Why You Are Not Making Progress

“Im going to go dum hard in the gym today!”

Oh yea I’ll meet you all for drinks!!

“Gym smash when I get off from work!”

Taco Tuesdays??? Im there!!

 

Does this sound like a pattern?? Well if you fit into this category there may be a correlation between your vision of yourself and the actual progress that you have from the gym. I have stressed this time and time again, but there is no quick fix to getting in shape. All the money that you spend for tea’s, wraps, waist trainers, super pump xxl, etc. are leading you astray from the true path of body transformation. What ever plan, rep scheme, or exercise Kool-Aid you chose to drink from, make sure that you are : C O N S I T E N T

Yes, consistency is the key to change you body. This means the consistency to EAT CORRECTLY and train. Have you ever heard of the compound effect from Darrin Hardy? Well simply put, the compound effect states that small changes implemented everyday produce amazing results. So as an example, lets say you want to save 10 dollars a day for an entire year. Staying true to that goal you would have $3650 dollars which could be used for a crazy nice trip somewhere. However let’s say you have the same goal but you have to get that chipotle that day…. then you have to pay parking for that event you just hAVE TO GO TO… then you have to take shots because your friend just finished exams… get my drift? This behavior is what most people do with there training. It is the same as filling a bucket with a hole in it. If you have a fitness goal have the discipline to stay committed for the long haul. The people that you see as motivation are doing just that. There is no secret to this. You must stay focused, sacrifice for the short term to get the body that you want.

3 Reasons Why You Are Missing This Exercise

When training it is the simplest of exercises that produce the best results. Sadly, so many people are caught in the web of misinformation, doing all types of variations of made up exercises that produces no adaptation on the body. If you are new to lifting it is imperative that you build a proper foundation regardless of your training goal. So yes I know you are waiting to know what this magical simple exercise is right? Read on to find out!

Im Only Making One Trip to Carry These Groceries 

Groceries.png

You ever wonder why when you pull this extreme feat of laziness, that you feel extremely winded? Well what you are doing is actually an exercise called the farmers walk. Farmers walks were originally thought of as a strict strongman event lift  and became a staple in the worlds strongman completion in 1983. Although farmers walks are one of the most functional exercise around, so many people neglect this simple exercise.So why is an exercise so basic and so effective at burning fat and gaining muscle rarely seen in gyms today?

1.Farmers walks strengthens your “pillar

When performing the farmer’s walk, you are activating a major number of muscles in your pillar. The pillar, which was first described as the core, compromises of the entire trunk region of your body from the hips to the shoulders. When you strengthen this area you greatly improve your body’s postural stability. The more stable your body is the better you can move in multiple directions, which can be advantageous if you are an athlete. Strengthening of the pillar also activates your transverse muscles. Forget about your six pack (although we will talk about that later), the muscle that you cannot see are the muscles underneath your “show muscles” that drive strength development. So if you wish to get crazy strong, you can’t miss out on this key movement

2. Reduced chance for injury

Squatting and always get “a thing”? You know, that thing, that little twinge that causes you to move to the leg press for a few weeks? Well that “thing” is a breakdown of the small muscles that help you stand up right. Farmer’s walks can help to clean that up tremendously and performing farmers walks for a length of time can actually increase numbers on your squat. The more preventive measures you can do in the gym to stay healthy, the better!

3. Farmer’s walks burn CRAZY amounts of BODYFAT

You don’t always have to run to do cardio. Performing farmers walks can strengthen your cardiovascular system, not to mention make you feel like you are literally about to die. My father actually has just been introduced to farmers walks, and just like a father, he underestimated its effectiveness. Pop went for the gusto from the start using 100lb dumbbells (PLEASE start off what with you can do, don’t do this ) and he told me that before he walked 30 feet he was huffing and puffing and has to drop them. Farmers walks do this by causing your heart to pump more blood to your muscles to perform the activity. Acting in the same way as running, you body recognizes this activity as cardio and overtime will create the same adaptation that sprinting will do in regards to body composition. Now this is provided that you are eating at a slight calorie deficit to lose weight.

Let me not forget… farmers walks build a crazy six pack.. thank me later!

Although farmers walks are a simple movement, I never want to leave you without giving you information on how to perform. Check this video out below to see how to perform the famers walk. Once you watch the video, try this workout for a finisher after one of your training days:

Using two dumbbells, grab each dumbbell and walk a path down and back 50yds. Rest for 45 seconds in between, and perform for 4 sets

Farmers Walk

4×50 yd

:45 rest between sets

 

References

Carter, C. (2014). Why a Strong Pillar is Critical for Soccer. Retrieved March 13, 2016, from http://blog.sklz.com/expert-knowledge/strong-pillar-critical-soccer/
Spriggs, D. (2015). The Farmers Walk: Why You Should Do Them – Starting Strongman. Retrieved March 13, 2016, from http://startingstrongman.com/2015/01/27/the-farmers-walk-why-you-should-do-them/
Minor Bowens, CSCS is a sport performance coach at The University of Louisville and founder of The Swxller Company. A former division 1 two sport athlete and certified strength and conditioning specialists, Minor strives to provide readers with the most relevant information to help people reach their individual training goals. Following the philosophy of “growth mindset”, Minor works to improve the performance of his athletes and well as himself daily and believes that you have to “walk the talk.

A Brief Hiatus to Regroup

Do you wish you could hit pause sometimes in your life to regroup? Well for the first part of this year that is what I had to do to make sure things were in order to deliver top quality information to you readers. You see, the internet is loaded with information that is recycled, regurgitated, and misinformed that leads people in the wrong direction. I had some time to think of the direction that I want this site to go. I now know and I will share those thoughts with you.

  1. The Swxller company wants to serve as a platform to give one the utmost quality in strength and conditioning information to help someone reach their individual training goal.
  2. We will strive to post each week with new and fresh content to keep readers engaged
  3. We want to bring truth to the fitness community to help people sift through the clutter of mis-information that floats around on the internet

 

Now that we have cleared that up, whats going on family! There are 15 weeks left until the official start of summer so what are you doing to get in shape! Comment below to let me know what you are doing!!

 

 

~ Swxller

How not to be a NARP (Non-Athlete Regular Person) in the Gym?

newbie

Welcome to 2016 and the glorious time of the “New Year’s Revolutionary.” You might notice a new wave of people in the gym for 10 to 12 weeks. They are like sitting ducks waiting to be hunted by personal trainers eager to make some “easy” money. The half reps are in full effect, the Bosu Balls are bouncing everywhere, and some of the craziest exercises you have ever seen are being performed. These people are better known as NARPs, or non-athlete regular people. You do not want to be a NARP. There are some simple steps you can take to overcome these “newbie” mistakes and get closer to the body that you want. You must accept that the process will be a tough one. Don’t get suckered into the quick fix and learn how you can become an effective gym member or even an athlete.

Lesson One: K.I.S.S (Keep It So Simple.)

No, this doesn’t mean for you to give a hot person a big wet one on the lips, but to keep your trainings simple when you are in the gym. So many new people hit the gym with high hopes, but unrealistic expectations of the time it will take to reach their fitness goals. Eager for the quick fix, people will go all out for a couple of weeks trying all types of crazy fad detoxes, diets, and exercise hoping to lose 20 pounds in ten days. Personal trainers can spot NARPs from a mile away. Although most trainers mean well, some trainers will prey on this naïve. They can earn a lot of money training new gym members in circles without seeing any tangible results. If you are new to the gym, understand Rome wasn’t built in one day. No matter where you start in your fitness journey, time and consistent efforts are going to be the determining factors of building a great physique. How to keep it simple?

Get Full Body Results with the Goblet Squat.

If you want a nice looking, functional and strong body you must squat. Simple! Squatting is a natural movement pattern. This compound exercise recruits the most muscles in the body, produces the most testosterone, and increases range of motion to help lift more weight. Even if your goals isn’t to have the strength of Batman, the muscle that you will build from squatting, results in burning more calories causing your appearance to be leaner. The squat should be the foundation from which all other exercises should stem. To make it even simpler, for the first month do nothing but the Goblet squat using a rep scheme of 8 reps or less and strive to achieve heavier weights each session. This exercise alone will change your body completely and build muscle even in your upper body. The goal is to go slow to go far. By learning how to do the most important movement pattern first, you will set a foundation to make some serious gains in your training. Below is a link on how to properly and effectively perform the Goblet Squat.

Goblet Squat Video:

Follow this simple program below and follow @swxllerco on Instagram and Twitter to talk about your progress! Can’t wait to view your gains.

Goblet Squat – M/W/F
2×8 2×6 2×4

The Gut Check Detox


The Gut Check Detox

 

2015 is almost over. Like most, the holiday season was filled with tasty items such as, alcohol, desserts, fried foods and all around delicious foods. The holiday delights taste great, but will cause crazy inflammation and weight gain, making you feel terrible! This guide isn’t to quench your appetite in finding some type of fad or shortcut, but to give you tangible information to jumpstart 2016, the healthiest year of your life.

 

  1. You are a walking car battery- When you eat fatty foods, junk food, basically the cramp you may know you shouldn’t eat. Your body becomes very acidic and as a result your body becomes inflamed and produces mucus. This inflammation and mucus is a big contributor to unwanted weigh gain and many illnesses that people feel this time of year. Detoxing periodically or during the last week of the year is an effective way to allow your body to repair itself. At SWXLLER, we preach that food is fuel, so think of a detox as a fuel system cleansing your body.

 

  1. Strive to be ALKALINE! To be alkaline, simply means bringing your body’s PH levels down to a lower level. The foods that help you become alkaline not only help heal your body, but help to reverse the effects of the damage that acidic foods do to your body. Forget all the “lose 10 pounds in 10 minutes” detoxes that you see all over the internet. True, these detoxes will help you lose weight, but they will also leave you extremely dehydrated and malnourished. The goal of any detox should be to bring your body to an ALKALINE state.

 

  1. Detoxing is only a jumpstart, not a fix. Whether you are seeking a desired body type, improvement as an athlete, or become healthier, you will have to make a lifestyle change. A detox is pointless, if you plan or unexpectedly consume a supersized #3 from your local fast-food restaurant days later. Sound nutrition principles followed for an extended period of time is the true key to dropping body fat.

 

This particular detox recipe has been effective at decreasing inflammation, excrete unwanted water, and helping you feel fantastic overall. For 48-72 hours depending on the severity of your circumstances, you will have 3 of these alkaline filled shakes, followed by 1 meal at the end of the day. The “end of the day” meal will include either salmon or chicken, celery or spinach, and wild rice or sweet potato.

 

The portion will be:

• 6 oz. protein

• 1 cup veggie

• 1 cup cooked rice or 4oz sweet potato

• Lastly, you will drink 1oz of water per pound of body weight each day of the detox.

 

The Gut Check Detox Shake:

• 1 whole Lemon ​

• 1/4 cup Natural Pineapple Juice

• 1tsp Moringa

• 1 Stalk of Celery

• 1/2 Cucumber

• 1 cup Kale

• 1/2 cup Blackberry

• 1/2 Granny Smith Apple

• 1/2 cup Papaya

• 1/2 cup Dandelion Root Tea

• 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

Escape the Holiday Trap Trap: 3 Tips to Stick to Your Nutrition

 

The holidays are a joyous time in which people get to see family members and eat lots of good food which is latent with sugar, grease, and many other fatty sources that can get you into trouble if you don’t know how to mitigate through this holiday season. We chose to speak out this subject today to start your new week off right with three quick tips to get back on your nutrition regimen. Before we start it is imperative to know that the number on the scale (yes we know you have checked) isn’t  necessarily correct in that with sudden spikes in calories comes water retention, so no need to panic. So put down those left overs and get back on track!

Tip 1: Clear Your Refrigerator

Listen, the thanksgiving holidays are a time when you cook certain foods about once a year, and lets face the facts: these foods are DELICIOUS. With this great food leftover plates are common but this practice could be to your detriment. With those leftovers your thanksgiving cheat meal could turn into a cheat WEEK! What you should do is completely clear your fridge of most of those foods with just enough to make about 20% of your diet. Buy fresh foods that you were already eating on your diet and start fresh. With the leftovers you do keep, use applications such as myfitnesspal to estimate the calories of these foods to make sure they can fit into your macronutrient regimen.

Tip 2. : Intermittent Fast to Start Your Week

Intermittent fasting is a technique that can be used to “reset” your metabolism by reprogramming metabolic and stress resistant pathways within the body. The sharp spikes that one can experience with a huge thanksgiving meal could cause rapid fat gain, especially if a person has already been on restricted calories. By using a short bout of intermittent fasting, you can offset the effects of that meal and give your body a clean slate so to speak.

How to perform

For example, if you want to start your week off right, the night before stop all eating by 8pm and resume eating the next day at noon. The 16 hour period is enough time for your body to return to previous metabolic levels and short enough time to avoid any adverse effects. During your fast you can have water, coffee and tea, but be strong to avoid any foods.

 

Tip 3: Add Some HIIT into Your Life

High intensity interval cardio (HIIT) is just a fancy word for interval training and has been around for ages but has just found new popularity in fitness circles. HIIT training is so effective because of its exercise post oxygen consumption (EPOC) benefits. HIIT training also helps you to preserve muscle at a rate far exceeding long duration steady state cardio. The week following the holidays incorporate 3 20 minute HIIT sessions into your training regimen to ensure that you start the process to shed the holiday fluff.

Types of HIIT Cardio

HIIT can be performed on any type of cardio equipment but we are athletes so we will stick to battle ropes, the treadmill and air dyne wind bike. Try each of these workouts and make sure not to throw up in the process, haha.

Air Dyne

5 min warm up at moderate speed

10 rounds of

20 seconds fast (110rpm or higher)

40 seconds complete rest

 

Battle Ropes

10 Rounds

30 seconds all out intensity

30 seconds rest

 

Treadmill

5 min jog at 5.0

Set treadmill to a 5.0 incline and 10.0 speed

then

10 Rounds 30 second sprint

30 seconds rest

 

Always enjoy the holidays but make sure you you have a game plan. When Christmas rolls around in four weeks you’ll know what to do!!

 

~ Swxller

 

How to Actually Get a Six Pack

Marketing-the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.

The search for the almighty “6-pack” is a tricky one filled with loads of false truth’s, dead ends, and essentially wrong information and in the naiveté of many consumers, this search has turned into a multimillion dollar business. Everywhere you look you see magazines with the latest “ secret” to chiseled six pack abs, or the holy grail of exercise you need to let those precious muscles shine through. However the truth behind this matter is that the bulk of information posted are merely gimmicks that will run you into a dead end if you are not equipped with the tools to sift through the clutter.

Basic bio mechanics tells us that the rectus abdominus (the abs) should be trained just as any other muscle, with progressive overload. But what is NOT normally talked about is the role of the core in bodily function. Your “abs” are show muscles and what should be more of a focus are the muscles that you CANT see.

The Core

IMG_9288

Your core comprises of your transvers abdominus, erector spinae, internal and external oblique’s, multifidi, and your rectus abdomius which you probably refer to as your abs. Your core is the most important part of your body in that all energy and movement initiates from your core and flows to your upper and lower extremities. In simpler terms, your core is way more than your abs.

How You Should Train Your Core

Your body works as a kinetic chain so what you read typically in fitness magazines is inaccurate in regards to core training. Let’s take the crunch for example. When you crunch you are putting your core in an unnatural position that causes other muscle groups in your body to overcompensate which causes an imbalance in the body. What actually starts to happen is that with excessive sit-ups and crunching comes lumbar spine problems and immobility of the hip extensor muscles by constantly being in a flexed state. Now one can get abs in this way but at what expense??

The Secret

The secret to the elusive 6 pack (probably wish I said this at the beginning don’t you haha) is HEAVY COMPOUND LIFTING, HEAVY CHOPS AND LIFTS, and LOADED CARRIES with a diet that helps you to achieve a body fat level below 10% in men and 18% in women. THAT’S IT. Squat heavy, deadlift HEAVY, Overhead press… HEAVY, chop something, lift something, carry heavy stuff for long distances, and clean up your diet. It sounds so simple but irrespective of all the fat burners, guru eBooks that you spends so much money on each year, and all those superfoods in whole foods, keeping things simple is the way to go in regards to getting a six pack.

Heavy compound lifting recruits many muscles in the core because of the need to keep the spine ridged during these movements. Think about it, when doing a heavy squat EVERY MUSCLE in your core are firing in an attempt to keep you from breaking your back. That’s serious core action!! Chops, lifts, and loaded carries help to strengthen muscles of the transverse abdominals and obliques and by complementing this work with a sound diet you will be able to see the fruits of your labor.

So…

Lift heavy stuff

+

Chop stuff

+

Lift stuff

+

Carry heavy stuff for long distances (being in a calorie deficit to lose fat)

=

SIX PACK ABS

 

Don’t be fooled… you want abs? REAL CRAZY CHISELD ABS?? Start lifting heavy, clean up your diet, and GIVE IT TIME. Once summer rolls back around you’ll be amazed once you lift your shirt.

~ Swxller

 

 

3 Tips about Flexible Dieting You should know

funny-memes-dreaming-of-thanksgiving-like

Oh, the holidays are coming and bowl season is quickly approaching!! This means lots of sweet goodies and fatty foods that you tell yourself you are going to stay away from but who are we kidding here?! Most people will give the excuse to the fall and winter months as bulking season, however you are an athlete and you are going to make better decisions. Yes you are don’t question the system. Haha, well this opens up the discussion of flexible dieting. If you haven’t been under a rock you know that flexible dieting or IIFYM (If it fits your macros) is all the rage right now and all types of fitness gurus claim that using this diet is an eternal hall pass to eat ANYTHING you want as long as it fits into your macronutrient schedule. They may even back their findings with a study performed by a university in which a professor lost over 20 pounds eating noting but convenience store junk food! Although this new style of dieting sounds amazing and quite frankly is AMAZING, there are some rules to follow if you wish to incorporate flexible dieting into your lifestyle.

How to Flexible Diet

Tip 1: Learn YOUR macros

macros-300x300

Understand flexible dieting is NOT A GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD to see if you can medal in the junk food Olympics. Rather, flexible dieting is a way to keep you consistent in eating healthy year round without resorting to becoming a social hermit who is in constant fear of eating the wrong things. When you flexible diet the first tip that one should show is to make sure to calculate your macronutrients as accurately as possible. Websites such as www.scoobysworkshop.com, www.legionathletics.com, and rippedbody.jp are wonderful resources to start from when calculating your macros. If you want to do this thing right you will have to know what percentage of each macronutrient based on your calorie intake you can have to achieve or maintain your optimal body composition. Without this information you are basically going into this whole diet thing blind which can turn into a disaster.

Tip 2: STILL stay 80/20

work-balance-life-balance

Will flexible dieting help you fi in that donut, or giant slice of pizza? CERTAINLY!! But you should have a basic understanding of the nutrient density of food. The fatty, cheesy, sugary things that we love are cool, but how do they help us PERFORM?? Keeping performance at the forefront should give you the maturity to eat the proper foods that will help your body move and perform to its utmost potential. That being said make the bulk of your diet consist of dark leafy greens, complex carbohydrates, and lean protein sources. Yes you can have that soda every once in a while but be mindful of what you are putting into your body. One should also be mindful that the “good stuff” is very CALORIE DENSE. This means that a cookie for example at 300kcal=42 cups of spinach. So although you THINK YOU are eating less, if the bulk of your foods are junk you WILL GO OVER your specified calorie ceiling so to speak. So be mindful of how you feed your face.

Tip 3: High Carb/High Fat Diets Don’t Mix

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What you don’t see or hear when you see these models on the internet raving about flexible dieting is that they are EXTREMELY METICLOULOS in their diet to fit in the sweet treats that they love without gaining fat. These experienced models and athletes do this by choosing between a high carb, low fat diet, and a moderate carb, high fat diet. In order to change any type of body composition, you must either be in a deficit or surplus of calories in the relationship of calories that you need for daily living. Keeping calories key, you must choose a diet that will keep your calories in check.  Research hasn’t shown differences in high carb or low carb diets being any different for fat loss but what it does show that a high carb high fat diet is a recipe to gain a ton of fat FAST. Flexible dieting is tricky in that if you are not careful those junk food items that you fit in could put you in calorie trouble quickly. You can’t do both, so whatever route you choose be mindful that you can stick to this way of eating for a sustained amount of time.  Our recommendation is to never let fat be more than 30% of your total calorie intake. If you follow this simple rule, you should be golden.

So eat up!! But be mindful what’s on the menu guys!

~ SWXLLER

Minor Bowens, CSCS, USAW

The SWXLLER Company

3 Tips to Successfully Plan Your Workouts

You have all seen it… you are bombarded with the newest claim of the “perfect” workout for legs, the holy grail of rep schemes, or the latest article from the latest guru that some scientist swears is the key to those gains. Well what you have to know is this is all marketing. Whether cutting, bulking, or just generally trying to stay in shape, You have to LIFT PROGRESSIVELY HEAVY WEIGHT OVERTIME to see real long lasting results.

Take a seat.. let me explain lol

Although there has been a heavy influx of new “trainers” that do everything under the sun that they swear will help you get in shape, nothing will outshine the basics. Yes, the simplest of movements are the most effective at seeing real change within your body. Regardless of the muscle, your body moves in specific patterns and you should train in these patterns to properly add balance within your body. Couple this with heavy compound lifting and you create a recipe of success in the gym.

Proper Movement Patterns

Your body moves in specific pushes, pulls and rotational movements. When properly planning for your workouts you must match the correct exercise with the movement pattern to create balance. So lets take a look: Your core is the main conductor of energy for your body and should be a top priority when training. Rotational movements such as chops and lifts should be in your program design everyday along with pillar strengthen movements such as planks, glute bridges and hyperextensions. Pushes and pulls of the upper body regions happen in the vertical and horizontal planes. An example of this is a bench press which works in the horizontal plane as an upper body push, and a pull up which works in the vertical plane as an upper body pull. Conversely lower body movements are categorized as knee and hip dominant pushes and pulls. An example would be the squat as a knee dominant lower body push and a Romaninan deadlift as a hip dominant lower body pull, respectively.

Tips to Plan

When planing which exercises to do in the gym, the K.I.S.S. principle is key. Keep things SIMPLE. Yes the flying push ups and 700 inch box jumps look cool but they do little to improve performance or physique. Dependent on preference, each day should have a balance of lower and upper body pushes and pulls with a rotational movement. An example of this would be as follows:

Back Squat- Lower body knee dominant push

Pull Up- Upper body Vertical Pull

Farmers Walk – Rotational Stability movement

RDL- Lower Body Hip Dominant Pull

DB Single Arm Row-  Upper body Horizontal Pull

Throw in a couple aesthetic movements of your choosing and that is it! Nothing fancy, just simple exercises that will give you the most bang for your buck.

Bringing it all Together

  1. Lift HEAVY often
  2. Balance your exercise by movement
  3. Keep your exercise SIMPLE

The magic pill to all the people that you see who look amazing THAT AREN’T ON DRUGS are basic lifts and a great work ethic to train HARD in the gym. So get simple and put in work!!