What Time Of the Day Should I Train?

When Should I Train??

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Unless you’re in an organized sport where your training time is predicated upon the sports coach, you have to decide what time you are going to get yourself up to go to the gym. Should it be first thing in the morning or before I go to sleep? Should it be during my lunch break? These may be questions that you ask yourself. But after considering your job, your perceived free time, or your spouse’s schedule, your training goal can be the key that helps you make your final decision. How your body reacts to training times can greatly increase the training effect of your workout program. With this increased knowledge you’ll be equipped to get the most from your training program.

Gaining Muscle

In order for you to gain muscle, you will need compound exercises at a high volume. In order for you to perform this work, you will need to be in a slight calorie surplus to give the body the nutrients necessary to build new muscle tissue while keeping fat at bay.  The time you train can further enhance this effect by supporting your training with the fuel it needs to do more work in the weight room. By choosing to train mid-day or late afternoon, you can assure that you have eaten enough meals to properly fuel the body to train while blunting the spillover effect of training too early. If you train at a high level early in the day then begin to eat, the exercise post oxygen consumption (known as EPOC) will go into effect. This just means that you will have an elevated heart rate all day to the body’s response to repair itself. This could mean that with a higher metabolism you could be spinning your wheels by burning more calories than you are taking in, which would put you in a caloric deficit. Simply put you could be actually losing fat when your goal is to be in a muscle building phase.

Take heed that you want the body to use all of the calories for the surplus that it needs to build muscle. One may not see a problem from training in the morning but take remember that by just continuing to eat more can cause your body to start gaining fat at an accelerated rate, fat that you would then spend months to get off again which could also sacrifice the muscle that you worked so hard to get

Losing Fat

Contrary to gaining muscle, you want to preserve the muscle that you already have while trying to lose as much fat as possible. This is where early morning or even fasted training could be most useful. When you sleep your body is in a fasted state and this is where fat is most vulnerable. When the body senses hunger it releases enzymes that tell you to fuel yourself. If the neural response to eating is not met by actual food from the outside environment, then the body will use its own stores (fat) to keep the body from going into starvation.

When you awaken in the morning on an empty stomach your body is in full gear burning fat. So by training first thing in the morning you can aid in the reduction of fat by making sure the calories you burn from your training session are used to burn fat, not help in the digestion of food from all day. Since caloric intake is the main basis of fat loss, all calories burned should be dedicated to fat loss. Of course, you would use a leucine-rich supplement such as SciVation ‘Quake’ to protect your muscle while training fasted, The EPOC effect will also help by burning more calories, granted you take care of your end of the deal by eating to your specified caloric deficit.

As long as you’re in a surplus to gain muscle, a deficit to burn fat, and you train hard the time of the that you train is not the most important factor. But this advice could be the icing on your cake of achieving your specific training goal.

 

3 Reasons You Should Measure Your Food

So are we ready with a cliche right out the gate? No? Well here it comes anyway: Your eyes are truly bigger than your stomach. Gosh, I know its bad but there is much truth in this simple saying.

Let’s break this down

The craze of diets and macros, especially IIFYM, has hit the internet by storm with huge gusts of useless information that can put your mind in a complete whirlwind. This is used to prey on your ignorance to nutrition strategies to buy products that you don’t need or put you on competition diets that are completely devoid of some macronutrients, leaving you wrecked, tired, and begging to gain the dreaded “rebound weight”.  On the flip side, those bulking plans that you see on the internet will surely get you big, but I don’t think to become the Pillsbury Doughboy was the intent. How do we combat this unintended result, you ask?

  1. When Starting Out Measure Everything

Quickly let’s immediately address perceived notions regarding food portions. YOUR NATURAL INSTINCT TO CHOOSE FOOD PORTIONS IS INHERENTLY FLAWED.  Caps too much? Well, there is an emphasis on this statement because one really needs to understand. You will either grossly underestimate or overestimate any and all portions of food naturally. This is because your body instinctively looks at food based on need (this can be skewed based on upbringing and a heavy addiction to sugar) and not for you to look good or be “swole”. For example, how many of you pour 3/4 cup of cereal NATURALLY into a bowl? Yeah, I don’t either. This is why when you start on a nutrition protocol you must weigh and measure your food. Without this information, you are captain of a ship with no map, setting sail to the island of nowhere – or an unintended destination.

2.  Weighing and Measuring Your Food Keeps You On Track

Can you imagine where we would be if we did not have GPS on our phone? How many of you even know how to use an old-fashion map? This question may seem silly but this is how most of us are with our nutrition. Sure we hit the gym but there is no plan for the things that we put in our mouth. For this reason measuring your food is of great importance. When you do not weigh your food you play a dangerous guessing game that sends a signal to your body to just store everything as fat. Your body does not have time to play with you. It is built for survival and will fight to stay in homeostasis. Homeostasis is your body’s “normal”.  However by weighing your food when you are on a specific nutrition plan, you can measure and track over time how your body reacts to certain amounts of food. This tracking will help you to adjust your plan over time to make the necessary changes to reach your goal. Now you are the captain of your ship WITH a map to get to your destination.

3.  The Discipline of Measuring Will Teach You How to Eyeball

Most people are not in a specific nutrition plan year long, but still want to keep the condition that they attained while on a diet. To do this there still must be discipline in your nutrition. This is the true secret as to how people stay lean year long. However you will not see more experienced people weigh all of their food. Why? Because consistent measuring over time has given them a better understanding of proportions. Over time the tedious task of measuring your food will allow you to truly see what 7 ounces of protein really looks like. By measuring time and time again you will now be able to finally “eyeball” food and make the right choices of food portion due to the habit of weighing and measuring. This skill only comes from the discipline you show in the beginning by weighing everything.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Weighing your food may seem tedious but I can assure you this habit is one of the quickest ways to ensure your nutrition plan gives you quality results to help you lose fat and build muscle. Don’t be the captain with no map!

 

 

Is Your Training Functional??

Is My Training Functional? 

What is functional training?

· Simple. Training that makes sense.
 

How to Make Your Training Functional (Applicable to Sport)

· The demands of sport require your athlete to move fast and make quick decisions.

o Your lifts/training should compliment those demands in their respective sport.

 

Example:

 

Soccer players are continuously accelerating/decelerating with quick bursts of speed in various planes of motion. Although, they may attain a total volume of 5-6 miles or running, it is broken down into a series of sprints.

 

When designing your training with an athlete that has these demands; make this a top priority in your programming. Create circuits that will train the athlete anaerobically with high intensities for short time durations and short rests that will in turn train them aerobically as well. In essence, you have specified the immediate demands of the sport (quick bursts and responding rapidly) and trained them to handle the aerobic demands (running for miles).

 

If you are new to fitness and sport performance, HIIT style training is a great place to start in learning ways to develop programs to fit the sport demands of your athlete. However, to my experienced sport performance professionals this is simply sprint/interval training, a long trusted art form that appears to be making a major comeback in the development of our athletes.

 

Remember this, if you train slow, you play slow. It is as simple as that.

 

Kyle Stevenson, USAW is a national championship high jump coach and  the head speed and movement specialist at SWXLLER. If you would like more detailed information on this topic, feel free to email  Koach Kyle at ksteve15@gmail.com.

Try This Hack to Improve Your Upper Body

When you focus on movements you will never miss this muscle. This statement is known by athletes but let’s share a small hack to really pack some muscle on your upper body. Resisted bodyweight exercises are a great way to build functional muscle and induce myofribular hypertrophy. This just simply means you are actually increasing the fiber size of the muscle cell rather than just filling up with water (the pump). 

Weighted (25lbs or more) do a superset of weighted dips followed by weighted chins with a pause. Your reps on the dip should be between 8-12 and you should look to complete as many reps as possible on the chin up. Superstting these two movements will rest your pulling muscles while engaging your push muscles and vice versa. These two exercises put together will also maximize your rest time. 

As a finisher on your upper body focused day, do 4 sets of this super set. Rest only 45-60 seconds between sets. Once you have tried this comment below!!

Stay Patient! What You Need to Know about Training

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The quick fix.

This phase has been the death of dreams for millions of people who seek out to live a healthier lifestyle. The Guru’s have their say, the local guy in the gym, and even your coaches have their philosophy if you ask them. However there is one word that is really one of the true secrets to overall health and fitness. That word is

PATIENCE!!!

Man! This is a concept that you have to understand. Whether you are looking to make the varsity team, competing for you first show, or getting ready to slay the beach, patience is a virtue that people of this generation have to take to heart. When it comes to nutrition, training, and the mindset behind it all, you have to let time do the work for you. There is a saying that time will pass, but what you DO WITH THAT TIME is what will ultimately make the difference.

Think about it like this: You know when you are passing a construction site? Ever notice that although you are not really paying attention a building is being built everyday? Eventually there will be a new apartment complex or school erected that will probably last for many years to come. The building took months, even years to build but overtime a beautiful structure was created. Alternatively, ever been too eager to build that desk from IKEA only for it fall apart because you missed a step? The same process happens for your body! Time will pass, but you have to be patient to do the things necessary within that time to achieve the results you want. This is the reason diets don’t work, running yourself into the ground doesn’t work, and going from extreme bootcamp to another doesn’t work. When you are patient however you have the confidence to know that you are building your own personal villa on prized beach front property. If you were an architect you would take your time to have your construction team build your vision to perfection right? Just something to think about.

Patience, yes it sucks I know. However when you are consistent and practice patience your results will come and they will LAST!!

 

~Swxller

Timelines

We have to keep it 100 with you at all times about this thing called fitness. Regardless of your fitness and/or training goal, you have to be realistic about what you want to accomplish. Although it may sound like a broken record, one cannot be sucked into the hype of fitness teas, 30 day challenges, and promises of quick results. Let’s use cutting as an example. You should ONLY be looking to lose 1.5 to 2 lbs MAX per week. Anything more is lean body mass and water, which will contain vital nutrients to help you perform at your best. So if you have 30 lbs of fat on you, you have to set a REALISTIC date for when you want to be “shredded”.

Obtaining your ideal body composition is a lifestyle change. Its time to have a paradigm shift: rather than always trying to get ready for an event or season, why not create lifestyle change in which you stay in shape all year??? This doesn’t meant that you can’t have your cheat meals here and there, but those meals should be a rare treat and not an everyday occurrence.

Give yourself at minimum 16 weeks to get yourself into great shape. Once you hit that ideal body, keep the same techniques that helped you attain that body and keep going! That way if you need to get back into shape you can give yourself a shorted time to get lean. Remember, small changes over time produce massive results!!!

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 

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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?

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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