personal training st. john's

personal training st. john's
Well, it’s the beginning of 2015 and many of you probably have at least one fitness, nutrition or health related resolution you want to crush this year. I know you’ve got the best intentions, I know you’re feeling motivated, for many people that’s not the problem.

The problem is first building the awareness of what it is you are doing that specifically sabotages your health goals, making a plan to tackle those barriers, and having the courage and skills needed to see the plan through. It’s about setting yourself up for success. And I’m not talking about success for the month of January, I’m talking about success for 2015 and onward- a long-term approach that still allows you to enjoy your everyday life.

For many of you that don’t know, my wife Julia is completing a Holistic Nutrition program and will be accepting clients later this year. With over a decade of competitive running experience, a Bachelor’s of Psychology, and a Master’s of Public Health, she will be well-equipped to help you with your body composition and performance goals.

In the mean time, check out our top 6 fitness and top 6 nutrition tips for 2015.

Jon’s Top 6 Fitness Tips for 2015

 

1. Your workouts do not have to kill you

 
With the popularity of boot camps, Crossfit, and the Biggest Loser TV show, people looking to lose fat seem to think that their workout needs to beat them to a snot. I hate to break it to you, but there is no such thing as a fat loss workout, so stop killing yourself in the gym. Workouts can be designed to burn as many calories as possible, which will help you better your calories in, calories out equation for the day. Get a good sweat going and leave the gym actually feeling better than when you came in.

2. Focus on free-weight or bodyweight exercises first

 
Choose free-weight exercises over machine-based exercises. These include squats, lunges, deadlifts, pushups, chin-ups, bent over rows and overhead presses. These exercises will challenge your core muscles more than the traditional machine based exercises, which tend to have you seated most of the time. You might as well hit two birds with one stone! There is nothing wrong with machine based exercises – my only recommendation is to exhaust your free-weight exercise options first, then add in machine based exercises after.

3. Choose multi-joint exercises over uni-joint exercises first

 
Choose multi-joint exercises such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, pushups, chin-ups, bent over rows and overhead press (same list as above, I know) first before adding in isolation exercises. These include biceps curls, triceps extensions, pec flys, knee extensions, leg curls and lateral raises. Multi-joint exercises will burn more calories and help you achieve your fat loss goals sooner. You’ll also develop what the fitness industry calls functional strength, which essentially means strength that you’ll experience in the real world, outside of the gym.

4. Aim to resistance train 2-3x/week and aerobic exercise 2-3x/week

 
By combining resistance training and aerobic training into the same weekly routine, you’ll develop lean muscle mass and cardiovascular fitness, all while losing fat. As your outer layer of fat gets thinner, you’ll want muscles to show through. A common fear for some trainees is getting too muscly or too bulky. Well, there is no such thing as bulky muscle. You’re either fat with muscle underneath or thin with muscle underneath. The leaner you are (or the less fat you have) the leaner your muscles will appear. There is no such thing as a toning exercise or a toning workout. You need to build muscle, plain and simple. And that means lifting weights and getting strong.

5. Don’t sweat the small stuff

 
Missing one or two workouts is not going to make or break you. Don’t worry about it and continue the plan as normal as soon as you can. Losing fat and building muscle is more about your actions overtime rather than what you did yesterday. Look at the big picture rather than getting too caught up in the minutia.

6. Perfect your technique

 
Strength is a skill. In order to get strong (and build muscle) you need to be skillful in executing exercises effectively. If you can’t perform the exercises correctly, you will not be effective at attaining your goals plus you might hurt yourself. Learn the fundamental movement patterns that make up the multi joint exercises listed above:

  • Squat pattern
  • Lunge pattern
  • Hip Hinge (deadlift)
  • Single Leg Hinge
  • Neutral Spine
  • Horizontal Pulling and Pushing
  • Vertical Pulling and Pushing

The better your form, the more strength you’ll build and the lower your risk for injury.

Julia’s Top 6 Nutrition Tips for 2015

 
Hi everyone and Happy 2015! Nothing makes me happier than writing about something I am so passionate about- FOOD! Here’s my top 6 nutrition tips for 2015. I look forward to elaborating on these in greater depth in the near future….

Note: Julia has not completed her Holistic Nutrition program so we can’t call her a “Registered Holistic Nutritionist” just yet – these tips are coming from an elite athlete with an interest in nutrition – enjoy!

1. Contemplate

 
First, and this may seem obvious, figure out why your nutrition is not as good as you would like it to be. For example, this may involve a week in which you just eat as you would normally but you document your food intake using a food log to improve your awareness of your food intake. Do you drink too much when you get home from work? Or when you are out with friends? Are you eating too much of the wrong things because you are stressed out or sitting in front of the TV? Locking down on key habits may be your ticket to improving your health, sometimes without really changing much else. A great app that I really like for logging caloric intake (and exercise) is “My Fitness Pal”.

2. Plan for the journey

 
Are you relying on motivation and willpower to reach your goals? Well, according to weight-loss expert, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, that’s probably not going to cut it and will only set you up for disappointment. In this obesogenic environment where, as Freedhoff says, “cheap calories are everywhere,” you’re going to need to take the time to plan your meals, grocery shop, prepare, and cook. If you can’t find time to do this, then maybe 2015 is the year you resolve to change your priorities. (See Tip #1.)

3. Know Thyself!

 
Don’t let some celebrity or fad diet tell you how to eat. Or even a governmental organization. For example, if you are not an active person, you probably don’t need 6-8 servings of grain products each day in addition to 7-10 servings of vegetables and fruits. Also, if you question the promotion of a super sugary chocolate milk beverage as an optimal post workout drink for you as an average gym-goer who is trying to reach a weightloss goal, then you are probably right.

4. Get the best nutritional bang for your buck

 
Think more, not less. Instead of eating a small serving of grains with a meal and potentially feeling hungry 30 minutes later, you can fill up on non-starchy vegetables instead. For example, you can make a pseudo-rice dish with cauliflower and other vegetables using a food processor to make it look just like rice, except you can eat more for the same amount of calories since it is so much more nutrient and fibre dense. Small changes like these add up.

5. Don’t forget about your friends!

 
A fascinating emerging area of obesity research is focusing on the importance of the gut microbiome and is finding that what you eat has profound effects on the composition of your gut bacteria, affecting not only intestinal health, but also metabolic health. Consider adding some fermented foods to your diet such as sauerkraut or kefir, taking a multistrain probiotic, and eating prebiotic fibre such as raw onions, garlic, banana, and inulin to promote the growth of these helpful little friends. Also, try not to do too much of anything to hurt these guys, like excessive alcohol consumption or antibiotic drug use.

6. Learn from your dietary mistakes and move on

 
Say you did your best all week but ran out of groceries on Thursday night and didn’t pack a proper lunch and snacks for Friday’s workday. You left work so hungry that you couldn’t wait long enough to get to the grocery store, so you swerved across two lanes of traffic to get in a drive thru line-up. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Try to make the best choice you can – most fast food joints have premade salads and chicken or just get a burger with no fries or pop. It takes time to master new meal preparation habits. Figure out where you went wrong with your meal prep and fix it for next week.

If you are interested in learning more about weight management or nutrition, here are a few of our favourite books:

  • The Diet Fix- Yoni Freedoff, MD
  • Weightloss Happens on Monday- Josh Hillis & Dan John
  • Loose it Right- James Fell

If you want to find out more about training with Jon, click HERE.

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photo credit: creepyed via photopin cc

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.

log overhead press

I had tried JKC based on the recommendation of a parent of one of my students. I originally started by attending Saturday drop in classes. I was hooked. I decided to join full time when I I had taken a year off from teaching and it was the best thing I have done for myself.

First and foremost the trainers at JKC are extremely knowledgeable. I feel like they are as dedicated to my success as I am. The workouts are tailored to me, my skills and my goals. This is important. Jon and Thomas truly want the best for their clients no matter what level of fitness they are starting from. I also like being able to book a session at a time that suits my schedule. This also helps keep me accountable. Once the session is booked I am not likely to cancel!

I saw an article in Men’s Journal that quoted Jon in about 2018 while traveling and was impressed that someone in St. John’s made that international magazine.  Jon spoke about an exercise called the Farmer’s Walk and I started working that into my routine at the YMCA. I tore that article out of the magazine and kept it, meaning to make contact, but got busy. Then I had lunch with an old friend Bruce Dyke. I hadn’t seen Bruce for a while and I remarked that he looked super healthy and fit. He told me about his, and his son Cas’, experience at JKC and then I remembered the Men’s Journal article! No coincidences!

The experience is unique on many levels – great people, camaraderie, passion, purpose, and dedication. Jon and Thomas are attentive, precise and understanding.  Their teaching has unlocked a new perspective for me with what our bodies are capable of. I still appreciate the YMCA, wonderful place, but I can’t imagine working out without Jon and Thomas now.

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 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.

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