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.

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 However so many people use outdated techniques that call for extreme low calorie diets that are restricted of many foods that cause enormous cravings that spur almost uncontrollable cheat meals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

sprinting

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

arnold-low-carb-day

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.

What an Athlete Needs to Know About Hydration

Front image_drinking-waterAs an athlete it is imperative that hydration be the forefront of your training. Research has shown that “exercise performance is impaired when an individual is dehydrated by as little as 2% of body weight. Losses in excess of 5% of body weight can decrease the capacity for work by about 30% (Armstrong et al. 1985; Craig and Cummings 1966; Maughan 1991; Sawka and Pandolf 1990). Your body is a bioengineered machine and the amount, type, and frequency in which you hydrate yourself can not only make the difference in a stellar or detrimental performance, but in some cases life and death! So listen up as we share some keys to success.

Amount

Although a common rule is to drink 1oz per pound of bodyweight per day, a more individualized approach can be used to ensure that you are properly hydrated. If you want to get technical you can use the equation
(Finish weight – start weight) – (weight of amount drink)

So if you weight 160 and after a workout you weigh 156, then (4×16) 64 oz is the amount of water you should drink before your day is out. For bigger athletes this number will increase but if you are drinking a MINIMUM if a gallon a day you should be in good shape.

Frequency

During training you should consume 8-12 fluid ounces per 15 minutes of activity. However, by using the COMMON SENSE principle you should drink all day EVEN WHEN YOU ARE NOT THIRSTY. By using this rule of thumb you will ensure that you are properly hydrated. A nice benchmark to gauge whether you are drinking enough is your urine. Some say that apple juice colored urine indicates that you are hydrated but here at swxller we are interested in excellence. CLEAR urine, yes clear as water urine is the prime indicator that you are hydrated. Once you consistently have clear urine one will know that they have not missed the boat on hydration.

Type

You are an athlete so you need to fuel yourself with nothing but the BEST quality fuel. For hydration purposes that fuel is WATER. Electrolyte filled substances such as gatorade which have potassium and sodium are great as well but ONLY for strenuous activity and should not be used as a hydration source all day. For general hydration water should be your go to beverage. Now one doesn’t have to be super fancy and get the latest brits water filter (although those are pretty sweet) but if you are balling on a budget, natural spring water by the gallon only costs anywhere from 75 cents to one dollar at most grocery stores. In other words, but down the juices and tea and pour you a nice cold glass of the good stuff.

Water is key, water is your friend! Are you hydrating enough?? Let us see by using the hashtag #swxller #hydration in your social media posts!!!

SWXLLER

The Risk of the Quick Fix

before

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

synthol

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.

after

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 Power of The Knife & Fork- Part III |5 Costly Meal Prep Mistakes

5 costly meal prep mistakes

I know… yea i know.. You have went to the grocery store, got all of the approved foods and hit up every youtube channel known to man to feed your excitement to start getting this whole nutrition thing down!!! Maybe yes??? Lol maybe that was just me, but in this third installment of “The Power of The Knife & Fork” we will discuss the top 5 most pertinent mistakes people make in the meal preparation process. Before I divulge this precious info lol.. let me remind you that there are companies that market “healthy foods” that are not healthy for you at all and will sabotage your progress to become a high performer. So if you are reading this while drinking a special K Protein shake….. I’ve just slapped it out of your hand.

Lets Go!!

Although I primarily work with athletes who have no problem taking coaching and following a proven program for results, for the regular person the thought of preparing meals for an entire week feels foreign and the process daunting. Well here at Swxller we believe in putting your big boy pull ups on and sucking that up: IT DOES NOT MATTER YOUR TRAINING PLAN!! IF YOU PUT CRAP FOOD IN YOUR SYSTEM YOU WILL GET CRAP RESULTS PERIOD. If you want to COMPLETELY speed up your training progress and achieve and incredible physique you MUST control what you stuff into your face. This leads me to my 1st mistake…

Mistake # 1-  I’m gonna make these 4 little meals and my body we be on point!!

1. MEAL PREP IS NOT A QUICK FIX IT MUST BECOME A LIFESTYLE

DO NOT become one of those people who get all excited just to prep their meals for one week, only eat half the meals, then go out on Friday and throw all of their hard efforts away because “you just had to go to 5 guys”. Regimenting what you eat may seem like a laborious task but consistency will greatly reduce the time it takes you to prepare your meals. We have stated before that we do not believe in diets. A diet is not sustainable and depending on what diet you may be on, very dangerous to your health. Get in the habit of prepping each week and EARN that special meal where you eat whatever you want. Your dedication of proper meal prepping will also give you the tools needed to be able to go out with your friends and order the food that will keep you on track.

Key: Dedicated yourself to prep your meals each week. It will save you a ton of money in the long run and your body (and spouse… hell IG page for that matter) will thank you in the long run.

Mistake # 2 – Why even bother prepping?DO you know how much money this S$%^ is gonna cost?!

2. SHOP LIKE THE CANDY LADY

NO.. you cannot eat candy lol… but we say shop like the candy lady meaning to buy your food IN BULK. Utilizing places like Sam’s, Costco, BJ’s etc, will not only save you a lot of money but allow you to buy a lot of food at once. Buying larger containers of peanut butter, for example, will also save you trips to the grocery store. True you can go to your local sure market each week but more times than none you will spend WAY more money for less food.

When you buy in bulk remember to buy high quality FRESH products (which we talk about in Part 2 of this series). Although this process isn’t complicated if you are still working with processed foods its gonna strain your progress and hurt your pockets.

In regards to meat NEVER buy small cuts. Now is the time to get creative and buy a whole chicken instead of a pack of chicken breasts and learn to COOK all parts to save money. Remember to be smart with your choices that you buy.

Mistake #3-  Man it takes way too long to cook all this food!!

3. NEVER COOK 1 WHEN YOU CAN COOK 3

Now that you are in the meal prep gang lol, there are a few essentials  that you will need in your kitchen to help save time when preparing your meals.

Disposable Aluminum Trays & Aluminum Foil– Why waste all that time cleaning up dishes when you can prepare meals in catering pans? This method helps to save time and allows you to cook a lot of food at one time in the oven

Slow Cooker– When budgets are light and you are still a novice in the kitchen, a slow cooker is the perfect appliance to cook a lot of meat at one time and ensure that it is TENDER (young tenderoni lol) and ready to me used for your weekly meal prep. This “set it and forget it” appliance also will help to free up time to cook more items simultaneously in your kitchen.

Rice Cooker– Let’s face it… INSTANT RICE SUCKS. Remember we want to buy quality products. By having a rice cooker you can by good quality rice and ensure that it is fluffy and light and good to your tummy. If you’re on “Grandma” status in the kitchen you could still use the stove but we believe in efficiency.

Spray Oil- Spray oil is a wonderful solution and cost-effective option to cooking in bulk. Keeping in mind that you want to watch your fat intake,, spray oil will greatly reduce the amount that you use when you are cooking. You only need enough oil to grease your pan and pots while cooking. The oil that you need and ONLY NEED IS

EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

COCONUT OIL

We will keep it simple- use those two.. don’t debate we don’t wanna hear it. If you are allergic to one use the other one.

Mistake 4- ” I bought all this food and I only have enough for 3 days.. smh this meal prep thing doesn’t work

4. WHERE IS YOUR FOOD SCALE? MEASURE YOUR FOOD

Food scales and measuring cups are imperative when meal prepping. Each person is different and there is no cookie cutter approach to the amount of protein, carbs, and fats you should eat with each meal. That number will depend on your current training goal and apps such as MyFitnessPal are great tools to help you figure out how much YOU need to eat to get the ideal physique. Once you have that specific number you want to use your food scale and measuring cups to ACCURATELY proportion all of your meals so that you are taking in the proper amount of nutrients at each fueling session throughout the day.

Food scales are relatively cheap, less than $25 dollars and can be bought at places such as Walmart and you can get food measuring cups for next to nothing at the grocery store. When you are equipped with these tools you can portion each meal to the ounce!! Although nutrition isn’t an exact science weighing your meals is as close to perfect as you can get to optimum nutrition.

And we bring it to number 5 which is

5. CONTAINERS

Containers matter.. point blank period. To preserve freshness, create uniformity in your fridge (to save space), and keep you on track the TYPE of container that you put your food in makes all the difference. VERSATAINER is a brand that you can buy off of amazon and you can get 150 containers for less than $50 dollars! Although you can get the simple containers from the grocery store, you want to meal prep to your best ability. Containers such as versatainer will ensure that you can get all of your portioned food inside the container  and save food to freeze that you do not use right away.

We hope that these solutions help you in your meal preparation and remember that trail, error and experience will be your best teacher during your meal prep journey

Swxller

The Power of The Knife and Fork: Part 1

Put The Pop Tarts AWAY

Family,

After our slight “Come to Jesus Meeting” last week, its time to bring you in and coach you up on the most important factor in changing your life: NUTRITION.

First and foremost we don’t say DIET here..period. Your nutrition has to be in direct correlation to your fitness and health goals. Instead of using the word diet we will use the word FUEL. Think about this: If you bought a new Ashton Martin tomorrow (my personal favorite) would you drive your nice shiny new car to the “Cona Sto'” and use 87?? HELL No!! You would damn near go to the dealership to gas that car up with jet fuel if you could. Well if this is the case .. and don’t lie you would lol, why do you do the same with your food?

I’m sad to say that with all the trolls on instagram, you tube, and all of the internet, the overload of faulty nutrition information can be overwhelming and very costly. Everywhere you turn there is a new pill, potion, butt lifter, waist corset, powder.. ehh you get my drift. Here at The Swxller Company we stick to the basics and inform our athletes to the secret of nutrition

Which is…..

NUTRIENT DENSITY

So what is nutrient density? Nutrient density refers to the nutrient quality of the food you are eating on a daily basis. Our bodies haven’t changed in over 100,000 years however we seem to believe that we can cheat the system with processed foods, GMO’s, and the almighty 99 cent menu. Well we are here to tell you that if you do not fuel your body with the proper nutrients you are literally eating yourself into an early grave. Dun Dun…. pretty scary right??

Lets keep this thing simple, if you want to increase your nutrient density you need to eat less CRAP and eat more FOOD

Eat less CRAP:

C – Carbonated Drinks
R – Refined Sugar
A – Artificial Sweeteners and Artificial Colors
P – Processed Foods
Eat more FOOD:

F – Fruits and Vegetables
O – Organic Lean Proteins
O – Omega 3 Fatty Acids
D – Drink Water

Solutions

C- It doesn’t matter if its diet, zero, whatever… if you want to increase your performance you will use coke for its true purpose taking the corrosion off of your battery

R- The sugar you eat should come from your fruits

A- YouTube the effects of aspartame.. thank me later

P- If you can’t grow it or kill it.. you probably shouldn’t be eating it

Food-

F- Eat the Rainbow- your fruits and vegetables should be in a variety of colors. From a boost in immunity, to increased musculature and heart health, each color has a specific purpose to not only heal but reverse the effects of any harm that the CRAP has caused to your body

Want to know more? Check out this article

November 2008 Issue

Color Me Healthy — Eating for a Rainbow of Benefits
By Juliann Schaeffer
Today’s Dietitian
Vol. 10 No. 11 P. 34

O- “The Less Legs the Better” always follow this rule in choosing your meats. Cold water fish such as salmon and trout are a very good start. Also be sure to seek out the hunting and fishing community to get information on grass-fed and wild game that haven’t had access to processed grains and vegetables.

O- If you don’t have fish oil in your cabinet, shame on you haha.. don’t take our word for it , lets see what Dr. Frank Sacks, Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health has to say.

“Omega-3 fatty acids (also known as n-3 fatty acids) are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential nutrients for health. We need omega-3 fatty acids for numerous normal body functions, such as controlling blood clotting and building cell membranes in the brain, and since our bodies cannot make omega-3 fats, we must get them through food. Omega-3 fatty acids are also associated with many health benefits, including protection against heart disease and possibly stroke. New studies are identifying potential benefits for a wide range of conditions including cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and other autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.”

D- DRINK WATER.. a lot of it… all the time.. We won’t tell you again.. if it’s not a gallon per day you are playing yourself

Thats it this week!! Tune in next week for part two as we deep dive into nutrition.

Feed the Wolf

Minor Bowens, CSCS, USAW

The Swxller Co.