maegan pull up

This morning, my client, Phyllis amazed me and herself.

I’ve been training her since June 2011 and when we started, she had difficulty performing pushups on a massage table (hands on the edge of a table, feet on the floor).  Not to put her down at all, but just to give you an idea on where she started.

Well, Phyllis, is a young 62 and has decided to make fitness apart of her life.

She has been very successful over the past 6 months and has hit many milestones along the way.

This morning she hit another – she performed her 1st body weight chin up, neutral grip EVER in her life.  I’m sooo proud of her.  The look on her face after completing the repetition is why I love my job so much.

It’s never too late to start, you just have to want it enough.

I’ve also helped other female clients achieve great upper body strength, something that women are not known for having much of compared to guys.  Check out my buddy and fellow personal trainer and massage therapist Meg Mounce performing a pull up in the picture above.  I’ve helped many female clients perform chin ups including my wife Julia.  I’ve been strength training her for the upcoming track and field season.

This was her last week – let me set the stage first.  I’ve been strength training her since August 2011 consistently.  She had decent upper body strength – being able to perform roughly 8 body weight chin ups.  She started doing weighted chin ups in August with 5lb.

She flicked on her Beast Mode switch for this:

“Hey Jon, I’m female – how can I start doing chin ups?”

I’m glad you asked.  Here are some tips.

First some lingo:

  • Chin ups: double underhand grip
  • Pull ups: double overhand grip
  • Neutral grip: palms facing together grip

1. Incorporate band assisted pull ups or machine assisted chin ups into your program.  In one workout, perform 5 sets of 5 repetitions within a circuit or as straight sets.  If performing as straight sets, take 90 second rests between sets.

2. Incorporate pull up negatives in your program. Jump up to the top position of a pull up and go down as slow as you can (called the  eccentric phase).  Jump up and repeat.  Perform 5 sets of 5 repetitions on a different day during the week.  Incorporate into a circuit or perform as straight sets.

3. If possible, try to perform chin ups/pull ups on rings.  They are easier on your joints.  If not, focus more on neutral grip and double over hand grip pull ups.

You can purchase rings here.

4. The more times you can do assisted or negative chin ups during the week, the better and stronger you’ll get.

Incorporate the tips above and see how many you can do after a month.

Good luck,

-JK

I had signed up for other gyms in the past and never went or rarely went. Something always got in the way or I was just too tired and lacked motivation to go. This way I’ve made a commitment to Jon or Thomas and I try very hard to keep my sessions once I’ve booked in. JKC is different from other gyms that I’ve tried in the past because no one is there to be “seen”. We are all there to get a good workout in and go on with our lives. And it’s a small gym so you get to know everyone and it’s like a big family. When I joined JKC, I couldn’t do a chin up with an elastic band, but I’ve slowly worked up to 10 free hanging chin ups. That was big because I hate chin ups.

JKC was recommended to me by my good friend Casidhe Dyke. Cas had been training with JKC for a while, and both he and his father had seen great results from the personal training that Jon and Thomas were giving them. I was and still am primarily a triathlete and I’ve always struggled with injuries. I was talking to Cas about incorporating more strength training in my program to try and prevent injuries going forward and Cas suggested that I give JKC a try. I reached out to Jon not long after, and the rest is history! After working with Jon and Thomas for a few months, I was getting stronger, faster, and most importantly, I was staying injury-free. I ended up being able to train the whole season without significant injury and posted a personal best at Ironman Copenhagen in 2018. A big part of that was due to the strength training and coaching I received at JKC.

My initial goal was to find qualified personal training services in a personalized small gym setting. I have never been a fan of large gyms. JKC offers a friendly, happy gym experience that motivates me to strive for bigger and better results every week. Jon, Thomas and Craig are genuinely talented and always excited to celebrate everyone’s success.

I have a passion for challenging myself to achieve or beat goals. My favourite memories take me back to greater wins than I ever imagined with deadlifts and after a lot of determination and hard work, being able to do multiple chin-ups. Training at JKC has been one of the best experiences of my life – thank you for your commitment to helping me stay fit!!💪🏼😅

I heard really good things about it from my sister, and I could see the positive results she was getting.  I needed to do something.  I was overweight, depressed, and recovering from a back injury.  I had reached a point where simply getting up out of a chair was becoming difficult.  I knew that if I didn’t do something about it my senior years would be very burdensome to the people close to me.  I’m so glad I did!  After just a few weeks my day-to-day pain was drastically reduced, and my mobility increased. I had the confidence to try sea kayaking, and I now play ice hockey twice a week!

The key difference is the expertise.  The trainers know the gym equipment and the exercises, but they also have degrees in kinesiology, and can apply what they know to your workout.  As someone who was in poor physical condition starting out, I was worried about hurting myself.  Previously I tried an outdoor weekly bootcamp and injured my knee by pushing too hard.  The trainers at JKC constructed a program that started at the right level for me, evolving it as I grew stronger and more fit.  I feel well looked after.

I originally joined JKC because I was anxious about passing out and embarrassing myself since I hadn’t weight trained in a while and I’d hoped to find somewhere sympathetic. My husband @terry_hussey had been training at JKC and his success there made me miss the achievement you feel from a good workout. I went to meet Jon and immediately knew it was going to be a safe space for me. I was never judged for the fears I had and where I was starting from. Jon and Thomas made sure to check on me often, and found a way to challenge me but make me feel secure at the same time, and Terry and I were able to book sessions together, so working out became a shared win for us!

JKC is different from other gyms because of the personal growth you have outside JKC (the sessions inside JKC creates a great positive feedback loop!). You gain self confidence, learn how to show up for yourself, meet a community of newfound friends, and get the support of your trainers who are behind you 100%. I’ve left a scattered workout so proud of myself I’ve honestly shed a tear in the car on the drive home. JKC is the mental health relief valve I need to stay positive, and keep my anxiety and health related fears at bay.

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