30th birthday cakeWell, it’s hard to believe, 30 years ago I was born.

I’ve been blessed with health, education and awesome family and friends.

I thought it would be fitting that since I’m 30, it would be a good idea to share with you my top 30 health and fitness tips that will help you live an awesome healthy life.

Currently, I’m on a plane to Toronto for the inaugural Personal Trainer Development Center seminar. I’m really looking forward to meeting big names in the fitness industry and learning a thing or two.

Let’s get to the goods! Here’s part I of the 3-part series.

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or dietician. I do not design meal plans but I do give recommendations based on my experience and education to my clients. Below are several nutrition-related recommendations based on my current understanding of nutrition and health. Please consult with a doctor before making drastic changes to your nutritional habits.

JK’s Top 30 Health and Fitness Tips Part 1

 
1. Every single person will benefit from getting stronger. Lift weights that are challenging for sets of 5 or less.

2. On that note, females should not be scared of getting “bulky” when heavy resistance training, also referred to as strength training. Woman want to build “toned” muscle, but what most don’t understand, strength training plus a real food diet will get them the body they want.

3. Fill your diet with real food and there won’t be room for crap. If you eat a traditional North American diet, you’re filling up on industrial food or fake food: low in nutrients, high in sugar, preservatives, stuff you can’t pronounce and PUFAs (poly unsaturated fatty acids). Almost everyone on this diet has a super high omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio, which has been shown to be hazardous to your health. Read The Perfect Health Diet for more info.

4. Yeah, high intensity interval training is more effective at burning calories compared to a lower intensity session of the same duration. BUT, lower intensity cardio sessions are important for those unfit enough to handle the high intensity of sprinting and pushing their bodies beyond red-line. Cardio sessions at 60-ish percent of max heart rate are not only important for many physiological acclimations, but this type of training builds a strong base for higher intensity training later in your training program. Elite endurance athletes periodize their programs like this year after year.

5. Lactate should not be held under a negative light as it traditionally has been since its discovery. Lactate is actually a very important signaling molecule and energy substrate. It has been shown to serve as fuel for exercising muscle cells, the heart and even the brain. Lactate is produced at all exercise intensities, not just in the absence of oxygen, as was once believed. Other metabolites such as H+ ions are responsible for local muscular fatigue, although, high concentrations of lactate have been shown to provide feedback for enzymes higher in the glycolytic pathway, which slows the production of ATP and more lactate.

6. If you don’t have time for core exercises, using correct form for all major exercises (squats, deadlifts, rows, pulls, presses, etc) will suffice. Filling your program with sit-ups and crunches won’t do you much help as your posture is probably like most: rounded upper back with a chicken-poked head. If you have time, you can add in core exercises that challenge you ability to maintain neutral spine such as anti- rotation presses and jackknifes (but if you really want to crank out some crunches, it’s not going to kill you…maybe).

7. The fitness industry isn’t black and white. They are probably better ways of achieving a particular goal but bashing a certain training method over another is just plain stupid.

8. Drinking a Greens powder does not give you a free pass to skip salads. Have at least one colorful salad everyday. Don’t eat that iceberg lettuce crap – fill your salads with spinach and kale and all things green.7. There are no contraindicated exercises, only contraindicated people. There is no one person fits all program out there, so choose your exercises wisely based on your anatomy, injury history and pain.

9. Don’t eat pre made salad dressings – they are filled with seed and vegetable oils, which are high in PUFAs. Refer back to the point above about the Perfect Health Diet.

10. There is nothing wrong with biceps curls or triceps extensions. They are considered functional training if your goal is to increase your arm size.

That’s all for part I.

Thanks for reading.

-JK

I saw an article in Men’s Journal that quoted Jon in about 2018 while traveling and was impressed that someone in St. John’s made that international magazine.  Jon spoke about an exercise called the Farmer’s Walk and I started working that into my routine at the YMCA. I tore that article out of the magazine and kept it, meaning to make contact, but got busy. Then I had lunch with an old friend Bruce Dyke. I hadn’t seen Bruce for a while and I remarked that he looked super healthy and fit. He told me about his, and his son Cas’, experience at JKC and then I remembered the Men’s Journal article! No coincidences!

The experience is unique on many levels – great people, camaraderie, passion, purpose, and dedication. Jon and Thomas are attentive, precise and understanding.  Their teaching has unlocked a new perspective for me with what our bodies are capable of. I still appreciate the YMCA, wonderful place, but I can’t imagine working out without Jon and Thomas now.

I came to JKC through recommendations from my peers from lululemon. As a current ambassador, I’ve been introduced to legacy ambassadors, like Jon, and I knew a bunch of other people from the store were working out here so I wanted to give it a go. I often dread lower body workouts so I started coming here to do legs. I’ve had such great progress that I now come twice a week— and, I no longer hate leg day!

I’ve never experienced this sort of hybrid between group workouts and personalized service. Many group strength training services offer a sort of one-size-fits-all workout for the general population, which has never been of interest to me, because I want my workout tailored to my needs! I LOVE that you can be in a group setting while doing your own personal program; I love the camaraderie and community at JKC, and, I’ve seen incredible results thus far! Jon is always so attuned to what I need.

A few years ago, I pinched a nerve in my neck which led me to be stationary as any form of movement would cause extreme pain. During this time, my fiancé (Sean) started at JKC and loved it!! Once I overcame the nerve issue, Sean spent a long time trying to convince me that JKC is exactly what I needed to safely start working out again (I’m slightly stubborn and was super scared of re-pinching the nerve). Long story short, Sean was right… as much as I hate to admit it!

I never had luck at gyms, if it started to hurt I would call it a day. At JKC that is not an option, as Jon & Thomas will push you to finish the workout, whether you want to or not! Working out in a group setting is also a big benefit of working out at JKC, if you’re not feeling motivated you can simply feed off of someone else’s energetic vibes.

Kathryn Sparrow

Nutritional Coaching by Julia Howard

From my initial consult with Julia, she was professional and knowledgeable as both a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and athlete. She was interested in my nutrition and fitness goals and the development of a plan that would set me up for success.

Julia designed weekly meal plans that were complete with recipes and shopping lists. The food choices were nutritious, easy to prepare, and ensured that I felt well nourished and energized throughout my training and non-training days. Not only do I feel leaner and more fit, but I have more energy and I feel much more in tune with my body and food choices. Julia really helped me put everything in place so I can continue this process going forward- I cannot thank her enough!

I am turning 67 next month and I started my journey with JKC in 2018. Seven years ago I experienced significant foot pain which had a negative impact on my day to day activities. I learned that issues in other parts of the body need to be addressed to achieve a positive result. My doctor (Dr. Jessica Wade) suggested, along with some other therapies, that I could  benefit from the conditioning JKC had to offer. I previously had not trained in any gym. I observed how many gyms operated and had a sense that JKC would be more my style: training in a small group setting, having such personal attention, and a program meeting my specific needs is fantastic! I love the atmosphere at the gym. Everyone is accepted and you feel supported and comfortable.

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