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

Astrid Billfalk-Kelly

Personal Strength Training by Thomas King

I wanted to add strength training to my cardio, but have always felt gyms to be a bit intimidating, and was worried I would hurt myself without some supervision and help. JKC was highly recommended by several work colleagues. Thomas and Jon are both fantastic, making sure that everyone gets a highly personalized work out in a very supportive environment. The attention to detail and professionalism are second to none. The groups are very small, but very supportive and make the workouts even more fun. Since getting pregnant (36 weeks as I write this) I’m so happy that they continue to help me get stronger while always being safe.

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).

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.

I started training at JKC in 2016 because I’ve always had upper back issues that became aggravated through work. I sought out other training and physio, but experienced little to no results. A client of mine happened to be coming to JKC for a similar issue and highly recommended it. I have had great success and haven’t looked back! I always feel like I’m getting programs tailored to my needs and I’m never bored. I’m 30 weeks pregnant now with my second child and have been able to workout through both pregnancies here at JKC. Even on my least mobile days, I felt safe to workout because my programs were specifically modified for my needs.

I’m 35 and I started at JKC in November of 2019. I was coming off the win of the Royal St. John’s Regatta in 2019, and our crew was chomping at the bit to be stronger and faster for 2020. The reputation of JKC leached into our group and away we went! Unfortunately the regatta was cancelled due to COVID-19, but I just loved JKC so much I stuck around. JKC is different from other gyms because the level of experience the team has is unparalleled. Jon, Thomas and Craig all mesh well together and mentor me in a way that I know they love what they do and are genuinely excited to guide me towards my goals (and beyond). I really enjoy the atmosphere, the sense of community and all the positive vibes that I experience in every session. There’s never a time I don’t want to go because I’m motivated by the team’s coaching style and I get results.

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