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?

newbie

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

The “Actual” Crossfitter’s Diet

crossfit1

If you haven’t been under a rock, then you have heard about or even seen the sport of Crossfit. This fitness phenomenon has swept the nation giving regular everyday people the chance to train in a performance driven environment while preparing them for the unknown and unknowable. Many people have taken the gospel of crossfit as law and there have been marketing schemes that have made tons of money from crossfit enthusiasts due to lack of knowledge. While injury in crossfit is prevalent and can be due to a number of factors, the nutrition program sponsored by crossfit has been detrimental to athletes and there is a disconnect in how the competitors of the sport fuel themselves compared to crossfit enthusiasts.

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The Paleo diet has been popularized by crossfit and the premise of the diet is to adopt the fueling patterns of ancient people. Rob Wolff states that “The Paleo diet is the healthiest way you can eat because it is the ONLY nutritional approach that works with your genetics to help you stay lean, strong and energetic! Research in biology, biochemistry, Ophthalmology, Dermatology and many other disciplines indicate it is our modern diet, full of refined foods, trans fats and sugar, that is at the root of degenerative diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression and infertility”.

While some of his claims hold validity, Wolff forgets that Crossfit is a PERFORMANCE based training program and sport. In order to perform you have to have energy, and the paleo diet is lacking the number one source you need to perform your best. This source my friend is CARBS. YES……….. YES carbohydrates. “The roles of carbohydrate in the body includes providing energy for working muscles, providing fuel for the central nervous system, enabling fat metabolism, and preventing protein from being used as energy. Carbohydrate is the preferred source of energy or fuel for muscle contraction and biologic work.” The RIGHT carbs, which are complex and take time to digest such as rice, sweet potatoes, and various grains, is the coal to your steam engine of a body.

Without the presence of carbs you will begin to feel sluggish, be at risk for ketosis (which is an abnormal amount of ketones in the bloodstream) and most importantly you will be less alert. Since Crossfit is nothing more than taking very good attributes from various sports, it would seem that the nutrition patterns of top athletes in these sports should have been adopted too right?

So What REALLY Happens Then?

confused

If you are confused as to why the top athletes in crossfit look starkly different compared to the thousands of enthused participants of the sport, I have an idea and NO it is not steroids. (Although everyone wants to go straight to the “juice”). What happens is that while crossfit supports the paleo diet but the competitors for the most part have a completely different diet that consists of a ton of carbs, which are not bad, but help these athletes have the energy to perform at a high level. You will see athletes although the names consume large amounts of peanut  butter sandwiches, rice, and even bad carbs such as donuts, sweet cereal and even fries to ensure that they are fueled for their competition. Now this doesn’t mean to scrap your diet and head to the nearest burger king, cut it shows that carbs play a huge role in how you perform and gives you the energy to perform.

Side Note- When you are in a constant fatigued state, as the sport of crossfire perpetuates, there is a technique breakdown in performance. This can and has lead to serious injury within the sport. Understand that what you put in your body is vitally important to your performance and health!!

Unknown

While protein and fats are extremely good for the human body, their primary role is to aid in recovery from training- not to fuel training. Only when you have a surplus of carbs will you begin to gain unwanted weight, and as a crossfitter that will be difficult given that you train frequently. If you have been on the paleo diet, add a few sweet potatoes in the mix and watch how better you improve. Just a little food for thought.

-Swxller

References
Costill, D.L., Miller, J.M. Nutrition for endurance sport: Carbohydrate and fluid balance. Int. J. Sports. Med. 1980;1:2-14.
Coyle, E.F., and Coyle, E.L Carbohydrates that speed recovery from training. Phys. Sportsmed., 1993;21:111.
Esbjornsson-Liljedahl, M. Sundberg, C.J., Norman , B., and Jansson, E. Metabolic response in type I and type II muscle fibers during a 30-s cycle sprint in men and women. J Appl Physiol 1999;87:1326-1332.

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

rest-2

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 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!!!

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.

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!!