Hey everyone. Thought I would take some time now to recap my weekend competing in “Newfoundland and Labrador’s Strongest Man/Woman”. This was a great contest that was very well run. The volunteers were excellent with getting everything set-up, the events chosen were an interesting mix, and the competitors were all fantastic. 

After winning the novice category of “Battle of the Beasts” in November of 2020, I moved up to the open category for this competition which means all the weights got heavier and the competitors much more experienced. In addition, the open category of strongman allows one to compete at whatever bodyweight they would like. At this competition, there were six of us in the open division. That’s enough background information now I’ll dig into my recap of events. 

First up was the axle clean and press for max reps in 60 seconds. The weight here was 250lbs. Going into this event, my goal was to not zero the event (get at least one rep) and I did. I finished with one rep, which tied me for 5th place.

The Axle Press. Photo Credit Nick Ditka

Next up was the max frame deadlift. This event allowed competitors 3 attempts to set a max weight. For my first attempt I hit a comfortable 700lbs. Feeling good after this attempt, I went for 750lbs on my next attempt. Not quite as comfortable but I managed the rep (and a new PB!). For my last attempt I said “screw it” and went for 800lbs. Unfortunately this wasn’t meant to be as the weight remained firmly glued to the floor! I was happy with my new PB and took another 5th place. 

The Frame Deadlift. Photo Credit Nick Ditka

The next event was by far the toughest for me from an endurance standpoint. It was a 2 part event. First was 4 flips of a 550lb tire. Once that was completed, there was a 315lbs/hand farmer’s walk for 60 total feet (30 up and 30 back). I was excited coming into this event, I’d never flipped a tire and was eager to see how I would do. It was tough but I did manage the 4 flips. I think technique was a big factor here, I didn’t get low enough into the tire to maximally use my legs. The farmer’s walk was heavy! I managed to get all 30 feet up in one go and then picked the handles up to come back and made it about 10 feet before my legs quit on me. Overall though I was very pleased with this event and I finished 4th.

The fourth event was a grip strength event, an axle bar deadlift. This is tougher than a standard deadlift because the bar is almost 2” in diameter. This was a rising bar event meaning the weight went up until only one person was left. I managed to hit the 275 and 295 but failed on the 315 which put me in a 4 way tie for 2nd place.

Next up was an event I had never tried before, an atlas stone to shoulder series. This event involved attempting to lift 3 atlas stones of weights ranging from 215-270 from the floor to the shoulder. Never having lifted an atlas stone I was very excited to try this. Thanks to some last minute tips from my fellow competitors, I successfully lifted the 215lb stone to my shoulder. I was happy to successfully “lap” the 240lb stone and give a hard fight attempting to bring it to my shoulder but it wasn’t there on this day. In this event I finished 5th.

The last event of the day was the one everyone seemed to be looking forward to, the dump truck pull. This was a very visually impressive event watching my fellow competitors pull a full sized dump truck! When my turn came I was pretty nervous, however, once I was harnessed in I got out to the fastest start I could manage. At about the 35 foot mark there seemed to be a slight incline which made things very difficult and I finished the event with about 38 feet pulled placing in 6th place here. 

Overall, I had a fantastic time competing against some great competitors. My goal going into this contest was to not zero any of the events and I achieved my goal. Now it’s time to start planning my training for the next contest in the fall and setting some goals for that one!

~Thomas

A few years ago, I pinched a nerve in my neck which led me to be stationary as any form of movement would cause extreme pain. During this time, my fiancé (Sean) started at JKC and loved it!! Once I overcame the nerve issue, Sean spent a long time trying to convince me that JKC is exactly what I needed to safely start working out again (I’m slightly stubborn and was super scared of re-pinching the nerve). Long story short, Sean was right… as much as I hate to admit it!

I never had luck at gyms, if it started to hurt I would call it a day. At JKC that is not an option, as Jon & Thomas will push you to finish the workout, whether you want to or not! Working out in a group setting is also a big benefit of working out at JKC, if you’re not feeling motivated you can simply feed off of someone else’s energetic vibes.

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.

Courtney Sharpe

Nutritional Coaching by Julia Howard

For the past two months I have worked with the JKC team and have never felt better! In addition to a personal fitness plan, JKC’s holistic nutritionist, Julia, worked with me and around my busy schedule to educate me on healthier food options and meal planning. I maintain a daily food log which Julia reviews and provides feedback on and we also have weekly chats to discuss my nutritional goals and potential improvement areas. Julia also helped me to identify and work around dietary constraints which have caused digestion issues for years!

Julia and the rest of the JKC family have helped me get my confidence back! I love starting my days with a good sweat and a healthy breakfast. I understand what foods make me feel my best and my body is well on its way to becoming more lean, fit and happy! I would totally recommend Julia and the entire JKC team!

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 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).

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