The Cardio Hack: 3 Principles of Cardio that You Should Know

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Ah, the golden goose.. the key that many people tell you will help to burn fat and help you to get in great shape. Some of you dread the word while others embrace it. This my friends is CARDIO- Cardiovascular training that increases heart and lung function, allows you to work harder under fatigue and YES, will get you in great shape IF you know what you are doing and train effectively in doing so. There are a few things you need to know about cardio and also a few things that you should disregard as well that have had you running in circles (pun) for a really long time. Use these principles to unlock the key to use cardio as a massive tool in your tool chest to get in crazy shape FAST!

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Train the Proper System for the Body You Desire

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  • As a hamster on a wheel, today in most gyms you see countless amounts of people trudging away on the treadmill running mile after mile to nowhere. Why is that you ask? Well the fact of the matter is that unless you are SPECIFICALLY training for a marathon, iron man, or you are a long distance athlete, training the oxidative system exclusively will be a ticket to losing serious muscle mass. When training your body in an aerobic state for long periods of time over long distances, your body will go for its most precious energy source- MUSCLE. (Yes, during the cutting phase you will forms of cardio that will mimic long distance such as long periods on the step mill or inline walk, but this will only be for a short period of time as far as yearly training is concerned.)
  • Extreme long distance running decreases type 2 fast twitch muscle fiber (which makes you faster and stronger) burns more muscle fiber( to make you a more efficient long distance runner since that’s what you are doing) and all around sucks if it isn’t your thing. A better option would be to train the energy system you would most want to look like. You ever wonder why sprinters look the way they do? It is because they train an energy system that will tax the cardiovascular system quickly and actually burn more fat in the process be cause the more energy expended, the more calories you burn. High intensity training also causes the Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption Effect. Simply put, you will continue to burn calories post training when using higher intensity forms of cardio.  With that being said, sprinting, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and Metabolic Conditioning (SAFE bodyweight WODS From Crossfit) are better options and are heard towards obtaining a ripped lean physique.

Give Time Between Your Cardio and Weights

  • What is the best time to do cardio? What about fasted cardio first thing in the morning? What about right before you head to bed? Well guys let me answer these questions as SIMPLY AS I CAN: IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT TIME YOU DO CARDIO. To lose fat it is as simple as more energy expended than consumed; burn more than you eat. PERIOD. Unless you are an athlete that is on time constraints to get all training fit into a day, there is no right specific time to do cardio. It will be based solely on your preference and schedule. WHAT is important however is the relationship between your cardio and weight training. Optimally, there should be at least a 90 minute window between cardio and training but I know most people don’t have that type of time. That being the case, always perform your cardio on either a non lifting day or AFTER weight training. Training before weights is counterproductive in the fact that it pre-exhausts you prior to training and pre deplete glycogen stores that would normally be used during weight training. This storage helps in muscle degradation which will occur if you continually train in a pre exhausted state. If your goal is to look GOOD, take this advice.

Cardio is Like Salt- Know When to Use It

  • You ever see someone who prides themselves on how much cardio they do? How they run, swim, spin, insanity and everything else under the sun there is to do regarding cardio and when you see them they still look unimpressive? Well what is happening is this person body has begun a state of homeostasis meaning that the body has now adapted itself and found a tolerance level for activity. Your body is WAY smarter than you are so there is no need to trick it. You just have to be cognizant of the stimulus that you provide the body for the aesthetic effect that you want. Your body doesn’t care whether you look good, it just wants to stay alive so use cardio as your advantage. The foundation of your training program should be heavy compound lifting with high intensity cardio sessions to maintain heathy heart function and aid in burning fat. HOWEVER, the first place you should check to when trying to lean out is your kitchen. You will not be able to outrun bad diet so don’t even think about that one. When you have a proper diet and adjust to lean out cardio can be a great weapon when you start to increase it during this process to burn more calories during the day. But if you ALWAYS do crazy cardio every day, then what new adaptation can you put on your body?

Think about it! Cardio done correctly can be a great tool to build your best self but as in all things, how you do it will make all the difference

~ SWXLLER

Minor Bowens, CSCS

Owner, The Swxller Company

Looks Can Be Deceiving- The TRUTH about Protein Meal Replacement Bars

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They taste great, they are marketed to be a meal replacement, and they “say” that if added to your diet you can lose weight!!

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Sounds great but is it true? The answer becomes vague once you start to dig deeper….

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Let’s keep things simple here people: If you BURN more calories than you ingest you will become leaner. However the way in which you do it will determine whether you are losing FAT or weight. The former is very important in that losing weight is counterproductive. First losing weight alone isn’t a true indicator of good health because with weight you are losing fat, but mostly water and muscle. Most people have been decived by the media into thinking that losing weight is the number one goal to looking good, but the true is that what most people are looking for is proper BODY COMPOSITION. Proper body composition is the reduction of fat cells within the body which equates to loss of FAT which will also result in loss of weight to some degree. Now you may be thinking, “isn’t that losing weight?” Yes, but the type of weight is extremely different in that you have retained muscle and water while stripping away the fat that is layered on top of your muscle. Once your muscle starts to show this will give you the “toned” look that you are reading this blog hoping to find the answer to achieve!

This brings me to my point of protein meal replacement  bars, especially brands that give unsuspecting people false advertisements that keep them running in circles when trying to drop fat. Keeping calories in mind understand that knowing your personal allotment of calories is the quickest way to drop fat ALONG WITH knowing the proper split of macronutrients you need to achieve a certain body composition. If leaning out (known as losing weight) is your goal, then an uneven macronutrient ratio could BE THE DIFFERENCE between just getting skinny and looking GREAT when you hit the beach.

Abnormal amounts of fat, carbohydrates, and sugar are the top causes for fat gain because after a certain amount that is completely specific to your body, these macronutrients will be shuttled to fat because it is not being used. For you IIFYM people out here this explains why although a calorie is a calorie, the TYPE of calorie consumed makes all the difference.

The reason these protein replacement bars get you in trouble is that if you don’t pay attention to the macronutrient ratio that you are consuming you can be led by false pretenses that you are eating healthy when in fact you might be taking in way more calories than you thought you might be taking in. Take some time to look at the nutritional facts of some of your top generic protein bars.

Lets take a look at a popular meal replacement bar

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Now lets look at a regular sized rice krispy treat

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Now check this out

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Its all on the same aisle!!

Now I’m not saying that you can’t add in meal replacement bars into your diet and lose fat- but you have to be mindful of knowing what you are putting in your body. As you can see you could actually fair out better eating the rice krispy treat!! Also, don’t fall into the trap of “net carbs”. if a calorie is a calorie, then a CARB IS A CARB. If you count your calories then you must add in those carbs regardless of what the packaging says.

Bottom Line- READ the nutrition label and know that everything is not what it seems in regards to food when marketing is involved. Your best bet is to stick with real unprocessed foods and rich protein sources such as eggs and lean meat if you are looking for protein. If you have a sweet tooth then do your self a favor and understand the relationship of calories and macronutrients in regards to body composition. In one cases, you might fair off better with a butter finger than a cliff bar.

The “Truth” about Fitness

First and foremost thank you for visiting Swxller!

We would like to tell you the steps that you need to take in order to truly learn the truth about fitness from a everyday person’s perspective to reach any fitness goal that you may have for yourself. First, there is a huge difference between the training that athletes receive as opposed to the exercises that you may may read about in magazines or what you may see in your local gym. The funny thing is that so many people aspire to look like their favorite athletic hero or celebs but train completely different than they do.

UNDERSTAND

In order for you to have a body that is truly fit you have to TRAIN, not just work out. Yes, this process will be long and YES training as an athlete is difficult at times. However the gains that you will receive will be out of this world. Here at Swxller we use a holistic movement based program to help you live  a better life along with a nutritional approach to help aid in achieving YOUR ideal body composition. We offer inclusive training and nutritional programs located in our services tabwe bring you fresh content each week in our blog sectionand we hope to work with you so that you can be one of our many success stories!

Minor Bowens,

Owner, The Swxller Company

 

Blueprint to Phisque- Lower Body: 5 Tips Everyone Should Know TO Build Serious Legs

To a lot of people who train leg day is the most hated day of the week. Too many times do you see people who neglect the lower body not knowing the importance of a strong lower body and balanced physique. Training your lower body not only builds more testosterone for males, but female who really turn heads have a nicely sculpted lower body. Learn these tips to turn the most lousy training day of the week to an area of the body that you work everyday!

  1. Ditch The Legpress
    1. Let;s press this upon you. YOU MUST SQUAT. Squatting is a key human movement and a movement pattern that if neglected will be a main factor of back and hip problems in the future. Squatting is one of the most effective ways to not only build the lower body, but gain muscle across the enitre body! Some may argue that the leg press builds muscle faster since you can load the exercise heavier in a shorter amount of time, but we want to build muscle using FUNCTIONAL movement patterns. Remember balance is key and if strength is your thing nothing even comes close to the squat!

2. Push and Pull

  • When choosing the exercise you should do for your lower body, keep movement your primary focus. You will never miss muscle if you think of moments first. (Vestergen, 2015) Your lower body pushes and pulls in the moments of the leg and hip. The key here is to match up your push and pull exercise to create some serious legs. Squats and deadlifts are lower body pushes and RDL’s and Goodmorings are lower body pull exercise. Always remember to show love to both sides of your legs your body will appreciate it!

3. Go Heavy

Lifting for strength creates more testosterone in the body and will help you to recruit more muscle fibers while training to build more muscle. you may want to “get big” but if you you want a dense and hard look to your legs lifting heavy is key. Strength training occurs when your reps are in the 5 and under range and you will be using 75% or more of your 1 rep max. Yes the weight is HEAVY and that is what you will need to cause the process of a fancy word called myofibular hyperthropy. Basically you will create a pair go huge dense legs!

4. Think Unilateral

No matter how big your legs become you will want to be able to actually move around and use them right?? Single leg exercises are a great way to get stronger and create more function in your lower body. unilateral exercise will also help with speed development in athletes, and for you weekend warriors single leg exercises will tone your legs like never before. Examples of bible leg exercises are lunges, step ups and single leg Romanian deadlifts. incorporate these into your routine and take your leg workouts a a new level of awesome

5. No Days Off

If you wan tot burn more calories every workout, get stronger quicker and drop more body fat, then you want to learn a secret that some of the best have been using for years. TRAIN LEGS EVERYDAY.  Now this doesn’t mean that you have to go balls to the wall every workout, but adding some leg exercises by movement everyday is a major plus to your training routine. If you are training 4x per week a good rule of thumb is to do your squats and step ups (example) for days 1 and 3 and exercise such as RDL’s and good mornings for days 2 and 4.

Hope these tips help to build the best physique possible. Don’t be that guy….. train those legs and reap the benefits!!

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Four Ways to Stay Lean Year Round

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For anyone that has worked to achieve a low body fat percentage, one knows that the process is tedious yet a wonderful feeling. However so many people use outdated techniques that call for extreme low calorie diets that are restricted of many foods that cause enormous cravings that spur almost uncontrollable cheat meals that sometimes turn into cheat days or even weeks. What few know that there’s are a couple of small “hacks” that serve to keep people lean all year. The days of staying lean by eating like a bird are over. We have found 4 simple steps to keep your palate satisfied, allow you to go out with your friends and not be weird around lunch time, and see those abs that you have worked so hard for.

1.The 90/10 Rule

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  • Let’s get real here: You nor anyone else had the will power to avoid junk food YEAR ROUND and that is perfectly fine. Just as one meal won’t make you lean, one meal won’t make you fat either. The key however is to reserve these fatty junk type of foods to ten percent of your food intake. In other words save the doughnuts and cheese sticks for RARE OCCASIONS. Now this doesn’t meal you can’t enjoy some of your old favorite pastimes, but 90% of your food sources must continue to be from rich nutrient dense foods. Keep the majority of your carbs complex, eat loads of veggies and keep your proteins lean. Earn that double double with animal sauce, you will thank us later.

2.  Choose Your Condiments Wisely

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Many of us LOVE FLAVOR which is freaking awesome. However many of our favorite spices, sauces and condiments are loaded with empty calories which can add up quickly. Although slightly more expensive brands such as Walden Farms carry a vast variety of dressings, syrups, condiments and even jelly that are calorie, carb, and fat free! These brands will usually be in the diabetic section of your large grocery chains and make all the difference. Give them a try and you will be surprised that such witchcraft actually exists.

3. HIIT

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No matter what you have heard in the past, all cardio is not created equal. In regards to any training program consistency is the goal. Now during someone’s leaning out phase of training one might be more inclined to spend 30 minutes to an hour each day. But what about all year? The reason why high intensity interval training (HIIT) is so effective is that it is QUICK. About 15 to 20 minutes of a 1:2 to 1:3 ratio of short bursts of maximal cardio activity followed by a less intensity rest period not only burns more fat due to EPOC (exercise post oxygen consumption), but mentally you are more inclined to spend 15 minutes doing cardio than 45. An example of this would be a 30 second incline sprint at a 10.0 incline and 11mph speed for 20 seconds followed by a 1 minute light jog at 4.5mph on the treadmill. The beauty of HIIT is that it can be used with about any form of cardio which means you have unlimited variety! Use HIIT training 3-4x per week right after your weight training session to rev up your metabolism, preserve muscle and drop some serious body fat.

4.  Integrate Carb Cycling with IIFIYM

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At Swxller we don’t believe in DIETS, because simply they don’t work. What you need is a system to stay on track with the 90/10 rule AND fit in some of your favorite foods to not feel “deprived”. Carb cycling is a technique that helps to continually increase your metabolism by manipulating your carb intake to continuously drop your body fat percentage. You will rotate from 3 low carb days to deplete your muscles of muscle glycogen , followed by 1 high carb day to aid in recovery and cause your body to only use carbs for energy rather than storing it. The storage of unwanted carbs is a main contributor of fat retention. There are many calculators from a variety of websites, but an easy way to employ  the carb cycle is to multiply your bodyweight by 1.5 to find out your  high carb day, then divide that number by .75 to find your low carb day.  Always keep your protein to 1g per pound of bodyweight and keep your fats to 0.5 to 0.75 per pound of bodyweight . The process is tough but very rewarding if you stay consistent with it.

Now when it comes to IIFIYM there is a lot of literature out there that says if a food fits in your macros then it is fine NO MATTER WAHT TYPE OF FOOD IT IS. This implies  that you can eat whatever you want as long as it fits. But we are smarter than that right?? Remember you still need NUTRIENTS. However by using the 90/10 rule there will be times in which you can have went treats and still stay on track.

During a carb cycle, in order to not feel the effects of near ketosis, which is lethargy, irritability, fatigue, and a reduced motivation to train, you should eat your carbs in the morning and around your training. Right after training you have a window in which your body will absorb SIMPLE CARBS as muscle glycogen and will not store it as fat. This is your A HA moment and window of opportunity! By using the methods of IIIYM, you have the opportunity to ad in a SMALL sweet treat in the place of dextrose right after training to satisfy some cravings and keep you on track of eating rich nutrient dense foods 90% PERCENT OF THE TIME.  To make is process easier use applications like myfitnesspal to track your meals and your macronutrient intake.

REFERNCES

Trapp, E. G., Chisholm, D. J., Freund, J., & Boutcher, S. H. (2008). The effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women. International Journal of Obesity, 32(4), 684-691.
King, J. W. (2001). A comparison of the effects of interval training vs. continuous training on weight loss and body composition in obese pre-menopausal women (Doctoral dissertation, East Tennessee State University).

Paplinskie, S. A. (2013). An Autoethnographical Tapestry of Feminist Reflection on My Journey of a Fitness Model Physique.

Ahima RS, et al. Leptin regulation of neuroendocrine systems. Front Neuroendocrinolgy 2000;21:263-307.

Kozusko FP. Body weight setpoint, metabolic adaption and human starvation. Bull Math Biol 2001;63:393-403.

Training 101 : 4 Steps to a Balanced Training Program

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With summer winding down and football season slowly approaching, it can be easy to fall out of your regular routine in favor of long nights, tail gates, and endless junk food that you will boast fits “in your macros”. Well guys we know you are smarter than that!! If you want to be ahead of the game, you must STAY in the game all year long which means that how you train must be balanced and sustainable to prevent injury, stagnation, and most importantly the dreaded PLATEAU. Follow these 4 simple steps to  program for success and continue to see massive gains as the cold months start to set in.

1. Think Of Movements, Not Muscles

Your body is a highly developed organism and it is made to MOVE. Now there is no shade thrown towards my body building buddies but when you focus primarily on the muscle rather than the movement, you sacrifice mobility which could lead to a reduction in strength. Rather, focus on the movement that the body makes; pushes, pulls, rotations. Now once you have done that you can set your training to attack the muscles you want to work on but not at the expense of you losing mobility which could rob you of precious gains. By focusing on the movement first, for example a vertical upper push and horizontal upper pull day, you will still get shoulders and back in but it will force you to think of which exercise would fit into that particular movement.

2. Heavy…. LIFT HEAVY

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If you want to continue to get stronger while burning fat at the same time, the name of the game is to lift heavy. Although there are numerous forums and articles that talk about training with moderate to low weight for lots of reps, the reality is that the progressive overload leads to improved strength and increased muscle which in turn aids in burning fat. The more muscle that you have higher your basal metabolic rate becomes. Simply put when yu have more muscle you will burn more calories at rest which will help to burn more fat!! So don’t be afraid to go heavy. Sure, higher reps have its place but you can never go wrong with 4-6 sets of 6 of less reps with heavy weights.

3. Train Legs EVERYDAY

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Yes… we know you hate legs, but what is a quality physic without them??? Keeping movements in mind, when you divide your training days into movements the program keeps you honest by forcing you to balance out your exercises. Training legs everyday will also help you increase more natural testosterone to help build even more muscle which will burn more fat.

A typical template following this approach would look something like this

Day 1. Lower Push/ Horizontal Upper Pull

Day 2. Lower Pull/ Vertical Upper Push/Rotational

Day 3. Unilateral Lower Push/Vertical Upper Pull

Day 4. Unilateral Lower Pull/Horizontal Upper Push/Rotational

Day 5. Lower Push/ Unilateral  Upper Pull/

Day 6. Lower Pull/ Unilateral Upper Push

Day 7. Rest

Following this template you will have an equal number of pushes and pulls and rotational movements. Now all you will need to do is plug in the corresponding exercises and you won’t have dot worry about overdeveloping one area!

4. Progression, progression, progression

In a balanced program you must continue to raise the bar when it comes to your training. Change your reps, change your sets, but be sure to have an equal number of pushes to pulls and stay heavy. Six months from now weights you were struggling wit should be a piece of cake. You should always strive to be stronger and more mobile. The more added stress you place upon yourself the more your body will change into the physique that you want. Remember, push yourself in the gym and discipline yourself in the kitchen…. you can’t go wrong!!

For more information on this approach to training email swxllercompany@gmail.com or purchase either the she’s snatched or sidewalk slam programs!!!

Swxller

Make the Sacrifice : 3 Tips to Perfect your Meal Prep

One time for all the meal preppers out there !!! 💯💯💯

The Swxller team is committed to you guys success so WE must stress the SACRIFICE that must be made to achieve your dream physique. While most people want to say that some people are shredded for many reasons falling under enhancements, surgery, or genetics, the fact of the matter is that the super shredded do simple daily disciplines everyday to ensure that they are lean year round. There is so much information out here but the fact of the matter is that the key to improving body composition is the manipulation of carbohydrates that you ingest. It’s actually that simple!! So today we want to share 3 tips to help you perfect your meal prep so that you can start to see those massive gains that you are looking for!

  1. Set your Meal Prep Night

No plan works if it isn’t adhered to. With that being said you have to set a night in which you are going to cook your food. Unlike other bad habits you have to eat to survive. So if you do not have a plan to eat … You are STILL going to eat but most likely you will revert back to unhealthy foods. Sunday’s are a good day to prepare your meals for the week. Since most people are off on the weekends, Sunday is a nice chill day to grocery shop, prepare your meals and set your refrigerator up for your success. If you like your meals even more fresh, meal prep twice a week with the second day being on Wednesday.

  1.  Where is Your Food Scale

Do not leave your success to chance!! If you are serious about your body changing as fast as possible then a DIGITAL food scale must be in your arsenal. Depending on the macronutrients ratio that you need to be your best, the food scale will ensure that your meal prep is properly portioned to the GRAM. Just as a recipe can be off by a slight error in the ingredients, your body composition will not be optimal if you are just going my eyesight alone to portion your meals.

  1. EAT WHAT YOU PREP

Although self explanatory it is very easy to get off task to go eat something that isn’t scheduled. Follow your personal schedule and only eat the foods that you prep. YES, this means put up the quest bars.. the extra shake at the gym etc. You have to stay the course to greatness. It would be a shame for you to spend your money for nothing wouldn’t it??
Use these tips and watch your progress speed up dramatically!
SWXLLER

5 Tips to Take Your Training More Seriously 


If you ran into 5 people at the gym and ask them why they work out, most people will give you goals ranging from the purely aesthetic to strength and health goals. Then why does it seem that there is only a small percentage of those “swole” and jacked people out there amongs the millions of average joes? Gyms across the country are packed with members that go to the gym faithfully but the more you look the more you see the mirage of mediocrity and it is similar to the millions of entrepreneurs that have start ups but never seen to get off the ground. Well the one thing that may be holding you back,if you fit this criteria, is the seriousness behind your training goal. Even if you have training goals and have set a plan for success, one has to be serious and ready to work EVERY time you set foot in the gym to ensure that you reach the physique that you are working so hard to get!

1. How You Train Should Match Your Goal

Whatever your training goals may be, your training regimen must reflect what you are trying to do. This simply means that you should seek out the proper program and STICK TO THAT PROGRAM to see the necessary results in the weight room. You will want to make simple tweaks along the way but you cannot bounce from program to program every other day listening to “bro science” from your gym bro every other week and hopping into his set. If you are confident in your program, stick with it and track your changes.

2. Your Training Time is NOT Social Hour


You see it all the time…. People are using the gym as the courtroom, club, and eharmony. Girls are coming in to just take pics.. Hell guys are coming in to just take pics and people are doing more talking than lifting. We know you are serious and aren’t in this bunch 😉, but understand that you are in a mission when you are in the gym. Keep your talking to a bare minimum and get your work in while you have precious gym time!

3. The Food Matters

This should go without saying but how you eat makes the difference between a killer physique and an ehh…. You get my point. It would be a shame to throw your training down the drain for some chicken nuggets or that frosty that you just have to get because it fits in your macros right??? Wrong. You know what is junk, stay away from it. Keep your food options clean and work to earn that cheat MEAL. It is the key to your success.

4. Choose your Gym Playlist in ADVANCE

One of the worst things you can do is be an Instagram fiend while in the gym. That being said you need to make sure your phone is IN YOUR POCKET when you are training. Checking your phone every five minutes messes up your gym rhythm and the tempo of your workouts. So before the gym get your playlist bomb with all the songs that will turn you up and keep you hype during your lift. This way you won’t  have to check your phone to skip to that favorite song that drops the beat just as you are about to superset!

5. Sleep Your Way to Sucess


You can’t be a gym rat and a club rat at the same time. Your sleep is vitally important as well as your reduction in alcohol. A few drinks can completely destroy the gains of the week so remember that the next time you want to do shots. If you are serious about changing your body there are a few sacrifices that have to be made. And look at it this way.. When you do step out… You will be looking amazing , feeling amazing, and all eyes will be in you! Short term sacrifice for a lifetime of paridise? Sounds good to me!
~ SWXLLER

The Key To Unlock Your Squat

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If you want to be an all around stronger, more powerful, and more dynamic athlete, then squatting in some form must be in your  present training regimen. As critical is this exercise is, it absolutely amazes our team how many athletes and “weekend warriors” alike hate and even try to avoid the squat. Yes, we know that squatting is hard but with a few simple and helpful hints you can master this key exercise and start to push some serious weight!

How is your mobility??

We could talk squatting technique until we are blue in the face, but the fact of the matter is that until  you are proficiently mobile in your hips, ankles, and thoracic spine, it will be extremely hard to improve your squat technique. Whether your heels come off the ground, your knees cave in, you have bad posture, or your hips round at the bottom,all problems of the squat and any exercise for that matter stem from MOBILITY. Although often neglected, mobility should be at the forefront of training. The more mobile an athlete is, the more powerful they will become!

How can I fix my mobility then??

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Proper mobility stems from what we like to call corrective exercises . Correctives help to improve deficiencies  in movement patterns that will allow us to improve mobility. Since we are talking about the hips, ankles and thoracic spine we will highlight a corrective from each category to get you started towards improving your mobility.

Half Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

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Tight hip flexors are an area of improvement for most athletes and your hips are vitally important especially if you want to become a better mover. To perform the half kneeling hip flexor stretch, get down on one knee and raise both arms into the air. Next lean your hips forward keeping an upright torso to stretch your hip flexor muscles. Hold this stretch for 15 to 20 seconds then perform on the other side.

Wall Ankle Stretch

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Perform the wall ankle stretch by first standing in a split stance with the “up” foot six inches from the wall. While holding the wall, keep your up foot flat on the ground and work to press your knee to the wall.  When you can successfully press your knee to the wall, move your foot slightly back and perform again.

Perform exercise 2 sets of 10 repetitions( 2×10) per  leg

Kneeling Thoracic Stretch

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Get on your hands and knees and  beginning with your right arm, reach through between your hands and knees to your left side and hold for 4 seconds to stretch your thoracic spine. Next perform on the other side.

Perform 2×5 each side

These tips are vital in getting more mobile in your squat. perform these corrective exercises each day and watch those squat numbers go WAYYYYY up!!!

~ Swxlller

The “Actual” Crossfitter’s Diet

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If you haven’t been under a rock, then you have heard about or even seen the sport of Crossfit. This fitness phenomenon has swept the nation giving regular everyday people the chance to train in a performance driven environment while preparing them for the unknown and unknowable. Many people have taken the gospel of crossfit as law and there have been marketing schemes that have made tons of money from crossfit enthusiasts due to lack of knowledge. While injury in crossfit is prevalent and can be due to a number of factors, the nutrition program sponsored by crossfit has been detrimental to athletes and there is a disconnect in how the competitors of the sport fuel themselves compared to crossfit enthusiasts.

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The Paleo diet has been popularized by crossfit and the premise of the diet is to adopt the fueling patterns of ancient people. Rob Wolff states that “The Paleo diet is the healthiest way you can eat because it is the ONLY nutritional approach that works with your genetics to help you stay lean, strong and energetic! Research in biology, biochemistry, Ophthalmology, Dermatology and many other disciplines indicate it is our modern diet, full of refined foods, trans fats and sugar, that is at the root of degenerative diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression and infertility”.

While some of his claims hold validity, Wolff forgets that Crossfit is a PERFORMANCE based training program and sport. In order to perform you have to have energy, and the paleo diet is lacking the number one source you need to perform your best. This source my friend is CARBS. YES……….. YES carbohydrates. “The roles of carbohydrate in the body includes providing energy for working muscles, providing fuel for the central nervous system, enabling fat metabolism, and preventing protein from being used as energy. Carbohydrate is the preferred source of energy or fuel for muscle contraction and biologic work.” The RIGHT carbs, which are complex and take time to digest such as rice, sweet potatoes, and various grains, is the coal to your steam engine of a body.

Without the presence of carbs you will begin to feel sluggish, be at risk for ketosis (which is an abnormal amount of ketones in the bloodstream) and most importantly you will be less alert. Since Crossfit is nothing more than taking very good attributes from various sports, it would seem that the nutrition patterns of top athletes in these sports should have been adopted too right?

So What REALLY Happens Then?

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If you are confused as to why the top athletes in crossfit look starkly different compared to the thousands of enthused participants of the sport, I have an idea and NO it is not steroids. (Although everyone wants to go straight to the “juice”). What happens is that while crossfit supports the paleo diet but the competitors for the most part have a completely different diet that consists of a ton of carbs, which are not bad, but help these athletes have the energy to perform at a high level. You will see athletes although the names consume large amounts of peanut  butter sandwiches, rice, and even bad carbs such as donuts, sweet cereal and even fries to ensure that they are fueled for their competition. Now this doesn’t mean to scrap your diet and head to the nearest burger king, cut it shows that carbs play a huge role in how you perform and gives you the energy to perform.

Side Note- When you are in a constant fatigued state, as the sport of crossfire perpetuates, there is a technique breakdown in performance. This can and has lead to serious injury within the sport. Understand that what you put in your body is vitally important to your performance and health!!

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While protein and fats are extremely good for the human body, their primary role is to aid in recovery from training- not to fuel training. Only when you have a surplus of carbs will you begin to gain unwanted weight, and as a crossfitter that will be difficult given that you train frequently. If you have been on the paleo diet, add a few sweet potatoes in the mix and watch how better you improve. Just a little food for thought.

-Swxller

References
Costill, D.L., Miller, J.M. Nutrition for endurance sport: Carbohydrate and fluid balance. Int. J. Sports. Med. 1980;1:2-14.
Coyle, E.F., and Coyle, E.L Carbohydrates that speed recovery from training. Phys. Sportsmed., 1993;21:111.
Esbjornsson-Liljedahl, M. Sundberg, C.J., Norman , B., and Jansson, E. Metabolic response in type I and type II muscle fibers during a 30-s cycle sprint in men and women. J Appl Physiol 1999;87:1326-1332.