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 

Groceries.png

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 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

IMG_9288

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

 

 

The Key To Unlock Your Squat

baby-squat

If you want to be an all around stronger, more powerful, and more dynamic athlete, then squatting in some form must be in your  present training regimen. As critical is this exercise is, it absolutely amazes our team how many athletes and “weekend warriors” alike hate and even try to avoid the squat. Yes, we know that squatting is hard but with a few simple and helpful hints you can master this key exercise and start to push some serious weight!

How is your mobility??

We could talk squatting technique until we are blue in the face, but the fact of the matter is that until  you are proficiently mobile in your hips, ankles, and thoracic spine, it will be extremely hard to improve your squat technique. Whether your heels come off the ground, your knees cave in, you have bad posture, or your hips round at the bottom,all problems of the squat and any exercise for that matter stem from MOBILITY. Although often neglected, mobility should be at the forefront of training. The more mobile an athlete is, the more powerful they will become!

How can I fix my mobility then??

confused

Proper mobility stems from what we like to call corrective exercises . Correctives help to improve deficiencies  in movement patterns that will allow us to improve mobility. Since we are talking about the hips, ankles and thoracic spine we will highlight a corrective from each category to get you started towards improving your mobility.

Half Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

hip-flexor-stretch

Tight hip flexors are an area of improvement for most athletes and your hips are vitally important especially if you want to become a better mover. To perform the half kneeling hip flexor stretch, get down on one knee and raise both arms into the air. Next lean your hips forward keeping an upright torso to stretch your hip flexor muscles. Hold this stretch for 15 to 20 seconds then perform on the other side.

Wall Ankle Stretch

Standing soleus stretch

Perform the wall ankle stretch by first standing in a split stance with the “up” foot six inches from the wall. While holding the wall, keep your up foot flat on the ground and work to press your knee to the wall.  When you can successfully press your knee to the wall, move your foot slightly back and perform again.

Perform exercise 2 sets of 10 repetitions( 2×10) per  leg

Kneeling Thoracic Stretch

618_348_the-issue-limited-thoracic-rotation-workouts-moves-to-get-you-back-in-balance

Get on your hands and knees and  beginning with your right arm, reach through between your hands and knees to your left side and hold for 4 seconds to stretch your thoracic spine. Next perform on the other side.

Perform 2×5 each side

These tips are vital in getting more mobile in your squat. perform these corrective exercises each day and watch those squat numbers go WAYYYYY up!!!

~ Swxlller

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

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!!