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

JKC is different from other gyms/fitness regimes I have tried in the past because of my level of comfort with the facility and other JKC clients and the amount of knowledge both Jon and Thomas demonstrate through personal attention to form, core development and overall strength is outstanding. JKC is by far the best training hands on attention that I’ve experienced period and I have experienced many over a lifetime of activity and playing various sports. The facility has everything you require plus, as you will learn there are many ways to use every piece of equipment and Jon and Thomas are very creative! There are many age groups and professions who attend this gym from elite athlete’s to the rest of us and the casual but focused atmosphere in the gym makes each visit interesting, friendly and challenging at all levels.

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 had virtually no real experience using weights and felt intimidated going gyms. I avoided gym-goers using free weights, especially when hearing that loud crash, as they would drop weights to the floor. I thought this was to show everyone around them that they owned that area and that I shouldn’t go anywhere near! So I guess I just wanted to learn how to lift weights safely in a gym environment.

I spent over 18 years in the British Military, so I got to use some nice gyms. 99% of my time and experiences in those gyms was spent doing cardiovascular workouts, because I could just jump on a treadmill, plug in my head phones and do my own thing! JKC is different, because they have given me the confidence to use free weights and equipment that I had feared for years. Their demonstrations and knowledge is impeccable and I thank them for their continuous belief and support they show me at every session.

lisa jumping onto a box

JKC was recommended to me by a fellow runner. I was experiencing injuries, and feeling weak and fragile. When I started with JKC, Jon asked me about my goals and my focus. I wanted to concentrate specifically on running, and preventing injury. Jon developed a program for me that has enabled me to focus on my form and strength and has been flexible enough to enable me to train for many different races. I have been training with JKC for six years, and during that time I have enjoyed Jon and Thomas’s expertise in a very warm and supportive atmosphere.

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.

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