing all aspects of fitness, including strength training, sprint training, diet and nutrition, chiropractic work, massage therapy, yoga, and maintaining psychological health. ESF advocates proper utilization of these methods for each person’s journey to whole body health and peak performance.

You’ll often see me promoting causes that have a special place in my heart, such as Wigs for Kids, #PlasticFreeLiving, and #AdoptDontShop. I also share products (usually food!) that I believe are responsibly made, health-minded, and/or benefitting a great cause or community. Some of my favorites are Rice Love, ProMix, Naked Nutrition, Siggis, Namastick, mpowher, and Care/of to name a few. Sometimes I may share promo codes, but I never promote things I don’t use myself, and I don’t use anything myself that I don’t research first!

Thanks again for following the blog! If you want to follow on other social media, you can find me on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.


  1. I’m way late to the party here, but from the perspective of a scientist developing drugs that need to be FDA approved before people accept them into their bodies…on the simple statistical basis of injuries and complications likely to occur in CrossFit, there is no way that if a study were done you’d find clinical health benefits worth this risk profile. If you demand efficacy and safety from your medicines, demand it from your physical training as well. There is nothing more powerful for changing your body second to what you metabolize (food and drugs) than the type of training you use for fitness.

  2. Sarah says:

    Just wanted to say I love your blog posts. Come back!!!

  3. Mark Hagger says:

    Other than being an athlete, what background do you have in athletic traiining, sports medicine, or kinesiology?

  4. Braden says:

    Hey, Erin. Recently stumbled across your post on CrossFit (and have since used it as evidence/reference to my CF friends who I am very concerned about) and noticed your experience with the Navy. I was wondering if you had any recommendations on preparing for the military (I am joining the Air Force). I’ve been running and lifting to get back into shape and my experience as an athlete in high school and power-lifter in college has taught me many things, but I don’t want to bulk up like crazy as I did in the past and be inflexible and only good at power lifts. I want to build practical strength, if that makes sense. So I was wondering if you had some knowledge to throw my way about that. Also, one thing regarding my right shoulder: my right anterior deltoid has been hurting me quite a bit lately after doing bench presses and other press lifts/exercises. The issue, though, is that my technique hasn’t changed and I’m not using poor form. Is there something just locked up in there or am I doing something horribly wrong? Thank you for being a great source of information and fitness knowledge without all of the pretentiousness that others seem to have. Thanks!


  5. Jeff Cage says:

    I recently began a strength & conditioning program for 14 yr old thrower. I’m working closely with her 2 throw coaches. Any suggestions/guidance/thoughts would be tremendous. I’d be happy to communicate via email.
    Thanks in advance!

  6. roncoletta says:

    I just read your article on crossfit training and thought it was very informative. I’m 51 years old and have lifted most of my life and served in the military. I train hard and have been looking for something else to step it up or maybe just variety. Some people are so pumped about crossfit training that I decided to check it out. Without participating just looking at the insanity of people doing dead lifts for speed made my lower back hurt. No form just chaos. Thanks for validating what should be common sense. I’ve had plenty of injuries over the years and the older I get the longer it takes to heal.

  7. Jay Kenneth says:

    Read your post on Crossfit. Have to agree to disagree on some of it.

    Citing Kenneth Jay as well saying not to get cardio from weights when he created the kettle bell vo2 protocol just goes against what your saying.

    He may have left RKC or Strongfirst but not without creating a 30minute 7 left/7 right pace for 30sets.
    At a 16kg bell, which is pretty light for dudes and I’m 175# and have passed RKC and Strongfirst snatch test and weekend certification and refer certification two years later, totals 14000lbs of work in 30minutes.

    A 5 minute snatch test is 5350 lbs in 5 minutes.

    Grace (30 clean and jerks) at 135# if not scaled is 4000lbs of work.

    If you showed up and just went straight into class then yes it’s the box you went in. Most will not let you start without 5-10 sessions and even after scale your movement or weight.

  8. MC Pose says:

    I have read this article.


    I am from South America, Uruguay exactly. I have been attending Crossfit Wods daily for the lasts months(4 months).

    I am 37 years old and relatively big(1.90 mts 95 kg). At first it looked great but then the knee pain started and I didnt get proper personalization and care to deal with it. I had to quit. They only offer me the WOD and i realize it would destroy me.

    • MB says:

      A young person quizzed me the other day about CrossFit after I mentioned I wouldn’t like it…to punctuate his argument, he turned to show his “wod result”. Not only does every CrossFitter acheive that (even instructors), but it was a complete point on my case! 😗😊 #shallowreasons

  9. Leigh says:


    My name is Leigh!
    Can you please give me n leg workout and a abs or tummy workout also a arms workout if possible

  10. Stacy says:

    do you sell programs?? I need help with nutrition…how do you stay motivated?? I do really good & then fall hard. Thanks

  11. Naquan says:

    Hey I’m interested in meal plans

  12. lloydrshaw says:

    To whom it may concern, ( opinion piece )

    Disclosure: I Lloyd Shaw have no, or ever had any financial ties or dealing with Russell Greene and Russell Berger. My dealings with them was purely based on promoting ethics / consumer protection work founded on common beliefs.

    As a Mortician and Fitness Industry leader I take my fight against dishonesty in our industry very seriously. It is my belief only a combination of full disclosure, passionate people and good safe exercise options can help our population regain its health.

    My warning……..

    After having personal contact and working on a project with both Russell Greene and Russell Berger. It is my honest opinion their lack of discipline, personal standards and lack of accountability is the root cause of CrossFit’s reputation of unsafe practices.

    Their almost psychopathic ability to deny any wrongdoing is a dangerous thing to have in the Fitness Industry. I believe their current mindset would allow them to cover up any incident of uneducated dangerous trainers, accidents or even death, that would interfere with their profit margin / marketing and justify it. Without remorse.

    Their willingness to use academics who claim expertise outside their actual experience or qualifications to influence or misdirect the consumer is disturbing.

    Universal truths are usually simple, and one that I have learnt is…….

    ” If the rot is at the top, the rest will surely follow ” Lloyd Shaw

    It is my opinion it is only a matter of time before a tragedy occurs and regulation will be forced on this industry. It is my hope the regulation comes before the tragedy.

    Kind regards Lloyd Shaw NZ

    Specialist Mortician
    Founder / designer of Commercial VT

  13. maria says:

    I would love to ask you a few questions about nutrition.

  14. Ripple says:

    I have read your follow up to crossfit and thought it was very informative. I do crossfit for a very specific reason. I haven’t been able to find a decent workout partner and I need to be held accountable to show up in work especially when I had a tough day at work.

    I think I am different because I refuse to be pushed to do something I am not comfortable. If it is a high rep exercise I don’t go as fast and significantly cut the weight and reps to make sure my form doesn’t break. The moment I have a form break, I stop, regroup, and reset. When I can resume with proper form I restart.

  15. Rich Z says:

    Hi Erin. I am using you for inspiration. I am 46 and looking to get back my athletic body after years of neglect. Hopefully I can play in my local 40+ lacrosse league next spring. Thank you for being an inspiration for me and my athletic girlfriend, April.

    First task is diet, so I’m downloading your meal plans. Cardiovascular to get weight down, then gym/weights to build back muscle. April says she could look like you if she works hard enough, so I’m looking forward to that! (she’s 47 and in very good shape).

  16. Austin hodges says:

    Do you think you could help me with my dieting

  17. Scott says:

    Funny thing. I have done many things to get into and stay in shape. The only thing I have found to work is CF. While it is true you could have had a bad experience with CF just as some have been injured Running, as I have been, or injured at a local gym, as others have been, or injured boxing, kick boxing, soccer etc. We shouldn’t stop. We shouldn’t discourage anyone from trying to get into shape. 1/2 of America is looking for an excuse for why they’re obese. I suggest to you encourage all types of exercise using personal responsibility. Don’t over due it but please don’t ‘under do it’. You could end up with heart disease, diabetic or just FAT and OBESE. Wow look at the injuries there. Or ‘life span’. Why not promote doing ‘anything’ that keeps you in good shape. We all just need to find out what that exersise is. Could be hiking, biking, running, CF, soccer, basket ball, local gym. You could write a ton of negative articles about all of these sports. Think about it. Promote healthy living. Don’t trash something that has obviously worked to get millions into shape and fit. Promote healthy living. We don’t all do the same things to stay in shape and healthy.

  18. Erik says:

    I just wanted to pile on about your “why I don’t do crossfit” article.
    I was willing to accept your arguments to a degree, as I enjoy crossfit but recognize there are valid criticisms. You just didn’t make any. Your closing statement that ALL of crossfit and boxes are ALL dangerous to anyone’s health is specious.
    I’ve been doing crossfit for over a year, been to three boxes and trained with probably 7 coaches. I’ve never seen anything like what you described, never. My coaches all had backgrounds in athletics and personal training, several were USAW certified for oly lifting, and all of them emphasized safety and good form over speed and/or heavy weights. The mantra at one gym is “do less better”, to re-emphasize this fact.
    So right off, I’ve blown your argument out of the water.
    This isn’t to say there isn’t legitimate criticism of the sport or the business model. Without a doubt, the ease of certification and fly-by-night quality of some boxes is a huge issue. But you didn’t make any legitimate critique; you went a couple times and didn’t like it so you punched out a hit-piece article devoid of any hard evidence.
    I would encourage you to re-visit the sport, either as a participant or at least try to approach the topic in a balanced manner (using facts and actual data, not bitter personal experience and cherry-picked paragraphs) the next time you post on the topic.


  19. Tom Mcginn says:

    Amen about Crossfit. Can’t understand why all the Ancestral Health folks jumped onn board. I get paleo. I live paleo. This is not healthy.

  20. Adrian Bellani says:

    Do you have a Twitter or Instagram.
    Would love to follow and stay informed. You seem to know your stuff.
    All the best. And congrats

  21. Adrian Bellani says:

    Great write up you di on crossfit. Very insightful. Nice to see the other side of the coin.
    Good for you for speaking your mind and Informing others.
    Good luck with the fitness modeling.

  22. Jorge gomez says:

    Hi Erin, I was going through your workout schedule and I just had a question. I want to get more ripped but at the same time gain more strength so I am kind of unsure of how many sets and reps to do in your workout. Can you help me with this. I am 6 ft 190 pounds and in pretty good shape. Have been doing p90x, a little crossfit, insanity and I am looking to change it up and getting back to the basics.

  23. Raj says:

    Hey Erin someone posted a response to your article wanted to see if you’d like to elaborate .. Thanks!


  24. Hey I’m starting up my own website/blog and would love to feature an article on there if that’s okay. I’ve listed my email so you can reach me!


  25. Bob Finke says:

    Great article with some serious documented information on CF !!

    How would I get on your mailing list ?

    Kindest Regards

  26. Jason Allison says:

    No anti-Crossfit article I’ve read recently has struck me with more meaning than yours. I lifted in a traditional way for close to twenty years, never experiencing an in-gym injury. Having done Crossfit for close to three years, I have had two injuries which have kept me from working out–and impacted my real world life negatively as well–twice in less than two years.

    Crossfit is a cult, and the thrill of belonging, of camaraderie, is initially the biggest allure to the entire experience. It’s probably as close to the shared hardship that is experienced by the military, police, firefighters, etc… most people will ever feel. However, as I begin to crest the hill of 40 Years Old, I wonder seriously if the shared hardship isn’t worth the fact that a great deal of it is just that–hardship.

    My fiancé does something called Barry’s Bootcamp twice, maybe three times a week. And she’s ripped. She often remarks to me that I looked better when I was lifting and running a bit. I countered by saying I’m healthier, more flexible, more “fit” now than I ever was.

    As I watch my suspended box membership sit idle while my lower back patches itself up, I begin to wonder if any of what I tell her is accurate. And if so, what do I do now?

    • Scott Dodds says:

      Wow. I injured myself running. Both knees and foot. I don’t think I called the sport a cult or claimed it to be bad. Fact is the most dangerous sport in the world is not crossfit…but running. Funny thing.

  27. Ben says:

    Good on you. I’m from Australia, my partner and I were crossfiters, before we switched to bodybuilding due to my THIRD arthroscope due to injuries sustained during crossfit. I’m writing this to let you know I read your article on crossfit, and totally agreed!

    Very well written, thankyou.

  28. Hello Erin I really admire what you stand for. I started my own nonprofit foundation here in Arizona to help more young athletes participate in sports and activities. We sponsor those young kids that cannot afford the cost of playing sports or activities. We also donate funds and equipment to leagues and schools that do not have the financial resources to improve their athletic programs. And give out scholarships to those young athletes so that they may continue their education for a bright future. Check out my website and tell me what you think. If you like what I’m set out to do with my foundation then I would love the support of a great collegiate athlete like yourself. Thanks Erin.

    Jaime Cañedo
    CEO & Founder

    • Hi Jaime! It sounds like you have a great program going on, but I’m not sure what specifically you’d like my help on. Let me know!

      • I’m sorry Erin! I just wanted to let you know about my foundation. Helping those kids that can’t afford to play sports. And if you like what I’m doing. Then maybe I can gain your support. And have the honor to say that my foundation has great athletes like you supporting it! I just launched this year. I just wanted to make you aware of it. Maybe some day we can have the privilege having you be a guest at one of our future fundraisers. Hope this was more clear. 🙂 love your blog and you definitely have our support with your fitness model in career and promoting a healthy life style. Thanks Erin!

        Jaime Cañedo

  29. Liz Fontanini says:

    58 tired of 25 extra lbs. I am confused as to how to eat? What to eat? I do not digest dairy or cheeses well and the South Beach style eating use to remove weight for me. I just need it written out the 10 things to do today to start the changes I need to do.

  30. rachelmcl says:

    Erin, what does your diet consists of? Do you use any supplements or post workout recovery drinks?

    • Hi Rachel! My diet is pretty well defined in the Diet and Nutrition section of this blog, but check out my specific meal plans. As far as supplements go, I like Orgain and really recommend raw protein, such as Garden of Life. I do not, however, recommend any other supplement because they are not tested thoroughly and are often found to lead to many health problems. Even protein supplements can have bad ingredients such as artificial sweeteners (see why they’re bad here), which is why I go for organic and/or raw sources.

  31. Heather L says:

    I have always been consistent in my diet and exercise, but am finding I need a little extra motivation. I have never blogged before and I am one of the few people left who do not do Facebook. I thought this might be fun and motivational. I look forward to graining knew information and finding a new form of motivation in my diet and exercise.

  32. Amy Wright says:

    Looking forward to your knowledge in fitness. I can never get enough info!

  33. Mark says:

    You definitely look healthy! I know it is dedication and hard WORK! My thing is this I don’t think there is anything wrong with being a little hungry at times… and yet everyone is like oh no your body thinks it is being starved and it will stop burning fat. I could see that happening after like two days, but I definitely lose the weight with less food! I do not believeI am burning muscle! Your thoughts? Iam

    • I don’t think being a little hungry automatically puts your body into starvation mode, however, I don’t believe in the “fasting” trend that’s been going around lately. Your body will eventually start breaking down muscle to feed itself. It’s always great to keep snacks on you so that if you start getting too hungry you can feed your body!

  34. ana gonzalez says:

    I’m a woman , 33 years old, 5.1″and 196 pounds. I want to be healthy for me and my family. I don’t want to wait anymore.

  35. Gertrude says:

    Hi this is kind of of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG
    editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.
    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding experience so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  36. rainingsushi says:


    You are my biggest fitness inspiration. Im a lab need too and used to be very athletic. I’ve recently started working out again but fail at eating clean. How can I drop body fat and build my non existent calves?

  37. rainingsushi says:


    You are my biggest fitness inspiration I even have your picture up as my phone’s wall paper (in a very non creepy way). I’d love to drop body fat and most importantly build calve muscles which are pretty much non existent. Any pointers?

  38. Jade says:

    I m having the HARDEST time getting my thighs slimmer n firm. I can not get rid of the fat. Please help!!!!

    Thank you

  39. RJ Morgan says:

    Hi my names RJ and Im a college football player for A&M and i just ended my career as a college player. My question for you is I’m good on working out and knowing what to do there but I’m lacking in nutrition knowledge due to my football diet (eat anything and everything). I’m 6’8 and 255 pounds and want to get down to 230. I can’t seem to loss any weight no matter what I do so I’m thinking it’s my eating habits or “diet”. What diet would you suggest for a fit lean muscular form without lossing a lot of muscle? Sorry to bother but I’m really curious and you’re one of 8 or 9 people I’ve emailed today! Thank you and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

  40. Chloe says:

    You look incredible and are a true inspiration to me.
    I was wondering if you could help me with nutrition. I have recently lost 40lbs on a very restricted calorie diet but I still weigh 220lbs. I would now like to up my calories as I have really got into training. I have researched bodybuilding and weight training diets and they recommend eating clean but huge amounts of calories. Is there a way of eating to fuel my body for lifting weights whilst maintaining a healthy loss? Also I’m a vegetarian (I have found loads of info on vegan training diets but not veggie).
    Thanks for any help x

    • Chloe,
      If you are still trying to lose weight, you will need to continue eating less calories than you burn. What is your current calorie intake? You can fuel your body without eating tons of calories. I would suggest Orgain protein shakes (find it on Amazon) for great nutritional value plus protein, and with low fat and zero saturated fat. That is, of course, vegetarian friendly and a great relatively low calorie supplement. If you are still trying to lose weight, I would stay away from protein shakes such as Muscle Milk or Monster Milk as those will be higher calorie. Also, pick complex carbs such as whole grain cereals and breads, quinoa, and brown rice instead of other carbs, as these will better fuel your workouts. Pick other power foods such as eggs (if you eat them), chickpeas, sweet potatoes, black beans, greek yogurt, and natural almond butter. Just don’t overeat them and spread them out during the day. Hope this helps!

  41. Stephanie Elefante says:

    Thank you for sharing Erin. Being a former athlete myself (many moons ago 🙂 ) I love’d to have that athletic physique again. I look forward to learning about your training and diet!

  42. Monica says:

    Hi Erin..your body is amazing..congratulations ! I have a question, I do crossfit about 5 times a week and I’ve been seing good results in terms of building muscle and losing fat but I’d for sure like to speed up my fat loss, do you think I need to incorporate some cardio sessions to my workout ? Thank you very much 🙂 !

    • CrossFit is pretty high intensity cardio as well as strength training, so if you’re wanting to do more to increase fat loss, then try supplementing it with longer but lower intensity cardio workouts (check out my other post on here: ). Let me throw one warning out there about CrossFit: please be careful to do the exercises with correct form. Unfortunately, CrossFit has some great exercises but it tends to stress a time or a number of exercises instead of good form which sets you up for injury. So be careful and good luck!

  43. hub lines says:

    Good taste consists first upon fitness.

  44. Chick says:

    Do you know of any sprint training drills? specifically to be comfortable at multiple 50m sprints throughout an 80 minute game? thanks

  45. mal says:

    how do you stay motivated during the offseason? i tend to only be active when around my teammates..but i need to start being motivated by myself.

    • While teammates are great motivators, you don’t want them to be your sole source of motivation because, as you point out, they are not always around! But you do always have yourself, so it’s important to find that drive within yourself. I usually set multiple goals to be working toward. When I ran track, we would have short term, day to day goals that supported our long term competition goals. This can help you in the offseason to continue to work toward those larger goals, whether you set offseason maxes in the Weightroom or daily nutrition goals. I also used to take about a month off during summers right after track season would wrap up and just take some time to recover. This always helped me not to get burnt out because after a month of not working out I was just itching to get back into the Weightroom or back on the track! So I think you just need to reevaluate yor goals and decide what you’re going to work toward in the offseason that will help you accomplish your goals during competition. Don’t be afraid to take short breaks to give your body and mind both a rest. Good luck!

  46. Felipe Hevia says:

    Thank you for your advices on sport

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