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 been struggling with work-life balance resulting in not exercising or playing hockey as much as I had been doing in the past. In addition to being out of shape, I was starting to experience some back/shoulder issues and realized I needed to make some changes. Around this time, a friend (who was also a client) recommended JKC and that’s when I started!

You really feel part of a community where everyone is welcoming and supportive. You get a program that is designed specifically to achieve your goals, with the ongoing coaching, progress tracking and support required to achieve them. The JKC team are very knowledgeable about fitness and conditioning, and very engaging with everyone to answer questions or discuss anything and everything training related. I also like the flexible scheduling and gym times that work for my schedule (I like early mornings and evenings).

log overhead press

I had tried JKC based on the recommendation of a parent of one of my students. I originally started by attending Saturday drop in classes. I was hooked. I decided to join full time when I I had taken a year off from teaching and it was the best thing I have done for myself.

First and foremost the trainers at JKC are extremely knowledgeable. I feel like they are as dedicated to my success as I am. The workouts are tailored to me, my skills and my goals. This is important. Jon and Thomas truly want the best for their clients no matter what level of fitness they are starting from. I also like being able to book a session at a time that suits my schedule. This also helps keep me accountable. Once the session is booked I am not likely to cancel!

sumo deadlift

I had always wanted to start lifting weights and get stronger, but didn’t know where to start. I was looking not just for a gym, but for training on proper technique to prevent injury and a program designed for my specific goals. I also wanted a fun and supportive atmosphere to keep me coming back. JKC delivered on all of this and more.

Jon and Thomas have a wealth of knowledge that help their clients get the most out of their time in the gym. Programs are continuously modified to keep the workouts challenging. Even through everyone’s program is unique, you always have the coaches and other clients cheering you on and pushing you to achieve new bests.

trap bar deadlift

A few of my wonderful friends and colleagues recommended JKC. I was told by one colleague that “It’ll be the best thing you ever do for yourself” and she was right! To be honest, I didn’t have much experience in any gym setting. And NO prior weight training experience. It was always so overwhelming! But from the first day, nothing was intimidating about JKC. Each workout is set up just for me, and with my specific skills and goals in mind. There are no stupid questions, you learn as you go, and what I really love, I always feel included and important, regardless of my skills/experience.

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