So many of us have no idea when we exactly start burning fats or carbs. At what heart rate do you begin burning carbs and at what burn rate? When do you start building lactate acid and when do you actually recover? While there are a lot of sophisticated apps, gps devices (such as garmin), and other devices such as Humon, none of these can accurately and reliably tell you this affirmation. Many outstanding athletes are operating at far less than their potential simply because they have never been “met tested” (metabolically tested) to even know this information. Knowing these sorts of details that are 100% unique to you simply allows you to use that info to adapt your nutrition and training to maximize results. A really good friend of mine, long time teammate, and my 2019 Race Across America teammate Tommy Liddell just experienced the powerful impact of this testing and what just 7 weeks of adaption can do. Check out these impressive results below in his article:

A Healthier Me

The graph to the right is a typical week of eating “healthy” for me before working with Sparks Systems. I focused on the amount of calories I consumed vs. the calories I burned cycling (after all I cycle so I can eat all the yummy junk food I want, right?!). Using common dietary apps I could see if I was on track to lose weight (my goal) and be “healthy” in my mind. See if this sounds familiar, while calorie counting I often felt hungry (getting that growling in the stomach), had less energy through my day, and would often get that light headed thing when you stand up too fast (yeah that’s messed up blood sugar levels…bad!). And of course no matter what the scale said I always had the “Dad Bod”…you know the extra weight around the gut, love handles, etc. that always stuck around no matter what I tried, I was “skinny fat”.

Time For a Change

Sept 14th, 2018 I began my journey to a healthier me. Sparks Systems tested my metabolic efficiency point (the point my body burns more carbs than fat as energy). We found out I was a carboholic! At my rested heart rate my body utilized primarily carbs to produce energy. I learned this is not healthy, and was the reason for my cramping, sore muscles while exercising, “Dad Bod”, food cravings, and sugar lows.

The body only stores a limited amount of carbs that can be used for energy, and can only process an even smaller amount via the foods you eat. Because carbs are fast burning energy you constantly have to replenish, or eat more, of them when your body uses carbs as it’s primary energy source. The typical American diet consumes way more carbs than the body can process as energy. When the body can’t use those excess carbs as energy it stores them as fat to use later. Guess where carbs are stored in the body…liver, kidneys, stomach…so when there’s extra that are turned into fats…yep “Dad Bod” or that excess flab you can never get rid of. No wonder there’s an obesity epidemic in the United States, we are a bunch of carboholics! Our bodies have been trained, by the foods (fuel) we provide it, to burn carbs all the time, so we never burn the fats we keep accumulating!

Sparks Systems provided me with a personalized macronutrient breakdown of what my body needed to function and to reprogram it to use fats as fuel instead of carbs. The results after 6 weeks of coaching from Sparks Systems was AMAZING!!!

I don’t have hunger cravings during the day, I eat as much good foods as I want (and no it’s not tofu garbage…it’s stuff I like). I’ve lost 10 lbs without trying, 3 inches around my waist, and have energy all day!

I’ve retrained my body to burn fats at higher heart rates in just 6 weeks! The best part though is seeing my family making healthier eating choices. Thank you Sparks Systems!

Fat Adapting to the Test – Tour de Tucson

The Tour de Tucson is a 100 mile bike race held every year in Tucson, AZ. I’ve participated in this event for many years, but every year I fell victim to the same issues:

  • Muscles would fatigue
  • Severe muscle cramps at about mile 60-70
  • Upset stomach after the race from all the gels, drink mixes, etc. I took to prevent the above

Sparks Systems showed me the problem wasn’t my race nutrition, but my pre-race nutrition! I was a carboholic. After 2 or 3 hours of hard racing my body burnt through all the carbs it had in store, and no matter how much I shoved into my stomach, my body couldn’t process it fast enough to use it.
This year after 6 weeks with Sparks Systems and fueling with just water & BCAAs; no cramps, higher watts, no post race gut rot, and no sore legs with a 20 min PR (4:18 / 23.9mph).

Fat adapting worked!

Contact Sparks Systems directly:

Who am I?

This is me and my better half Tiffany in Rome January of 2018. We have 4 beautiful children ages 7 to 15. I work as a corporate trainer for MidFirst Bank and my wife is a trainer of Montessori teachers. We are both very active cyclists and always considered ourselves healthy people.

Why Sparks Systems?

I first contacted Sparks Systems to test my metabolic efficiency because I wanted to improve my cycling. In longer races, 3+ hours, my legs would always cramp up! I couldn’t keep up and I’d tell myself “I need to get my nutrition right during my races”. What I learned at Sparks Systems completely changed my understanding of healthy!

Written by: TOM LIDDELL



BAA Racing and Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC are proud to host this article on our blog with the permission of Tom Liddell.

Ben Dodge, Esq., Endurance/Ultra Cyclist



Bicycle crash and bicycle accident lawyer Ben Dodge

A bicycle crash is not always an accident. If you, or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle crash or accident caused by a road hazard or dangerous road condition, hire a personal injury attorney who is experienced and has a successful track record. Ben Dodge, a licensed bicycle accident lawyer in Arizona, has dedicated his entire firm to one purpose: representing cyclists. Bicycle accident cases are the only cases Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC handles. Home based out of the great state of Arizona, Ben can still help cyclists in the entire United States. Ben also founded Bike Accident Attorneys Network, a national network of attorneys who focus on representing cyclists. He can find you help anywhere in the country.

Ben Dodge has represented and assisted bicycle accident victims across the entire United States. As an avid and competitive cyclist himself, Mr. Dodge currently participates in national and local cycling events all over the world. It isn’t uncommon to spot him in early morning hours out riding his bike. Having competed in 8 Ironman triathlons, numerous local and national cycling races, and a successful finish in the Race Across the West 2016, he really knows what it’s like to ride and race a bike. Ben competed in the first ever Race Across France – 2018. This was a non stop 1500+ mile race across the entire country of France. He and his teammate finished 3rd. He is registered for a 2 man Race Across America (RAAM) team as well in 2019.

The day he fell in love with his job was the day he devoted himself completely to bicycle accident cases. Ben represents cyclists injured in bicycle accidents, at the police station, with insurance companies, and in the courts. He advocates for the rights of all cyclists, not just his clients. He teaches police about bike laws and bike safety, he educates drivers about the rules of the road, and he trains cyclists and clubs to ride more safely.

A consultation with experienced Arizona bicycle accident attorney Ben Dodge is free

In recent years there has been approximately 700 bicycle fatalities in the United States every single year. Approximately 2,000 bicycle accidents are reported in Arizona every year. Approximately 30 fatal bicycle accidents are reported in Arizona every year. Bicycle fatalities are terrible and horrific tragedies that affect the lives of too many families and friends to count. Understanding your rights and obligations as a cyclist can bring clarity to your specific accident situation. It will always be in your best interest to be represented by an attorney who knows the bicycle laws and has a successful track record of winning bicycle accident cases. The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important, but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your bicycle accident case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in bicycle accident law, local and state bicycle ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and laws. You should hire someone very familiar with negligence and tort law, civil procedure, and the rules of evidence as they all relate specifically to bicycle accident cases.

Ben Dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all local cyclists and a complimentary phone consultation to any cyclist injured in a bike accident. Typically the consultations are schedule from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the accident. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal bike accident liability and potential for recovery. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:

  • Your specific bike accident details, diagrams, and pictures from your perspective and then from the perspective of your bike accident attorney.
  • The applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
  • Your rights as a cyclist, obligations, and any potential liability.
  • The process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.
  • The value of your case and what you might expect as compensation.

You can call Arizona bicycle lawyer Ben Dodge of Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC at 1.855.663.3922. Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Ben will personally return your call within 24 hours. There is never an obligation past a complimentary consultation with Mr. Dodge. His passion is in representing cyclists and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness and patience.

Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC

Call Ben Dodge, the Bicycle Lawyer today at 1.855.663.3922. Reach him by fax at 1.800.958.8902.

Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at

His main Arizona offices are located at:

Mesa Arizona (home base office)
4824 E. Baseline Rd., Suite 124
Mesa, Arizona 85206

Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback Rd., suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016

Tucson Arizona office
One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701

Mr. Dodge represents cyclists in the entire state of Arizona including but not limited to mesa, phoenix, tucson, yuma, gilbert, peoria, glendale, scottsdale, ahwatukee, tempe, chandler, prescott, sedona, flagstaff, surprise, kingman, page, lake havasu city, payson, goodyear, buckeye, queen creek, paradise valley, show low, winslow, maricopa, nogales, globe, avondale, cave creek, fountain hills, apache junction, carefree, wickenburg, pinetop-lakeside, strawberry, anthem, safford, and more. Ben Dodge is currently involved with bicycle accident cases all over the country and has founded a national network of independent bicycle lawyers that can assist in representation in all 50 states.