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

patience-forexthink

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.

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 2- The Grocery Games

* SQQUUEAAAK opens up the refrigerator … “whew I just read the Swxller Positive last week and I DEFINITELY need to go to the grocery store!”  If this sounds like something you have said in the past week, no worry this blog will give you the tools to make the proper decisions when going to the grocery store. Keeping in mind that food is FUEL, the view that you have of the grocery store will change forever…. So LETS GO!!

 

1. THE GROCERY STORE HAS REVENUE AS ITS TOP PRIORITY Before I changed professions to become my best self, I was a store manager for a very large grocery chain. Being in that position showed me the secrets of product marketing and the tricks of the trade that we used to get people to BUY products that will boost revenue. However most of these products are not the best options if your goal is to have top-notch nutrition and body composition. 90% of the products sold in the grocery store are processed and manufactured with cheap and/ or GMO filled ingredients that (and sorry to be so harsh) WILL KILL YOU if you eat them exclusively. Everyone loves the cookies, cakes, sodas, etc.. but remember YOU want to fuel your body with nothing but the best food sources available to you.

 

2. SHOP THE PERIMETER OF THE STORE. When you walk into the grocery store you must have a PLAN of action from the very start. NEVER GO TO THE GROCERY STORE HUNGRY. Your hunger will lead you to food sources that are good to you.. but certainly not good for you. The perimeter of the grocery store (in most grocery stores) will be home to the best fuel sources. These areas include the produce department, meat and dairy department, and the all natural section if you happen to be in a more upscale grocery store. Stores such as Kroger, Trader Joes, Publix, etc will have more upscale stores with larger varieties of produce and meats to choose from.

 

3. PRICE IS NOT A SOLE INDICATOR Keeping in mind of the goal of every grocery store, one cannot use price to determine whether a product is good. We have to understand that companies use the tag line and buzz words to lure you in to buy more expensive versions of the same products that you could get for much cheaper. Phone apps such as “Fooducate” are GREAT to help you see the difference between products and which products have a better nutritional value.

 

4. FOOD LABELS ARE ESSENTIAL Always remember to read the food label.  Look below at an excerpt form the FDA to give you a more ind depth look at the food label. For more information  go to http://www.FDA.gov http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm274593.htm#see5

 

5. THE LESS LEGS THE BETTER The bulk of your money in the store should be spent on lean protein sources and a rule of thumb can be that the less legs the better. Yes grade your proteins from no legged to four legged animals and be sure to get a variety to make sure that you do not get bored when you eat during the week and to receive a wide range of nutritional benefits from each protein source.

 

6. CARBS AS COMPLEX AS A RUBICS CUBE When talking about carbohydrates, complexity is a good thing. Complex carbs take longer to be broken down by the body which gives the body time to recognize the carb and use it for energy rather that automatically store it as fat. Appropriate carb sources are Sweet Potato Jasmine Rice Brown Rice Quinoa Whole Wheat Bread 100% Whole Grain Oats These 6 carb sources have been PROVEN as powerful carb sources and have personally helped me to be ready for competition. Do not think to hard on this one, THESE WORK

 

7. KEEP YOUR DAIRY TO A MINIMUM Yes.. dairy needs to be in your diet but knowing what to buy is key when building your performance basket. Only ten percent of your time should be spent here buying quality dairy sources such as 0% Greek Yogurt Almond milk Shredded Cheese Cottage Cheese and 2% Milk (Rarely.. you are a human,  not a cow) The yogurt, ice cream, custards, and creams are all good however if you want to be your best you will save these sweet treats to only special occasions.

 

8. Healthy Fats should be in a Can SPRAY OIL will be your best choice when discussing the role of fats in your performance basket. Leave the butters and margarine alone and pick up a can of olive oil or coconut oil cooking spray. These options are lighter on your body and will serve as a healthy balance of  fat in your diet.

 

9. EGGS BROWN OR WHITE When buying eggs make sure that they are of a grade A quality. Your best bet is to get your eggs locally grown from a farmer, but if you do not have access make sure to read the label to check the grade. Contrary to popular belief the egg color is determined by the color of the hen who is laying the egg. The GRADE is key. EGG LANDS BEST is a little but more expensive but great quality that I use myself

 

10. Ok Guy.. So what does this list look like? I know by this  time you are asking ” Man How much will all this healthy eating COST”? Not to worry we have provided a grocery list using all the tips above and all for under $100 dollars!! Lets take a look below IMG_7709 As you can see it is possible!! Next week we sill discuss how to cook and prepare meals from this list to plan your performance cart to your performance week!! Be sure to follow the @swxllerco and use the #swxllerfood to show your grocery lists and food choices!!!