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 have never previously seen the passion and level of care that Jon and Thomas bring to everyone who works out at JKC. Their knowledge, insight and skills are extraordinary, and they work with everyone individually to ensure the best possible results. The attention to detail and to every person’s specific requirements and goals, and the incredible, constant encouragement they provide, is, in my opinion, what truly distinguishes JKC from any other program in which I’ve participated. I am extremely pleased with the progress I’ve achieved thus far, and it’s largely attributable to Jon and Thomas and the approach they take to training and working with people.

I chose JKC originally to help prevent rowing injuries. I’m a rower and we won the St. John’s Regatta in 2019 but I rowed through a rib stress fracture and missed significant time in the boat during the racing season. Training at JKC consistently since the pandemic helped me stay injury free this year and made me the strongest I’ve ever felt, which helped me help my team win the 2021 St. John’s Regatta! Jon adds variety and mixes the exercises up well so that the workout goes by quickly and strength is gained. The gym is very personable and I like the eclectic mix of people that are there. JKC is much more intimate and personal than other gyms.

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.

I was referred to JKC by my sister-in-law and had heard good things about it from many people in the running community. I also saw Jon’s picture on the wall at lululemon years ago! I really like the personalized training and the variety the guys provide. I started for strength training for running. I love cardio and do tons of it but wasn’t motivated to do much strength work on my own. Jon mixes up my strength work week to week so I don’t get bored but also lets me work in a hard circuit for the last 20 minutes of most sessions to get my cardio fix 

Courtney Sharpe

Nutritional Coaching by Julia Howard

For the past two months I have worked with the JKC team and have never felt better! In addition to a personal fitness plan, JKC’s holistic nutritionist, Julia, worked with me and around my busy schedule to educate me on healthier food options and meal planning. I maintain a daily food log which Julia reviews and provides feedback on and we also have weekly chats to discuss my nutritional goals and potential improvement areas. Julia also helped me to identify and work around dietary constraints which have caused digestion issues for years!

Julia and the rest of the JKC family have helped me get my confidence back! I love starting my days with a good sweat and a healthy breakfast. I understand what foods make me feel my best and my body is well on its way to becoming more lean, fit and happy! I would totally recommend Julia and the entire JKC team!

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