strength training for running
If I know you well enough, I know you hate doing planks (don’t worry, I do too!). I think they’re boring – BUT they are very important for building a foundational level of strength and body awareness regarding what is and isn’t neutral spine alignment.

My latest article on Men’sFitness.com outlines 8 ways you can spice up a plank (I think you’ll enjoy it.) If you have any questions, please leave them below. Let’s get started…

All right, we get it…planks are boring. Staring at the floor with the sweat dripping down your nose waiting for your timer to run down is as almost as exciting as visiting the in-laws.

If you’ve been living under a rock as of late, planks are isometric exercises used to strengthen and build endurance in the abdominals. They are typically performed either on your elbows and toes, on your side or even face up. They are normally held for time e.g. 30 to 60-seconds or performed in shorter timed-intervals with only a few seconds break e.g. 10-second holds with 2-second rest periods.

Planks are the new sit-ups for modern-day core training. People like numbers so instead of doing 300-500 sit-ups every night, they’ll form a statue-like creature on the floor next to their bed and be motionless for as long as possible. But, as with anything, we must apply the Principle of Progressive Overload to ensure continued progress. No one in their right mind wants to hold their planks longer and longer—thankfully, progressive overload can be applied by other means.

Read the rest at Men’sFitness.com HERE.

-JK

photo credit: mariachily via photopin cc

My original reason for joining JKC was to get some sage advice to help with my running. I had been looking for awhile, came across Jon, met for an assessment, and was quite happy with how that all went. Apart from the running specific strengthening and conditioning approaches, JKC is different from other gyms as I am a fan of the small group sessions where everyone has their own goals and individualized programs. As well, the run coaching is super. All the coaches go the extra mile to make sure you get the best out each training session. They are fantastic motivators! My favourite memory is deadlifting 330lbs. Making a lot of great friends and meeting some really cool people is pretty high up on that list, too.

I’ve always struggled with both my weight and anxiety throughout my life. As a writer you live a pretty sedentary lifestyle filled with both realistic and unrealistic deadlines, so I needed something to get me off my butt and to get me moving. JK has been a godsend during this past year and a half in particular. The pandemic has been tough, but workouts with both Thomas and Jon have really helped reduce the stress and strain of a global pandemic, and added an anchor of normalcy back into my life — which has been worth its weight in gold.

JKC has created an incredibly inclusive environment that’s filled with all kinds of supportive folks from all kinds of different backgrounds. For folks like myself, being surrounded by people with such athletic ability can be intimidating in most gyms. It can actually be a deterrent, and it sometimes has been for me. But, at JKC it’s far from that — it’s inspirational. Everyone supports one another. Which is something that’s not easily found in this day and age, inside of a gym or out. Not to sound like a total cheeseball here, but it really feels like a family.

JKC was recommended by a previous trainer who followed Jon online. He thought Jon’s approach to training was excellent. JKC employs well educated trainers who are very particular about technique and form. I have never injured myself because the trainers know what they are doing. They can always answer any questions I ask about my training. As well the trainers are friendly contributing to a relaxed and friendly atmosphere at the gym.

Not having much if any experience with professional gyms I though it would be along the lines of going to a facility and doing your own thing, getting some instructions from time to time, if you asked for it, and for most part working out on your own, in a large impersonalized setting. I was a bit apprehensive as I figured I’d be standing around a lot looking at all this equipment wondering what to do with it, or worst doing something to hurt myself. Well I couldn’t have been more wrong. Both Jon and Thomas are very attentive, professional trainers, who lay-out an exercise program, from start to finish, for you. They demonstrate the exercise they want you to do and then watch you do it to make sure you got it right. Jon and Thomas are very thorough, patience and non-assuming.

I had spent a fair bit of time in gyms in my teens and twenties but I turned away from the gym to focus on activities that I enjoyed more. What keeps me at JKC is that I do really enjoy it. I always feel that I’ve accomplished something when I leave at the end of my workout. The environment is really positive and focused on challenging yourself whatever your level of comfort and fitness. I’ve also seen results that I’m really happy with; having someone who really knows what they’re talking about to guide your workouts makes them way more effective and focused than just “going to the gym”.

Shortly after I started at JKC, I sustained a fairly major injury that took me off my feet for several months. When I started to get back to activity, it was very difficult. Jon and Thomas worked hard to tailor my workouts to my goals and what I could do. With their help, I’ve been steadily building back strength and function.

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