What Time Of the Day Should I Train?

When Should I Train??

images

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

0b23377c3cce2cba76d1e4a26706f6ef

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

Nutrient Timing: Part 1

Most people know that what you eat is critical to fat loss or muscle gain, but do you know that the timing of when you intake some nutrients can make all the difference in your training goals? The few who have been introduced to this information have seen drastic changes in their physique as well as their performance in the gym. In part one of this 3 part series we will discuss ways in which how you time your food can give you drastic training benefits.

Part 1: The Role of Carbohydrates in Training 

Contrary to popular culture, carbs are not the enemy when you are trying to lose fat. If you are trying to gain muscle, you know that carbs are your best bud. However when you intake your carbs can make all the difference in your training. Whether your goal is to drop fat or gain muscle, the objective of carbs when it comes to training is to

  • provide you with energy

and

  • replenish glycogen stores in your muscles.

You want to use carbs as a barrier to fuel you through your workout. By ingesting the majority of your carbs around your training (pre and post workout) you can ensure that you do not use lean body mass as an energy source while you are training hard. Even if your goal is to lose fat, the reduction in calories throughout the day will be the number one factor of that fat loss. Carbohydrates on the other hand will give you the energy that you need to push through your training and burn those calories you need to aid in your fat loss efforts.

For those looking to build muscle, the practice of eating your carbs around your training is paramount. Most likely you will be lifting heavier with more taxing lifts around this time. Those carbs are going to surely help you accomplish your training goals. However, you should have a huge uptake (35-50%) of your carbs directly after training. This timing of carbs will help to replenish glycogen in your muscles.  By timing your intake of carbs in this way you will ensure that the majority of your carb allotment for that day is used effectively and not stored as fat.

Let those carbs work for you!

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 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

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

 

 

3 Tips to Successfully Plan Your Workouts

You have all seen it… you are bombarded with the newest claim of the “perfect” workout for legs, the holy grail of rep schemes, or the latest article from the latest guru that some scientist swears is the key to those gains. Well what you have to know is this is all marketing. Whether cutting, bulking, or just generally trying to stay in shape, You have to LIFT PROGRESSIVELY HEAVY WEIGHT OVERTIME to see real long lasting results.

Take a seat.. let me explain lol

Although there has been a heavy influx of new “trainers” that do everything under the sun that they swear will help you get in shape, nothing will outshine the basics. Yes, the simplest of movements are the most effective at seeing real change within your body. Regardless of the muscle, your body moves in specific patterns and you should train in these patterns to properly add balance within your body. Couple this with heavy compound lifting and you create a recipe of success in the gym.

Proper Movement Patterns

Your body moves in specific pushes, pulls and rotational movements. When properly planning for your workouts you must match the correct exercise with the movement pattern to create balance. So lets take a look: Your core is the main conductor of energy for your body and should be a top priority when training. Rotational movements such as chops and lifts should be in your program design everyday along with pillar strengthen movements such as planks, glute bridges and hyperextensions. Pushes and pulls of the upper body regions happen in the vertical and horizontal planes. An example of this is a bench press which works in the horizontal plane as an upper body push, and a pull up which works in the vertical plane as an upper body pull. Conversely lower body movements are categorized as knee and hip dominant pushes and pulls. An example would be the squat as a knee dominant lower body push and a Romaninan deadlift as a hip dominant lower body pull, respectively.

Tips to Plan

When planing which exercises to do in the gym, the K.I.S.S. principle is key. Keep things SIMPLE. Yes the flying push ups and 700 inch box jumps look cool but they do little to improve performance or physique. Dependent on preference, each day should have a balance of lower and upper body pushes and pulls with a rotational movement. An example of this would be as follows:

Back Squat- Lower body knee dominant push

Pull Up- Upper body Vertical Pull

Farmers Walk – Rotational Stability movement

RDL- Lower Body Hip Dominant Pull

DB Single Arm Row-  Upper body Horizontal Pull

Throw in a couple aesthetic movements of your choosing and that is it! Nothing fancy, just simple exercises that will give you the most bang for your buck.

Bringing it all Together

  1. Lift HEAVY often
  2. Balance your exercise by movement
  3. Keep your exercise SIMPLE

The magic pill to all the people that you see who look amazing THAT AREN’T ON DRUGS are basic lifts and a great work ethic to train HARD in the gym. So get simple and put in work!!

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

The Risk of the Quick Fix

before

Oh, the quick fix… that magic pill and potion or “secret remedy” that people search for to achieve perfection. While the pursuit of perfection is an admirable goal, problems arise when people are too impatient to work for it. Steroids and performance enhancing drugs are nothing new, but in our opinion the rise of social media is causing more average people to put themselves at huge risks that have proven to be fatal in some cases.

Butt Implants and Synthol

synthol

Photoshop has become dangerous in that it gives depictions of models and athletes alike to have the “perfect” body or physique. Coupled with people’s desire to meet this unattainable level, some people resort to the practice of enhancing their bodies with unsafe and unknown substances to help them achieve their perfect physique. Most times than not these results are completely unrealistic and when you have ladies with dump trucks supported by stilts and guys with 21 inch arms on 16yr old boy forearms.

These practices have left countless number of people in the hospital paying thousands of dollars for corrective surgery with permanently disfigured bodies that they will have to live with for the rest of their life. The question that one will have to ask themselves is are the practices really worth it?? Are you willing to sacrifice your life for 15 seconds of fame??

The truth is that there is no quick fix to performance or aesthetic goals that will not be paid with a price. Dedication, hard work, and consistency are the keys to success in any training program regardless of one’s individual goal. Ladies you want to turn heads?? Get in the gym, eat right, do it for a long time. Guys you wan to get to that next level?? Get in the gym, eat right, and DO IT FOR A LONG TIME. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you won’t be either. The freak athletes that you see on social media put in the work to get to where they are. They put in the time to be great and you won’t be the exception. And to the ones who are on these substances… oh they always get exposed.

Save yourself time, heartache, and in some cases your life by TRUSTING the process.

after