What Time Of the Day Should I Train?

When Should I Train??

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

Gaining Muscle

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

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

Losing Fat

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

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

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

 

Is Your Training Functional??

Is My Training Functional? 

What is functional training?

· Simple. Training that makes sense.
 

How to Make Your Training Functional (Applicable to Sport)

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

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

 

Example:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Stay Patient! What You Need to Know about Training

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The quick fix.

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

PATIENCE!!!

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

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

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

 

~Swxller

3 Reasons Your Diet Isn’t Working

If you are thinking of beginning a new diet, or you are doing everything right but you are feeling terrible, learn the top three reasons that your diet may not be working.

“Gosh my head is hurting!” This is what my mom called and told me a few days ago. Using a new diet from a well-known company, my mother is hell-bent on being lean and trim for the summer time. The diet she is using has helped her to drop a few pounds, but what she did not know were the health implications that would  come if she did not adjust her approach to nutrition. So what is the problem? Most “diets” that become popular today rely on fads and skimp nutritional information in order to sell a hot new product. What these diets are not intended to do however is make you healthy. If you are thinking of beginning a new diet, or you are doing everything right but you are feeling terrible, learn the top three reasons that your diet may not be working.

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  1. Your Diet is Missing a Macronutrient

Macronutrients are composed of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. In the 1980’s Charles Atkins, the creator of the Atkins diet, made the claim that carbohydrates are the cause of severe weight gain in this country. The ripple effect of that action can be seen today with a milieu of famous diets. Each diet claims that one key macronutrient is the cause of weight gain. If that were the case then you could just drop one macronutrient and be truly healthy right? The truth of the matter is that macros are not the problem. When you severely restrict one type of macronutrient, you lose the benefits of that particular macronutrient. Carbohydrates are your body’s main energy source. So if you are starting to workout to lose weight, why would you stop the body’s main source of energy? A diet with very low carbs can be extremely detrimental and can even lead to death, which was the fate of Charles Atkins himself.

What you should have  is a healthy balance of each macronutrient. Below is a breakdown of each macronutrient and what they are used to do.

  • Fats- promote healthy hormone function and serve as energy
  • Proteins- converted into amino acids when in the body and aid in recovery
  • Carbohydrates- primarily used as energy for the body

When there is a healthy balance between each nutrient, you can ensure that your body is adequately supplied with the nutrients it needs to function properly. Once your body is properly fueled, you will actually be able to recover from the work that you put in when you are in the gym. A simple guide for people who want to lose fat is that

  • Protein should consist of 40-50% of your calories
  • Fats should consist of no more than 25% of your diet
  • Carbohydrates should make up the rest

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2. Your Diet is Extremely Low Calorie

How many times have you heard “I’m on the new 2 peas and a slice of air diet and I have lost 20 pounds in 20 minutes!” I know this is an exaggeration, but is it really? From average joe diets to the diet practices of physique competitors, extreme low-calorie diets are counterproductive and even dangerous. Let’s explain the diet cycle for a second:

  • You are excited to diet
  • You get some crazy low-calorie diet claiming to help you lose a ton of weight
  • You begin the low-calorie diet
  • You feel that you are going to die
  • You binge…. HARD

Does this sound familiar? What is actually happening is your body’s response to stay alive. Your body has what is called a resting metabolic rate. This is simply the amount of calories that you burn at rest. When you consume calories well BELOW this number, your body goes straight into survival mode. Thinking that you are dying, your body sends signals that are recognized as cramping, headache, lethargy, and hunger. These impulses are one of the main factors as to why people binge so hard after an extreme diet. The aftermath is not great either with people gaining upwards of 30 pounds in some cases due to the “rebound effect” (Thats another blog entirely lol)

Do yourself a favor and follow these rules for calories. If you are looking to lose weight, take your current body weight and multiply that number x10. So if you are a 200 pound male then your base set of calories will be 2000kcal (calories). Next you will need to multiply your base calories by your activity level (shown below). THIS number, regardless of what the GURU’s say, should be where you start your diet.

activity-multipliers

3. Your Diet is Really a DETOX

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The south beach, lemonade, FIT TEA, etc… all of these “diets” are really detoxes and should be used with extreme caution. These products are extremely profitable and people are sucked in because people do lose weight quickly. I said weight, however I did not say the TYPE of weight. What detoxes are designed to do is expel your body of water and waste that carry toxins. Since most people carry 15-20 pounds of waste in their body at any given time, then it can be proposed that these products do work-but as a detox. If you are using this as a diet then you are on a road to disaster. Prolonged detoxing strips your gut of heathy bacteria needed for digestion. Coupled with the fact that you most likely will return to bad eating habits once those “20 pounds” are off, you will replace your gut with bad bacteria which comes from processed foods. These bad bacteria actually make it HARDER for you to lose weight! Do not be fooled by paid social media models promoting some of these products. Proper nutrition practiced consistently over time is the only proven way to truly see results.

Question: Have you ever been tripped up by these diet blunders? Comment below and let us know!

Timelines

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

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

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

Why You Are Not Making Progress

“Im going to go dum hard in the gym today!”

Oh yea I’ll meet you all for drinks!!

“Gym smash when I get off from work!”

Taco Tuesdays??? Im there!!

 

Does this sound like a pattern?? Well if you fit into this category there may be a correlation between your vision of yourself and the actual progress that you have from the gym. I have stressed this time and time again, but there is no quick fix to getting in shape. All the money that you spend for tea’s, wraps, waist trainers, super pump xxl, etc. are leading you astray from the true path of body transformation. What ever plan, rep scheme, or exercise Kool-Aid you chose to drink from, make sure that you are : C O N S I T E N T

Yes, consistency is the key to change you body. This means the consistency to EAT CORRECTLY and train. Have you ever heard of the compound effect from Darrin Hardy? Well simply put, the compound effect states that small changes implemented everyday produce amazing results. So as an example, lets say you want to save 10 dollars a day for an entire year. Staying true to that goal you would have $3650 dollars which could be used for a crazy nice trip somewhere. However let’s say you have the same goal but you have to get that chipotle that day…. then you have to pay parking for that event you just hAVE TO GO TO… then you have to take shots because your friend just finished exams… get my drift? This behavior is what most people do with there training. It is the same as filling a bucket with a hole in it. If you have a fitness goal have the discipline to stay committed for the long haul. The people that you see as motivation are doing just that. There is no secret to this. You must stay focused, sacrifice for the short term to get the body that you want.

3 Reasons Why You Are Missing This Exercise

When training it is the simplest of exercises that produce the best results. Sadly, so many people are caught in the web of misinformation, doing all types of variations of made up exercises that produces no adaptation on the body. If you are new to lifting it is imperative that you build a proper foundation regardless of your training goal. So yes I know you are waiting to know what this magical simple exercise is right? Read on to find out!

Im Only Making One Trip to Carry These Groceries 

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You ever wonder why when you pull this extreme feat of laziness, that you feel extremely winded? Well what you are doing is actually an exercise called the farmers walk. Farmers walks were originally thought of as a strict strongman event lift  and became a staple in the worlds strongman completion in 1983. Although farmers walks are one of the most functional exercise around, so many people neglect this simple exercise.So why is an exercise so basic and so effective at burning fat and gaining muscle rarely seen in gyms today?

1.Farmers walks strengthens your “pillar

When performing the farmer’s walk, you are activating a major number of muscles in your pillar. The pillar, which was first described as the core, compromises of the entire trunk region of your body from the hips to the shoulders. When you strengthen this area you greatly improve your body’s postural stability. The more stable your body is the better you can move in multiple directions, which can be advantageous if you are an athlete. Strengthening of the pillar also activates your transverse muscles. Forget about your six pack (although we will talk about that later), the muscle that you cannot see are the muscles underneath your “show muscles” that drive strength development. So if you wish to get crazy strong, you can’t miss out on this key movement

2. Reduced chance for injury

Squatting and always get “a thing”? You know, that thing, that little twinge that causes you to move to the leg press for a few weeks? Well that “thing” is a breakdown of the small muscles that help you stand up right. Farmer’s walks can help to clean that up tremendously and performing farmers walks for a length of time can actually increase numbers on your squat. The more preventive measures you can do in the gym to stay healthy, the better!

3. Farmer’s walks burn CRAZY amounts of BODYFAT

You don’t always have to run to do cardio. Performing farmers walks can strengthen your cardiovascular system, not to mention make you feel like you are literally about to die. My father actually has just been introduced to farmers walks, and just like a father, he underestimated its effectiveness. Pop went for the gusto from the start using 100lb dumbbells (PLEASE start off what with you can do, don’t do this ) and he told me that before he walked 30 feet he was huffing and puffing and has to drop them. Farmers walks do this by causing your heart to pump more blood to your muscles to perform the activity. Acting in the same way as running, you body recognizes this activity as cardio and overtime will create the same adaptation that sprinting will do in regards to body composition. Now this is provided that you are eating at a slight calorie deficit to lose weight.

Let me not forget… farmers walks build a crazy six pack.. thank me later!

Although farmers walks are a simple movement, I never want to leave you without giving you information on how to perform. Check this video out below to see how to perform the famers walk. Once you watch the video, try this workout for a finisher after one of your training days:

Using two dumbbells, grab each dumbbell and walk a path down and back 50yds. Rest for 45 seconds in between, and perform for 4 sets

Farmers Walk

4×50 yd

:45 rest between sets

 

References

Carter, C. (2014). Why a Strong Pillar is Critical for Soccer. Retrieved March 13, 2016, from http://blog.sklz.com/expert-knowledge/strong-pillar-critical-soccer/
Spriggs, D. (2015). The Farmers Walk: Why You Should Do Them – Starting Strongman. Retrieved March 13, 2016, from http://startingstrongman.com/2015/01/27/the-farmers-walk-why-you-should-do-them/
Minor Bowens, CSCS is a sport performance coach at The University of Louisville and founder of The Swxller Company. A former division 1 two sport athlete and certified strength and conditioning specialists, Minor strives to provide readers with the most relevant information to help people reach their individual training goals. Following the philosophy of “growth mindset”, Minor works to improve the performance of his athletes and well as himself daily and believes that you have to “walk the talk.

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

Escape the Holiday Trap Trap: 3 Tips to Stick to Your Nutrition

 

The holidays are a joyous time in which people get to see family members and eat lots of good food which is latent with sugar, grease, and many other fatty sources that can get you into trouble if you don’t know how to mitigate through this holiday season. We chose to speak out this subject today to start your new week off right with three quick tips to get back on your nutrition regimen. Before we start it is imperative to know that the number on the scale (yes we know you have checked) isn’t  necessarily correct in that with sudden spikes in calories comes water retention, so no need to panic. So put down those left overs and get back on track!

Tip 1: Clear Your Refrigerator

Listen, the thanksgiving holidays are a time when you cook certain foods about once a year, and lets face the facts: these foods are DELICIOUS. With this great food leftover plates are common but this practice could be to your detriment. With those leftovers your thanksgiving cheat meal could turn into a cheat WEEK! What you should do is completely clear your fridge of most of those foods with just enough to make about 20% of your diet. Buy fresh foods that you were already eating on your diet and start fresh. With the leftovers you do keep, use applications such as myfitnesspal to estimate the calories of these foods to make sure they can fit into your macronutrient regimen.

Tip 2. : Intermittent Fast to Start Your Week

Intermittent fasting is a technique that can be used to “reset” your metabolism by reprogramming metabolic and stress resistant pathways within the body. The sharp spikes that one can experience with a huge thanksgiving meal could cause rapid fat gain, especially if a person has already been on restricted calories. By using a short bout of intermittent fasting, you can offset the effects of that meal and give your body a clean slate so to speak.

How to perform

For example, if you want to start your week off right, the night before stop all eating by 8pm and resume eating the next day at noon. The 16 hour period is enough time for your body to return to previous metabolic levels and short enough time to avoid any adverse effects. During your fast you can have water, coffee and tea, but be strong to avoid any foods.

 

Tip 3: Add Some HIIT into Your Life

High intensity interval cardio (HIIT) is just a fancy word for interval training and has been around for ages but has just found new popularity in fitness circles. HIIT training is so effective because of its exercise post oxygen consumption (EPOC) benefits. HIIT training also helps you to preserve muscle at a rate far exceeding long duration steady state cardio. The week following the holidays incorporate 3 20 minute HIIT sessions into your training regimen to ensure that you start the process to shed the holiday fluff.

Types of HIIT Cardio

HIIT can be performed on any type of cardio equipment but we are athletes so we will stick to battle ropes, the treadmill and air dyne wind bike. Try each of these workouts and make sure not to throw up in the process, haha.

Air Dyne

5 min warm up at moderate speed

10 rounds of

20 seconds fast (110rpm or higher)

40 seconds complete rest

 

Battle Ropes

10 Rounds

30 seconds all out intensity

30 seconds rest

 

Treadmill

5 min jog at 5.0

Set treadmill to a 5.0 incline and 10.0 speed

then

10 Rounds 30 second sprint

30 seconds rest

 

Always enjoy the holidays but make sure you you have a game plan. When Christmas rolls around in four weeks you’ll know what to do!!

 

~ Swxller

 

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

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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