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

5 Essential Exercises for Speed

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Speed is the name of the game in today’s sports world and every “guru” out there has their won specific set of skills that they promise will get an athlete faster. While some of these practices may or may not produce results, one can’t deny that a solid weight room foundation aids in speed development. We at Swxller have put together our top 5  room exercise for speed. Give them a try and put some heat in those wheels!

1. Power Clean

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Olympic lifting employs some of the fastest barbell speeds in the sports world today. The reason that these exercises have been used by sport specific athletes is that the clean produces a very high power output. this output has been linked to increased force production of the abdominals, hips, and trunk which has translated into increased speed for athletes. While complete mastery of this olympic lift is not essential, a weight that can provide enough stimulus to create a high power output is desired

2. Back Squat

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Lower body strength and power is essential to become a faster athlete. Strength in the muscles of the entire lower extremity help to produce the optimal stride frequency and stride length to increase speed. This old school lift has stood the test of time to produce not only lower body, but total body strength by engaging the core to stabilize the body during this exercise. Increases in strength from the squat has also been linked to gains in the ability to decelerate, which has an overall positive effect on faster sprint times

3. DB Step Up

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Unilateral strength is key when one talks about speed. When you run you are in what we call a “flight phase”. In this flight phase you are on one leg. It would only be logical that you would train to be stronger and stable on one leg right? Well the dumbbell step up is a great exercise to improve stabilization and strength on one leg and help to mimic the motion of the hip flexor while running.

4. Romanian Deadlift (RDL)

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Although this exercise may seem to some to not make the cut, increased strength of the posterior chain, namely the gluten, are very important to increased speed of an athlete. RDL’s are a knee dominant lower pull exercise that will help an athlete straighten and control the swing phase of the sprint motion. It is important to strengthen the hamstrings and hip extensors as the hamstring is one of the most injured muscles in sports

5. Prowler Push

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Now we get into some actual running!! The prowler push exercise is great in that it forces the athlete to stay in a 45 degree angle that is crucial to efficient sprinting. The prowler push also helps to increase core activation, core stability, and strengthens ankle stability. The prowler is one of the best exercises for overall sprint mechanics are  should be put into your arsenal.

Add these exercises and you will see your speed increase in no time.

Swxller

The Risk of the Quick Fix

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Oh, the quick fix… that magic pill and potion or “secret remedy” that people search for to achieve perfection. While the pursuit of perfection is an admirable goal, problems arise when people are too impatient to work for it. Steroids and performance enhancing drugs are nothing new, but in our opinion the rise of social media is causing more average people to put themselves at huge risks that have proven to be fatal in some cases.

Butt Implants and Synthol

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Photoshop has become dangerous in that it gives depictions of models and athletes alike to have the “perfect” body or physique. Coupled with people’s desire to meet this unattainable level, some people resort to the practice of enhancing their bodies with unsafe and unknown substances to help them achieve their perfect physique. Most times than not these results are completely unrealistic and when you have ladies with dump trucks supported by stilts and guys with 21 inch arms on 16yr old boy forearms.

These practices have left countless number of people in the hospital paying thousands of dollars for corrective surgery with permanently disfigured bodies that they will have to live with for the rest of their life. The question that one will have to ask themselves is are the practices really worth it?? Are you willing to sacrifice your life for 15 seconds of fame??

The truth is that there is no quick fix to performance or aesthetic goals that will not be paid with a price. Dedication, hard work, and consistency are the keys to success in any training program regardless of one’s individual goal. Ladies you want to turn heads?? Get in the gym, eat right, do it for a long time. Guys you wan to get to that next level?? Get in the gym, eat right, and DO IT FOR A LONG TIME. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you won’t be either. The freak athletes that you see on social media put in the work to get to where they are. They put in the time to be great and you won’t be the exception. And to the ones who are on these substances… oh they always get exposed.

Save yourself time, heartache, and in some cases your life by TRUSTING the process.

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5 Tips To Have a Great Training Session

Mindset

The gym is filled with many toys, gadgets,and people who will serve as an inspiration or a distraction depending on your mindset once you step foot in the gym. As we have stated, we do not just workout- we TRAIN. Adopting this mindset will help you to concentrate and get the most out of each training session to improve in the weight room, elevate plateaus, and get closer to your individual goal outside of the gym.

We have accumulated 5 great tips to ATTACK the gym each time you train. Follow these tried and true steps and be the BEAST you are meant to be!

  1. Consume a clean pre workout meal

Fueling before you go to train is essential in your success in the weight room. Without the proper fuel you will be sluggish, depleted of energy, and it will be easier for you to gain focus while lifting. Although pre workout supplements are all the rage right now, we recommend that you consume real food to help you fuel. We recommend a quick whey protein drink (20g whey) and a piece of fruit. Fruits such as bananas contain digestive carbohydrates and potassium which aid in nerve and muscle function. And yes bananas are high glycemic, but these simple carbohydrates will be utilized for energy and will also help to fuel the loss of muscle glycogen lost in training.

  1. Put the phone on airplane mode

Question, are you in the weight room to train or become a model? Instagram is a great app, but the use has its place and if you are working to get better the selfies should be regulated to the locker room. When training your focus should be on the session. Directing your focus will also help decrease your rest time between sets, reduce your chance for injury, and have a more quality session overall. So bang that favorite playlist to get you hype, but people will KNOW if you have been gym- you don’t have to tweet it.

  1. The Power of the Superset

If you have started to see a decline in quality of your workouts, it may be due to a reduction in the stress you put on your body. Slightly alter your program by supersetting your exercises. This new added stress will get you in better condition due to an increased time under tension which can be the added spark you need. Also you will use  your time more efficiently in the weight room.

  1. Don’t be a Gym Lawyer

Although bro science is alive and well in most weight rooms across the country, you have to remember you are an athlete. Rather than stand around and critique what everyone else is doing, focus on YOU. Everyone has different goals and you will do more harm than good giving advice to someone who hasn’t asked for your help. You have your program, learn and master that. Your results will have people asking you more questions than you can handle

  1. 23 is Better than 1

You can have the greatest training session EVER, but if the rest of your day is crap it doesn’t matter. How you eat, sleep, and prepare for each training session will determine how you will progress in the gym. No, we are not saying to think about the gym 24 hours a day, but you do need to be mindful about your lifestyle out of the gym. If you party every night, eat nothing but fast food, and barely get any sleep (talking to you college students), how do you think you are going to progress in your training? The great make the sacrifices to be great. No one is an exception.

Swxller

The 5 laws to Build Quality Muscle- Law 4: Patience

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Law 4: PATIENCE: Trusting the Process

In this week’s addition to the 5 Laws to Get Quality Muscle we look at Law 4: PATIENCE. Patience? One might ask, what does being patient have to do with building muscle and helping me reach my goal.

Well, lets start with the cliché saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Neither will this masterpiece of a body you are looking to achieve. Research has shown that for any particular adaptation process to occur with the human body as it relates to diet and exercise takes 21-28 days. Simply put, on average, it takes a minimum of one month of consistent training and eating a well balanced diet before you will notice a transformation in how you look or feel. Now, this is only the average timeframe, so since all of us are different, the adaptation process may take less for some while taking longer for others. Knowing this piece of information, when setting fitness goals allow a minimum of 90 days or three months to see significant transformations within you. Reason being is because you ensure that new habits have been created, and the additional days allow you to improve upon the new positive habits you have created. Thus resulting in an eye opening lifestyle that you were not accustomed to in the month’s prior.

But Swxller, I want results and I WANT THEM NOW! We hear you and we understand the eagerness, but understand that value, prestige, and wealth is built over time. Your body is the most expensive, sought after luxury in this world, so treat it as such. This is your temple, so let’s invest in it! Let’s look at the bigger picture of how we want to look, move and feel when we are 40, 50, 60+ years old. Forget about not fitting into this dress or having huge arms on the beach this weekend. Let’s be the one that a teenager or mid-20 year old can’t keep up with. THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS IN LIFE! Will trusting the process and being patient be rough? Of course, wasn’t winning that championship tough? What about getting your degree? What about buying that house or new car? How about that relationship that was everything, but ended? You made it through; you came out stronger, and better than before, but it all took time to get to where and what you wanted. Reaching you fitness goals won’t be any easier, but it will be worth it. Share your struggles with friends, family or even us. We have been there; we know what it feels like when you have reached your breaking point. What makes us who we are is how we attack those obstacles and barriers head on. I’ll end on this note, for those reading this that are on payroll somewhere, you get paid, bi-weekly, monthly, semi-monthly, etc. Point is, you put in the work and you receive the compensation. Same rule applies here, trust the process, put in the work consistently with diet and exercise and you will receive the benefits every 3-4 weeks of each training block.

Patience = Consistency, not perfection

If you like this blog give us a shout via Twitter (@swxllerco) and IG (@swxllerco) and tell us what you think! Your feedback is important to us!

SWXLLER

The 5 Laws to Build Quality Muscle : Law 3- Recover for Growth

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Gym…

Gym gym gym – the word excites many young athletes who are anxious to get big and build muscle. Of course the more time you spend in the gym the more you are going to grow right? Yes, but not necessarily. When learning to build quality muscle one must understand that recovery is just as important and maybe more important to achieve adequate muscle growth.

The reason behind this fact lies in the recovery process that happens once your end your training session. when you exercise you stress your muscle fibers with millions of micro tears. Upon recovery these tears heal and the muscle fibers grow larger during this process. Over time this cycle is what causes muscles to grow larger due to the constant added stress from training. However when you do not achieve the right amount of recovery between training sessions and during sleep, you inhibit your body from completing this process which can lead to excessive bouts of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), a decreased resistance to illness, emotional mood swings, and a decreased urge to train.

Proper Rest Protocols to Achieve Quality Muscle

Hormones play a key role in your ability to build muscle. The optimal levels of growth hormone, testosterone, and cortisol all play a part in your body’s ability to respond to the stressors of training. When you sleep your body is able to regulate these hormones to help your body grow. This is why it is recommended to get a good nights rest.

(Side Note: Human growth hormone  (HGH), the one substance that is BANNED and what so many athletes are busted for each year is produced NATURALLY  when you SLEEP! Be Smart)

So what constitutes a good nights rest?

The standard recommendation of 8 hours per night work for most people but factors such as the athletes training age, current nutrition habits, and muscle fiber composition will play a major part for this number. This sleep should be UNDISTURBED. Turn off all lights, electronics, and allow your body to go into a deep sleep to repair itself.

Supplements such as melatonin and ZMA both help to achieve deep sleep and regulate hormones while sleeping. It is imperative that hormones such as cortisol and DHEA are under control due to the fact that their increased levels can be devastating to an athlete. Symptoms of abnormal levels of cortisol and DHEA include:

  • Excessive exhaustion
  • Increased need for carbs in the evening
  • Increased serotonin levels which channeled to thoughts of depression
  • Prolonged muscle soreness
  • Salt and water retention
  • Increased R.E.M sleep

The Key:

Yes train dirty!! Get in the gym and cause hell each time you train, but you you must rest just as hard. Each night plan to go to REAL SLEEP. Cut off those phones, instagram can wait, and turn the tv OFF. Always remember, you GROW when you SLEEP.

Bahar, J. (2015). Rest & Overtraining: What Does This Mean for Body Builders.