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.

The Cardio Hack: 3 Principles of Cardio that You Should Know

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Ah, the golden goose.. the key that many people tell you will help to burn fat and help you to get in great shape. Some of you dread the word while others embrace it. This my friends is CARDIO- Cardiovascular training that increases heart and lung function, allows you to work harder under fatigue and YES, will get you in great shape IF you know what you are doing and train effectively in doing so. There are a few things you need to know about cardio and also a few things that you should disregard as well that have had you running in circles (pun) for a really long time. Use these principles to unlock the key to use cardio as a massive tool in your tool chest to get in crazy shape FAST!

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Train the Proper System for the Body You Desire

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  • As a hamster on a wheel, today in most gyms you see countless amounts of people trudging away on the treadmill running mile after mile to nowhere. Why is that you ask? Well the fact of the matter is that unless you are SPECIFICALLY training for a marathon, iron man, or you are a long distance athlete, training the oxidative system exclusively will be a ticket to losing serious muscle mass. When training your body in an aerobic state for long periods of time over long distances, your body will go for its most precious energy source- MUSCLE. (Yes, during the cutting phase you will forms of cardio that will mimic long distance such as long periods on the step mill or inline walk, but this will only be for a short period of time as far as yearly training is concerned.)
  • Extreme long distance running decreases type 2 fast twitch muscle fiber (which makes you faster and stronger) burns more muscle fiber( to make you a more efficient long distance runner since that’s what you are doing) and all around sucks if it isn’t your thing. A better option would be to train the energy system you would most want to look like. You ever wonder why sprinters look the way they do? It is because they train an energy system that will tax the cardiovascular system quickly and actually burn more fat in the process be cause the more energy expended, the more calories you burn. High intensity training also causes the Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption Effect. Simply put, you will continue to burn calories post training when using higher intensity forms of cardio.  With that being said, sprinting, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and Metabolic Conditioning (SAFE bodyweight WODS From Crossfit) are better options and are heard towards obtaining a ripped lean physique.

Give Time Between Your Cardio and Weights

  • What is the best time to do cardio? What about fasted cardio first thing in the morning? What about right before you head to bed? Well guys let me answer these questions as SIMPLY AS I CAN: IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT TIME YOU DO CARDIO. To lose fat it is as simple as more energy expended than consumed; burn more than you eat. PERIOD. Unless you are an athlete that is on time constraints to get all training fit into a day, there is no right specific time to do cardio. It will be based solely on your preference and schedule. WHAT is important however is the relationship between your cardio and weight training. Optimally, there should be at least a 90 minute window between cardio and training but I know most people don’t have that type of time. That being the case, always perform your cardio on either a non lifting day or AFTER weight training. Training before weights is counterproductive in the fact that it pre-exhausts you prior to training and pre deplete glycogen stores that would normally be used during weight training. This storage helps in muscle degradation which will occur if you continually train in a pre exhausted state. If your goal is to look GOOD, take this advice.

Cardio is Like Salt- Know When to Use It

  • You ever see someone who prides themselves on how much cardio they do? How they run, swim, spin, insanity and everything else under the sun there is to do regarding cardio and when you see them they still look unimpressive? Well what is happening is this person body has begun a state of homeostasis meaning that the body has now adapted itself and found a tolerance level for activity. Your body is WAY smarter than you are so there is no need to trick it. You just have to be cognizant of the stimulus that you provide the body for the aesthetic effect that you want. Your body doesn’t care whether you look good, it just wants to stay alive so use cardio as your advantage. The foundation of your training program should be heavy compound lifting with high intensity cardio sessions to maintain heathy heart function and aid in burning fat. HOWEVER, the first place you should check to when trying to lean out is your kitchen. You will not be able to outrun bad diet so don’t even think about that one. When you have a proper diet and adjust to lean out cardio can be a great weapon when you start to increase it during this process to burn more calories during the day. But if you ALWAYS do crazy cardio every day, then what new adaptation can you put on your body?

Think about it! Cardio done correctly can be a great tool to build your best self but as in all things, how you do it will make all the difference

~ SWXLLER

Minor Bowens, CSCS

Owner, The Swxller Company

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

When Are You Ready to Make the Change?

We get it.. you look at Instagram to find motivation, you watch Eric Thomas on youtube, and you tell all your friends that your time is coming and this year is YOUR YEAR. However, has it happened yet?? have you gone the extra mile to be great? Or have you again made an excuse in this part of the year when most people have given up on their yearly fitness goal with a slew of excuses and percived events that you have deemed “more important” Well listen up and listen well: WHEN YOU ARE TIRED OF YOUR SITUATION, you will make the change.

I took the challenge of transforming my body and I am sorry to say that I do not have a sob story or bitter story about losing weight and getting in shape. What happened is that I quit making excuses because I realized this one permanent fact: THE WORLD DOESNT CARE ABOUT ANYTHING BUT RESULTS. This is not to stay to change yourself for the world, rather to express that your excuses do not matter. You want to make the change? DO IT!! Do not let anyone stop you in reaching your goal. You don’t know what to eat? Reach out and research the proper information to know what nutritional needs that you have. There is simply no excuse at all. You have to make an effort to replace your bad habits with new habits and work on yourself EVERYDAY to become the best YOU possible. I can’t put that spark in you, you parents can’t put that spark in you, your spouse can’t do it either. You have to find it within yourself to become TIRED of your situation and fed up with not making any progress. Then and ONLY then will you start the process of seeking the information to live a more fit and healthier lifestyle.

This blog will be dedicated to providing you with the proper information to help you make the change. We will discuss nutritional information, talk about proper lifting technique and provide motivation to keep you going!!