What Time Of the Day Should I Train?

When Should I Train??

images

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.

 

Stay Patient! What You Need to Know about Training

0b23377c3cce2cba76d1e4a26706f6ef

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

Nutrient Timing: Part 1

Most people know that what you eat is critical to fat loss or muscle gain, but do you know that the timing of when you intake some nutrients can make all the difference in your training goals? The few who have been introduced to this information have seen drastic changes in their physique as well as their performance in the gym. In part one of this 3 part series we will discuss ways in which how you time your food can give you drastic training benefits.

Part 1: The Role of Carbohydrates in Training 

Contrary to popular culture, carbs are not the enemy when you are trying to lose fat. If you are trying to gain muscle, you know that carbs are your best bud. However when you intake your carbs can make all the difference in your training. Whether your goal is to drop fat or gain muscle, the objective of carbs when it comes to training is to

  • provide you with energy

and

  • replenish glycogen stores in your muscles.

You want to use carbs as a barrier to fuel you through your workout. By ingesting the majority of your carbs around your training (pre and post workout) you can ensure that you do not use lean body mass as an energy source while you are training hard. Even if your goal is to lose fat, the reduction in calories throughout the day will be the number one factor of that fat loss. Carbohydrates on the other hand will give you the energy that you need to push through your training and burn those calories you need to aid in your fat loss efforts.

For those looking to build muscle, the practice of eating your carbs around your training is paramount. Most likely you will be lifting heavier with more taxing lifts around this time. Those carbs are going to surely help you accomplish your training goals. However, you should have a huge uptake (35-50%) of your carbs directly after training. This timing of carbs will help to replenish glycogen in your muscles.  By timing your intake of carbs in this way you will ensure that the majority of your carb allotment for that day is used effectively and not stored as fat.

Let those carbs work for you!

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 

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.

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

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

1697378

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

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

kellogs bars

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

why-you-always-lying-video

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

confused

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

IMG_9642

Now lets look at a regular sized rice krispy treat

IMG_9647

Now check this out

IMG_9643

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.