personal training st. john's
It was a hot and humid 30-degrees Celsius when we were running and all I could think about was “Don’t over heat! Don’t over heat!”

We were on a one-week vacation down in the Dominican Republic from the arctic St. John’s, Newfoundland. Apart from the 40-degree temperature difference from where we came from, the humidity was probably the worst part, as we weren’t used to it.

So just as a car that overheats and has to stop, I was trying to run as efficiently as I could so I didn’t waste energy and produce excess heat. The car-human analogy works really well actually. At the beginning of your running career, your physiological systems are like a fuel-guzzling diesel engine. Your runs burn a ton of calories and your running economy is well, lacking.

With training, your cardiovascular system adapts to the training stress and develops more capillaries, your heart pumps more blood per beat, you produce more oxygen carrying red blood cells and so on. Essentially, your body is trying to be more efficient at delivering oxygen to your working muscles and ridding these working muscles of metabolic byproducts. As this process becomes more efficient, the easier your runs feel and the fewer calories you burn at the same submaximal pace. Overtime, you turn your body into a fuel-efficient Toyota Prius, which is able to go further with less fuel.

This is why running for fat loss doesn’t work forever.

For the most part, to lose fat, you need to eater fewer calories than you expend. People commonly use exercise, weight lifting or cardiovascular activity e.g. running, ellipticaling, swimming, etc., to bump up the calories-expended part of the equation. (Note: the major method for expending calories is your basal metabolic rate, which is the energy your body and brain need to survive – digestion and non-exercise activity thermogenesis also play a role in the number of calories expended, but we’ll save that explanation for another day)

So in the beginning of a runner’s career, the amount of calories expended is quite large compared to the amount expended after the body starts to adapt. Just picture how you felt after running 20-minutes around a few blocks to how you feel now, running the same distance at the same pace – you obviously feel better after training.

To put a quantity on this, say you expended 300 calories during that 20-mintue run 6 months ago. After training, your body might only expend 100-150 calories running that same 20-minute run today.

So the bottom line here is that you need to adjust the volume or intensity of your runs to burn more calories with each run.

Lifting weights is no different.

As you learn the skills of weight lifting, your form improves over time and you can lift more weight. For example, you use less energy to perform a deadlift or a bench press (at the same submaximal weight) compared to when you first started. Essentially your body improves the neuromuscular communication between your brain and the involved and non-involved muscles, thus making your actions more precise. Your body also increases the amount of muscle you have, which increases your strength and further makes submaximal weights feel easier.

So similar to running, you will expend more calories lifting weights when you’re new versus after several months of training AKA skill practice.

Now put this in the context of fat loss. If you don’t change your diet and just attack your fat loss goals with exercise (weights and/or cardio) and don’t progress your workouts, you’ll burn less fuel and have less of an impact on the calories in/calories out equation over time.

This is why you need to incorporate a few more strategies to your fat loss plan:

1) Have a look at the quantity of food/liquid/food-like substances you consume daily. My Fitness Pal is a free app you can download to estimate how many calories you should consume per day. Eat below this estimated number and you should technically lose weight.

2) Progress your exercises (weights and cardio) overtime so you can continue to develop muscle, strength and your cardiovascular system. Approach exercise not as a calorie burner, but as a method to improve overall health and body composition – lifting weights and getting stronger will increase the amount of lean mass you have e.g. MUSCLE! Where you have the most control of your calories in/calories out equation is in the kitchen.

So were we running for fat loss in the Dominican? No, because I was trying to expend as little energy as possible AKA calories to get through that run. Exercise is a great addition to any fat loss plan, but it’s not the only strategy you should apply. In Lose it Right by James Fell, he states, “…if you’re counting on exercise as your sole or primary weight loss tool, you’ve given yourself a pretty steep challenge no matter how you attempt it.”

Your body becomes more efficient at exercising so progress wisely and adjust food consumption accordingly. Good luck!

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BUNDLE_LWF 2 GSF 2 SquareIf you’re interested in learning new workouts, my friend Jen Sinkler just released Lift Weights Faster 2 this week. Jen put a ton of work into this fantastic product that provides a resource that anyone could dive into and feel at home with. Whether you’re seeking fat loss or performance gains (or of course, both!), her workouts are designed to fit your needs, time and equipment.

I was even asked to contribute one of my favorite conditioning workouts ☺

Learn more about Lift Weights Faster 2 here: www.JKConditioning.com/liftsweightsfaster2

photo credit: Famous Health Studio via photopin (license)

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).

I’m 30 — started at JKC Aug 2016. I moved to NL to open lululemon and we chose Jon as one of our store’s ambassadors, did one workout and have raved about it ever since! The JKC team can adapt a workout no matter what the situation — injuries, new goals, you name it! The trust and expertise can’t be matched!

I heard really good things about it from my sister, and I could see the positive results she was getting.  I needed to do something.  I was overweight, depressed, and recovering from a back injury.  I had reached a point where simply getting up out of a chair was becoming difficult.  I knew that if I didn’t do something about it my senior years would be very burdensome to the people close to me.  I’m so glad I did!  After just a few weeks my day-to-day pain was drastically reduced, and my mobility increased. I had the confidence to try sea kayaking, and I now play ice hockey twice a week!

The key difference is the expertise.  The trainers know the gym equipment and the exercises, but they also have degrees in kinesiology, and can apply what they know to your workout.  As someone who was in poor physical condition starting out, I was worried about hurting myself.  Previously I tried an outdoor weekly bootcamp and injured my knee by pushing too hard.  The trainers at JKC constructed a program that started at the right level for me, evolving it as I grew stronger and more fit.  I feel well looked after.

I’ve been weight training on and off for years but never really had a specific goal or target in mind so routinely stalled out, plateaued or stopped training all together. Before I joined JKC I was definitely in a fitness slump and needed something to motivate me and get me back on track. I did a bit of digging online, looking at various personal training options and gyms around town but JKC seemed like the best option by far. I’ve tried big box gyms and other personal trainers in the past but none of them have had the perfect combination of goal specific fitness programming, welcoming and supportive environment, and the knowledge and passion to back it all up that you’ll find at JKC. Jon and Thomas are great to work with, they know how to motivate you if you’re having an off day and are well versed in all the different ways to make your muscles burn! I also have noticed some major improvements in my deadlifts since I started with JKC and was really happy with the result.

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.

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